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State Council orders special check into land expropriation and house demolition practices

From : Xinhua

(photo from Xinhua)


BEIJING, May 19, 2011 -- China's State Council has ordered a prompt special investigation into land expropriations and house demolition practices around the country, in order to put an end to illegal forced demolitions.

Effective measures should be taken to stop any illegal forced demolition, as well as violence and coercion in the demolition procedures. Also, efforts should be made to prevent and solve disputes, said a circular issued by the General Office of the State Council, which was made public Thursday.

Land expropriations and house demolitions should be carried out in a legal, civilized and harmonious manner, the circular said.

The circular also asked all government departments to strictly implement regulations and instructions issued earlier by the State Council.

The State Council published a regulation on expropriations and compensation of houses on state-owned lands in January, stipulating that all expropriations and demolitions must be conducted through due process, such as public opinion hearings and fair compensation for the house owners.

According to the circular, the special investigation should include checking into the implementation of regulations and rules, such as whether the expropriation and compensation plans had undergone public opinion hearing procedures, as well as whether the compensations were sufficient and had been paid before the expropriation and demolition without delay and deductions in compensations.

Work of the government departments and officials to regulate the expropriation and demolition practices and to solve disputes should also be under review in the investigation, the circular said.

Moreover, people who violated the law and regulations and conducted illegal forced demolitions must be punished, and government departments and officials will be held responsible for malpractice involved in the violation cases, the circular said.

The circular asked local governments at province level to first check the situation in their own jurisdictions and report the results to the State Council by June 20.

Following that, a supervisory group consisting of officials from the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office and other central government departments, including the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Land and Resources and the Ministry of Public Security, will conduct an investigation into some key areas, the circular said.