Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has, by executing an order of the State Council, released the Rules on Expropriation of Buildings on State-Owned Land and Compensation for Expropriation on January 21, 2011. Key points of these new rules include:

  • Each government (at the municipal or county level) is responsible for expropriation and compensation. No demolition permits will be issued any more and developers could no longer carry out the demolition and relocation work.
  • Only those demolitions necessitated by public interests are permitted, and the scope of public interests is defined.
  • Expropriation and compensation schemes are subject to public comments.
  • Compensation shall not be lower than the market price.
  • Remedies will be available if no compensation agreement is entered into.
  • Compensation shall be made before relocation, and demolition and relocation with violence is prohibited.
  • The right of administrative authorities to carry out involuntary demolition and relocation on their own has been terminated.  

Under the old rules, the demolition and relocation work could be carried out by developers while governments would issue demolition permits to them. Since the progress of demolition and relocation was directly connected with the economic interest of the developers, the conflict between developers and relocatees could be easily intensified. The new rules changed the practice by specifying that relevant governments shall be responsible for all the expropriation of buildings built on the state-owned land