One Chinese man’s battle to save his environment.

Mrs Wuping
Mrs Wuping defending her property.

Local residents of Chongqing, China explained that this building is quite famous. A lot of people in Chongqing have seen it. If you ride the light rail and pass through Yangjiaping station you are able to see a peculiar landscape. In the middle of a construction site stands a solitary, small two story building. The surrounding soil has all been excavated, just like it was built on an isolated island. A Chongqing resident then took a picture and named it “China’s most incredible holdout.”

This has created a buzz in web forums across China! See more at this blog from China.

Update (22/03/07): The couple that own the property want the developer to give them a similar sized area within the new development. The company is refusing and is instead offering compensation, which the couple have refused.

The case has been to court and the couple have been asked to back down. Because of all the media attention the husband (54 yr old Yang Wuping) has suddenly decided to camp out on the building in protest (pictured below). They are hoping to be China’s first test case under the new property law passed recently.

The property law isn’t effective until October according to a People’s University professor so it looks like a long summer stake out! Source.

Update (29/03/06): this story just runs & runs. Now it’s beginning to reach the established media in the west; nyt

Update:(May) The Wupings got their money and their property has been demolished. 🙂
one man's protest for all men

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7 Responses to One Chinese man’s battle to save his environment.

  1. Josh says:

    From the original story, it isn’t really clear that someone is doing this to “save his environment”. Nor that it is a man.

    Nice photo, though.

    Great site. Keep it up.

  2. Pete Smith says:

    Must admit I’m a bit bemused myself. If there’s nobody living in it, why’s it still there?

  3. matt says:

    Yes, this is all speculation from Chinese ‘netizens’. What’s interesting about this story is the central theme attracting Chinese bloggers; one man holding out against the system. Also, that this discussion is not being closed down by the authorities (and why should they!).

    There is a wider discussion going on in China regards private property ownership vs state, which obviously goes to the heart of the Maoist revolution and the foundation of the Republic.

  4. matt says:

    Pete, I think I read from the ‘netizens’ speculation that someone of power in the city owns that apartment & they’re holding out for a large payment! It’s a great story.

  5. Pete Smith says:

    Ah, China, land of contradictions! No problem flattening entire quarters of the city to build an Olympics, and relocating populations to make way for hydro schemes, but a single ‘holdout’ can delay a construction project. Assuming it is being delayed of course, perhaps they’re planning to build round and over it, the way they’ve ‘preserved’ archaeological remains in London.

  6. matt says:

    Urbanisation has exploded in China. Seems the only choice city/party officials have is to build whole new tower block suburbs and flatten old ones. I had the pleasure of wandering around an area of old living quarters in central Beijing in 1990. Those single story homes, their courtyards, communal life, the old men chatting away while their birds chirped within their cages ….. probably no longer there. This ‘last holdout’ must mean many things for the Chinese.

  7. matt says:

    Read-all-about-it …. Daily Mirror publishes the above picture!

    Was down at the chippie this morning. Opened up a Daily Mirror, that the owners provide for their customers to browse through and what do I see on page 2 … the very picture above! They published it as their ‘Big Picture’ and a line about one man holding out for more money as the CCP legislate for private property rights this week.

    Hmmm. Bet the Mirror lifted it from our blog;

    Amazing how news stories go from obscurity to a global audience in a relatively short time frame these days. It’s the Google thing … and now anyone can play reporter!

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