Jiangsu villager flies US flag to protest illegal demolitions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 9:58am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 10:25am

A large United States flag was flown from the top floor of a village home in Taizhou city, Jiangsu, in a protest against government authorities and property developers over illegal demolitions, media reported.

Mao Jingquan (not his real name), the homeowner from a village in Yexu town, Gaogang district, said the government and developers launched large acquisitions and resettlements of local villages in 2009 to re-develop Taizhou into a “China Medical City”. Many village homes were destroyed without the legal approval of land acquisitions by the local government.

According to media reports, Mao filed his first administrative proceedings to the Taizhou City People’s Court, asking for a court decision to revoke an illegal notice for land requisitions and forced resettlements. His case was sent back for retrial and appealed, but his efforts failed.

After a lot of litigation and petitions, Mao resorted to flying a US flag from the top floor of his home.

Media reported that the Jiangsu provincial government began to speed up industrial development back in 2005. This was to “accelerate the construction of a pharmaceutical industrial park and a ‘China Medical City’.” On May 29, 2009, Taizhou Medical Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was formally established, with the goal of becoming the only national medical hi-tech zone in China.

Taizhou is the town where former president Hu Jintao was born and raised. Hu inspected his hometown for the newly constructed Taizhou China Medical City last month and received a warm welcome.

While developing the pharmaceutical industry helps the economy, it has also led to some illegal acts and aggressive demolitions.

The social impact caused by demolitions across China has caught the attention of academics and journalists in China and overseas.

The photo of Mao’s house with a US flag became an instant hit on Weibo. Many netizens expressed concern about Mao's plight. “Our government is forcing people to rebel - living in China really isn’t easy,” said one.

“In China, you always have to blow things up to get problems resolved,” commented another user.