Hubei 'nail house' besieged by broad moat stands like a sore thumb on an extensive open construction site


Chinese Society  Updated:Wed, Nov 20, 2013 09:18 AM   By Bernd Chang


A three-story private house with broad moat surrounding it remains standing at a large open construction site in Xiangyang, Hubei province.

We have see numerous nail houses across China. A nail house (Chinese: 钉子户, Dingzihu) is a Chinese term for homes whose owners refuse to move to make room for property development. If you find it difficult to understand this very Chinese characteristic term, we have this example in Hubei that has just drawn national attention.

A three-story house with 3-meter-broad moat surrounding it remains standing at a large  open construction site in Xiangyang city, Hubei province in Central China, Xinhua reported.

The Xinhua report gives few more details except that the construction site is a to-be-developed project of a local property company named Shanshui Jiayuan Property Development Co., Ltd, but since we have seen such moat-entrenched nail house in Kunming before, we are all able to imagine the full story: the developer and the house owner have not reached agreement on compensation or price of the house as well as usufruct of the land below the house, and thus the developer dug the ditch around the house as one of their underhand tricks to force or intimidate the house owner to compromise and move.

If you have the instinct feeling from the images that the moat was dug by the house owner to entrench the house, now you should have understood it was actually dug by the developer to entrench the construction site and undermine the house.

The frequent occurrence of nail houses reflects the flagrant abuse of property rights of the Chinese common folk on the one hand, shows on the other hand the progress of the lofty cause of human rights in China as the powerful developer or the government or their alliance at least has not yet demolished the annoying house by force as they were used to doing before agreement is signed.

Sounds paradoxical? Ok, it is up to you how you see this China phenomenon and you are welcome to share your thought.

[Images via]

comments powered by Disqus