Why do many Chinese think the movie Avatar is really about them? As pointed out in WiC51 (page 8), like the Na’vi, many in China are subject to ‘forced relocations’. At this week’s National People’s Congress, the nation’s ‘parliament’ is considering a new law to protect property rights and make forced relocations harder to push through. It’s a popular measure – when opened to public consultation the draft of the law got the largest response ever, with 13,000 lodging suggestions. If approved, the new law will outlaw ‘ruthless practices’ – such as isolating homeowners who refuse to sell in ‘nail houses’. It will also require that where land is earmarked for redevelopment, all homeowners must agree to move before it can go ahead. Public hearings will also decide on compensation (based on market prices). “I can’t believe such a good law is on the way,” a 61 year-old Shanghainese victim of a forced relocation delightedly told the China Daily.
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