The wall of a seven-story residential building in Mianyang was partially torn down Wednesday—while one unit was still occupied.
The Huayi Corporation, who owns the land that the building in question sits on, declared bankruptcy 10 years ago and thus sold the land to the Mianyang Yachuan Real Estate Co. in July 2010 to clear debts.
The latter, in turn, began demolition work in order to begin construction on a commercial building. The land is situated in the Huangjin section of downtown.
The complex once housed six buildings and over 200 residents. One of the buildings housed employees of the Huayi Corporation. Zhao Yanhong was one of them, and she refused to move out of her top-story unit when she heard news of the impending demolition, saying that the relocation compensation of RMB10,000 was far below market price.
Along with other residents, Zhao put up a resistance, but, they said, Yachuan hired unidentified persons to physically threaten any uncooperative residents. One resident was seriously injured as a result of the beatings.
Another resident confirmed that on the night of December 29, while he tried to protest the demolition, he was surrounded by six people and beaten up. As a result, he suffered a concussion and went to the hospital.
On January 1, Zhao Yanhong came home to find the first five stories of the building she lives in gutted. There's no way up, and no way to remove her furniture and other belongings, which are still inside her flat.
Photos of the building have circulated widely on the Internet, with forum users dubbing it the "pavilion in the air" (空中楼阁).
Yachuan spokesperson He Xinggui said that the buildings they are tearing down are in poor shape and that the new construction project has been approved by the Mianyang government as a post-earthquake reconstruction project. Mianyang was one of the cities that saw extensive damage during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and ensuing aftershocks.
He Xinggui denied any knowledge of the physical attacks on residents, saying, "If I truly injured anyone, they can go through the proper legal proceedings. I do not believe that the legal system would protect me if I were in the wrong."