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August 12, 2009

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CCTV gets static over residential relocation

ABOUT 30 Beijing residents took to the streets yesterday to demand higher compensation for the compulsory purchase of their homes by China's leading state broadcaster.

The angry residents, from about 30 families living near the futuristic new building of China Central Television, gathered at around 8:35am, putting up posters, demanding more compensation and protesting "forced relocation."

Police officers were seen at the site talking with protestors, who kept complaining to the bystanders.

The residents, living in a 15-story building adjacent to the CCTV structure, said they were angered by a CCTV statement published in Beijing Daily last Thursday threatening "forced relocation."

The statement, by CCTV's office in charge of the new site construction, listed 35 households that it said had "not left any contact information or got in touch with CCTV for relocation arrangements or compensation." It threatened forced relocation if these families took no action in 30 days.

"They have all our contact numbers but never contacted us," said one of the protestors. "Now they are making false accusations and trying to blame us for having disrupted the relocation."

A CCTV official in charge of the new site construction asked the community management office to send five representatives of the protestors to discuss the issue.

The 11-year-old building, which used to house at least 100 families, was set to be demolished to make way for public green space at CCTV's new headquarters complex. But some residents felt the compensation, just over 10,000 yuan (US$1,463) per square meter, was too low and refused to move out. The market price for real estate in the area, at the heart of Beijing's central business district, is at least twice the compensation offer, they said.


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