By Aly Song
“Right now, buying a house like this would cost me more than 2 million yuan, but the government only offered me 260,015 to move, where could I go?” 67-year-old Luo Baogen said while smoking a cigarette in front of his partially demolished “nail house”, standing alone in the middle of a road in Wenling city, China’s eastern Zhejiang province. “Nail house” refers to the last houses in an area owned by people who refuse to move to make room for new developments.
About 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Shanghai, this house quickly became an Internet hot topic after local news reports bearing dramatic photographs went public last week.
Considering a follow-up story and to have some more pictures of our own, I traveled there with a Reuters TV colleague on Saturday.
It was difficult to believe that such a small city of Wenling was also undergoing great changes like Shanghai. On my train ride, I could see big and small construction sites on both sides of the railway. As soon as I stepped off the train, I could hear many noises of heavy machinery, constant reminders of the fast GDP development in this country.
I knew most of the “nail house” problems were as consequences of economic developments. This one was no exception.