An unlawful building constructed by a group of Christians in east China's Zhejiang province was demolished on Saturday in accordance with the national law on land management, the local authority said on Monday.
The Christians started construction of the building for meetings at Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou, provincial capital of Zhejiang, on July 17. They completed construction on the morning of July 29.
The building occupied an area on which a commercial center of the suburban district was planned. The construction of the building was not registered and had no official approval, said Qiu Youlai, director of the district's united front work office.
The building had broken the law and regulations on land management and city planning, he said.
The City Planning Ordinance of the People's Republic of China, approved by the State Council on Oct. 13, 1989 and in force since April 1, 1990, stipulates that any building without authorization and a construction certificate is unlawful and the local government has the right to demolish it.
According to the Law on Land Management of the People's Republic of China, passed at the 9th National People's Congress held on August 29, 1998 and in force since January 1, 1999, the local government has the right to ask those illegally occupying land to vacate it.
"Before demolishing the building, the government had negotiated with the Christians and offered a plot of land nearby for their use," Qiu said.
But they refused and continued the construction, he said, adding that the district government carried out the demolition and arrested two people involved with the illegal construction according to law.
China has more than 15 million Christians. In Xiaoshan, the number stands at 80,000. There are more than 25,000 Christian meeting places and 12,000 Christian churches across China.