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Demolition order strikes home

(Global Times)

09:45, August 30, 2011

Li's villa at Cuihu Villa Compound in Haidian district. Photo: Courtesy of Li Tianlong

An Indonesian businessman living in Beijing is to sue Haidian district's chengguan (city management officers) for issuing him with a notice to forcibly demolish some illegal constructions in his villa without following legal procedures.

But late last night, Haidian chengguan issued a statement confirming that they have not done anything inappropriate or illegal.

Li Tianlong, who is ethnically Chinese, owns a villa in Cuihu Villa Compound, Shangzhuang township in Haidian, said he received a notice from the district chengguan team last Friday, saying the two balconies, railings and see-through fence he built are illegal constructions, and will be forcibly demolished on September 1. His case was filed at Haidian district court house on Monday morning.

However, the notice didn't specify his name, Li said. "How was I supposed to make sure it comes from an official source if my name wasn't on it," he said, "plus I only have less than a week before the demolition." For fear that his wife and one-year-old daughter will be scared when seeing demolition enforcers, Li sent both of them to Hong Kong on Sunday.

The "illegal constructions" were built in 2005 while he was decorating the house, one on the second floor of the villa and the other on the roof of his garage, covering 19 square meters in total, Li told the Global Times.

"I didn't know they were illegal, and I even paid the property management a cash pledge in case the property would be damaged during my construction," he said.

More than five years passed and Li and his family have been living with no complaints, until his assistant in China told him his villa received a demolition notice from the district chengguan on July 6.

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