China’s urban fringe as a battle field: Urban expansion, land confiscation and demolishing induced conflicts (14465)
Since Deng Xiaoping introduced the economic reforms in the late 1970s, Chinese cities have undergone an unprecedented outward urban expansion; with urban areas having doubled since 1990. What this means is that farmland requisition in urban fringe areas have transformed rural areas into built-up districts. Landless peasants and displaced farmers fight hard for fair compensations and protests by displaced peasants occur on a daily basis. Land acquisition related disputes have emerged as rural China’s most volatile social problem. This paper aims to unravel the complexities and tensions involved in the recent demolishing and land confiscation in an urban fringe in a medium-sized city of the Shandong province, China. Our study shows that the conflict is not simply between acquisitive local governments and helpless but pigheaded rural householders, but involving many other players. Institutional barriers, manipulated procedures, untrusted community leaders and influential developers are all important players to the scope, nature and resolution of such conflicts.