A house in the middle of a Chinese highway is the newest symbol of resistance in a country where people are often undermined by local authorities looking to expand highways — even if they go through the middle of a neighborhood.
Luo Baogan and his wife own the house in the middle of the highway, the last remaining structure of a neighborhood demolished to make way for the main road going to a newly constructed railway station, reports Yahoo! News.
Luo, a duck farmer, explained that the family had just completed the house, which was built for 600,000 yuan ($95,000) when the government approached him with an offer to move out for 220,000 yuan ($35,000).
Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai stated of Luo’s resistance, “The Luo family is not rich. But the policy is what it is.” The offer from the government has gone up to 260,000 yuan ($41,000), but Luo’s family still refuses to leave.
The house in the middle of the Chinese highway is also called a “nail house,” because the families who own them refuse to be hammered down by the government. They often resort to violence in the fight to keep their home, which some self-immolating in protest. They often keep a 24-hour vigil because developers will avoid bulldozing homes when residents are still inside, notes Detroit News.
Luo explained that his conditions for leaving are not complicated. The duck farmer explained to reporters, “We want a new house on a two-unit lot with simple interior decoration.”
It is unusual that Luo’s house has been allowed to stand so long — and that their utilities are still working. It is common for local authorities to demolish the house when residents leave for the day, or for them to cut off utilities to the house. Luo and his wife currently sleep on opposite sides of the house to keep developers from partially demolishing their home.
Do you think that the house in the middle of the highway should stand, or should the homeowners accept the offer by the Chinese government to relocate?