China's Shanghai Residents Hit Streets in Rare Show of Dissent
In a rare show of public dissent, hundreds of people came out on the streets in China's biggest city and financial hub Shanghai on Sunday to protest against the recent changes in housing regulations by the city government.
Representative image. Photo: Reuters
Beijing: In a rare show of public dissent, hundreds of people came out on the streets in China's biggest city and financial hub Shanghai on Sunday to protest against the recent changes in housing regulations by the city government.
Up to 300 demonstrators marched through Shaghai's busiest shopping street. Many of them held banners and encouraged onlookers to take photos, state-run Global Times reported.
It was not clear if any of the marchers were detained by the police during the protest that lasted for nearly an hour.
One protester, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that the demonstrators were people living in commercial properties converted to residential apartments.
The government in Shanghai on May 17 announced that people were not allowed to convert commercial properties for residential use, and buildings that have been converted should be changed back to their previous situation, the report said.
The anonymous protester said people who have been living in commercial premises converted to residential use were forced to do so either because of the sky-high residential property prices, or they were unable to buy as they do not have a hukou (a household registration record required by law in China).
Converting commercial buildings for residential use can be costly and dangerous as they have different construction standards, urban development expert Niu Fengrui of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told the daily.
The government notice also said many developers misled property buyers, telling them they could convert commercial buildings into apartments.
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