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Chinese authorities order Tibetans to demolish their homes

Tibetans ordered to demolish homes

Chinese authorities have ordered Tibetans living in the main city of Tawu County in eastern Tibet, to demolish any ‘big houses’ they own in the area, and have barred them from building any new “big and grand” homes.

A Tibetan building is torn down near Qinghai Lake

A Tibetan building is torn down near Qinghai Lake

Tibetan residents who are forced to demolish their homes are given little compensation and are being ordered to relocate to a different area that the local government has assigned to them.

Some residents have demolished their own houses before the arrival of the government to save their building materials and furniture which government workers have destroyed in previous demolitions.

In cases where large homes in the region belonging to Tibetans are not forcefully destroyed, the local government reportedly collects large sums of money from the owners.

“Since we Tibetans are humble and helpless people, we are demolishing the houses because Communist China says so… We are building houses out of wood logged on our own soil and we are not allowed to do that,” a Tibetan resident of Tawu county said in a video posted to social media.

There are strong restrictions on Tibetans in Tawu county, an anonymous Tibetan source said. Another source added that in the last one to two months there has been stricter control over social media in the area.

This is not the first time Tibetans have been forced from their homes. In 2017 Tibet Watch reported that an eviction notice was handed to locals living in Rongbo, central Tibet, because authorities wanted to urbanise, modify and “beautify” the area.