Washington International Law Journal


Theresa H. Wang


China is under increasing international scrutiny as the country’s economic growth launches the previously isolated nation onto the world stage. As the national wealth increases at a record rate, the government is constantly modifying strategies to ensure its economic stability. In response to this nearly unmanageable growth, entire Chinese cities are remodeled and progressively more privatized, while urban dwellers are evicted from their homes in the name of economic development. These urban land acquisitions often occur with little or no compensation, while private developers reap the economic benefits. These policies follow a pattern of development replayed throughout history, notably in the nineteenth-century United States. This Comment focuses on these similarities, explores the fundamental differences between the American past and the Chinese present regarding property rights, acknowledges the improbability of China’s adopting Western models of governance wholesale, and ultimately argues the national government should reform its policies on urban requisitions to include viable venues of just compensation for victims of forced evictions.

First Page