The 2008 demolition of the best commercial building in southern China has triggered social unrest that threatens the stability of the country, as residents of the city of Yulin erupted in anger last week, reported a report on Friday.
The report from China’s People’s Daily described thousands of residents who were forced to run for cover after the seven-story building, which housed the largest department store in China, caved in.
Residents of the densely populated industrial hub east of Shanghai demonstrated for several days in a bid to save their residential buildings, said the People’s Daily. Four people died and several thousand more were injured as a result of the protests, it said.
The report said thousands of residents signed a petition on Sunday, complaining about the demolition. It did not give further details.
Chinese state media have adopted a different tone toward the housing site, pointing out that in May, two men set themselves on fire in protest against the demolition of their neighborhood.
Neighbors of the property and some of the companies connected to the failed construction have blamed developer Evergrande Group for having ignored local laws and cutting corners on the construction to secure construction and investment grants for its affiliates.