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Big trouble in little China

Chinese officials smashed up a car showroom with 10 new Audis inside, because the owner refused to make way for a railway project.

The Beijing Youth Daily reported yesterday that the officials caused nearly $12m of damage because they wanted to build an express railway on the site and the owner refused to leave.

The owner had been holding out for more compensation, a struggle familiar across China where property disputes over government seizures of land are rife because authorities permit little oversight and effectively control police and courts.

The showroom manager wanted 110 million yuan ($16.07 million) to give up his land while the local government only offered 10 million, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

About 700 government employees attacked the dealership early one morning last week, damaging cars, injuring employees and destroying the building, the paper said, quoting staff.


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