For 2012, this site introduces the thought of Zhiwei Tong (童之伟), one of the most innovative scholars of constitutional law in China. Professor Tong has been developing his thought in part in a essay site that was started in 2010. See, Larry Catá Backer, Introducing a New Essay Site on Chinese Law by Zhiwei Tong, Law at the End of the Day, Oct. 16, 2010. Professor Tong is on the faculty of law at East China University of Political Science and Law. He is the Chairman of the Constitution Branch of the Shanghai Law Society and the Vice Chairman of the Constitution Branch of the China Law Society.
The Zhiwei Tong (童之伟) Series focuses on translating some of Professor Tong's work on issues of criminal law and justice in China, matters that touch on core constitutional issues. Each of the posting will include an English translation from the original Chinese, the Chinese original and a link to the original essay site. Many of the essays will include annotations that may also be of interest. I hope those of you who are interested in Chinese legal issues will find these materials, hard to get in English, of use. I am grateful to my research assistants, YiYang Cao and Zhichao Yi for their able work in translating these essays.
November 14, 2010
Translator's Note: Chāiqiān (拆迁) has been translated as demolition and relocation. The connotations itself are actually more complex and involve issues similar to the use of eminent domain in the United States. In China, chaiqian has been used as a tool of rapid development. Entire buildings, blocks, neighborhoods and areas are being bought up, the buildings demolished and new buildings built. The inhabitants are paid a compensation fee (sometimes substantial) to relocate somewhere else. Oftentimes, the inhabitants are provided with new housing to replace the old housing that was going to be demolished. The process, unfortunately, is not always peaceful and is also quite frequently corrupt.