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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:36 GMT
Woman defies Chinese developers
The house stands alone in the middle of a building site

A Chinese woman remains defiant after a court deadline for her to allow the demolition of her house expired.

Wu Ping said she would continue to fight against any attempts by the authorities to pull down her home.

Her battle has held up a major property development in the south-western city of Chongqing.

Striking images of the modest building in the middle of a huge construction were spread on the internet - and have made her a national cause celebre.

Ms Wu was the only one of 281 families in the area who rejected an offer of a new house or financial compensation to move from the site in Chongqing in 2004.

She and her husband stood firm as construction work began around them, although they had to move out when access to their property became difficult.

But they have continued to refuse all requests to allow their home to be pulled down.

House owner Wu Ping with the court verdict beside her home in Chongqing on 22 March 2007
Wu Ping says she is protecting her rights as a citizen

A deadline set by the court ordering her to authorise the demolition ran out on Thursday, and it was not clear what steps the authorities would take next.

The Chinese media have dubbed her "the stubborn nail" for her refusal to give up.

But Ms Wu defended her decision.

"I'm not stubborn or unruly, I'm just trying to protect my personal rights as a citizen. I will continue to the end," she was quoted as saying in the state-run Legal Daily.

The case has generated huge interest in China because the demolition of homes for development is a contentious issue.

Accusations of illegal land grabs and corruption have dogged China's fast-paced building expansion.

China's parliament last week passed a landmark law to boost protection of property rights for individuals.

But while it has been designed to protect against land seizures, some fear it will legitimise the illegal land grabs that have already taken place.

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