The Most Powerful Nailhouses – Southern Metropolis Daily

A commentary translated by CDT from Southern Metropolis Daily:

There have been many “nailhouses” making headlines in China lately. But this one is different, and it seems to defy any power in , including the city government.

Actually these are not houses; they are a group of mansions, or luxurious villas at the Yinghu district in Shenzhen . They are part of an illegal construction that have come under “pressure” to dismantle or move. But things are moving very slowly, or not moving at all, to be exact. Numerous evictions from local government law enforcement officers have come to no avail. More than that, orders to stop building have been repeatedly defied, and construction keeps on going like nothing happened.

Then Shenzhen’s mayor Xu Zongheng publicly vowed to crack down with serious punishments on those who refuse to listen. Still, a group of more than 40 law enforcement officials left without any result. And none of the identities of the mansion owners or the builders have been disclosed. The name list of these rich men and woman have remained as guarded as national secrets over the past fours years of “evictions”.

But elsewhere, other evictions of nailhouses have had quick results, but only when carried out against those without any power. Recently a Shenzhen district government bulldozed the shed of many pig farmers, on a plot of land thousands of meters in size. These farmers’ shacks were also illegal structures, but the forced eviction triggered an outcry over the violent law enforcement incident. When it came to dismantling the property of the poor and powerless, the government demonstrated immense power and efficiency.

But when it comes to dealing with the rich or the powerful, the government has become the disadvantaged group. Over four years of “eviction” of the mansions, not a single property owner’s identity has been disclosed. This situation is very abnormal. Shenzhen very much needs a victory over this eviction mission. [Full Text in Chinese]

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