Shenzhen is known for its intense construction. Buildings going up, buildings going down. I was semi-surprised to hear that a lot of this development can be quite political for regular folk. I’m not one to explain this very well, so you’ll probably have to head over to Shenzhen Noted again to get the full scoop. What it basically boils down to is this: Shenzhen wants the land because it is prime real estate for developers. The developers then have to ‘compensate’ the residents of the land and building owners for their houses and moving expenses, plus a new building. When I visited Dachong village, about 10 buildings were still holding out for a better compensation package (this was about a month ago, must follow up on this, but need to find translator). There are a few things I find somewhat disturbing. One, the fact that these people have no choice but to move, even though they get compensated. When I arrived with a friend, we were initially told to leave because the security guards were specifically told not to allow foreigners, or people from Hong Kong in (my friend is a foreigner and because I can’t really speak Mandarin, assumed I was from Hong Kong). Obviously from this conversation I pretty much concluded that China/Shenzhen is paranoid about letting this leak out to anyone other than the Chinese. Two, small children and elderly still live in fairly squalid conditions while these negotiations are going on. One building owner followed us and (it seemed to me a means to gain sympathy) informed us that water and electricity were cut off in his building and his grandmother plus his children are still living there. Yes, it sucks that the government is using these means to force people out, but I also wouldn’t let children and elderly live like that. But then again, I don’t know an awful lot about situations like these (apparently there are a lot of these all around the city, hopefully when I come back from vacation in the summer I’ll get a chance to explore these grounds) but as always, the innocent have to deal less than satisfactory situations.
I do hope though, that the children still living there don’t always have to play around areas like this: