Sanya’s “Hammer Action” to pull down the city’s biggest slum

| February 17th, 2011


Sanya (Hainan province) is a popular tourist destination at the southernmost tip of China, famous for its tropical climate and beautiful beaches. Recently the city government is dedicated to beautifying the city by pulling down the biggest slums in the city. The government even has a name for this clearance action: “Hammer Action”.


Pig raiser in her own hut where she keeps the pigs

The slum clearance took place in the morning of 19th, Jan. In face of the wide attention on this issue, Sanya general administrative law enforcement bureau released a report to explain the 3 main reasons of the action: 1, the slum is a fire hazard.2, it cause environment pollution. 3, it’s difficult for management. The government says these poor people may deserve sympathy, but it has no measure or intention to resettle the people, “because the huts there are illegal buildings”

These explanations may have a point, but the action is still called in question by china netizens and media. Questions include: Is the sanya government’s action legal? Why the government let the slum exist for such a long time before suddenly take such a strong action? Is it because the overheated real estate boom is too tempting that the Sanya government can’t resist and let the 30,000m²be a slum? Also, is the city’s image more important than all the people in the slum?


The shanty town

The formation of this shanty town goes back to last century. For a better living, some poor farmers from Danzhou city (northwest of Hainan province) moved here to keep pigs in the simple and crude huts they built. To date, the shanty towns, which cluster in Mango village and Watermelon village in Sanya, have developed into a 30,000 m²area, with a permanent population of 2,000 people. Together with the money they made by picking up trash, a family can earn much more money than they could by growing crops at home where most of their farmland is saline and alkaline land-land that is too salty to cultivate anything.

While everyone blames the Sanya government of being callous or money-oriented, maybe we should also turn around and ask the Danzhou government to do something for his own people. The farmland maybe too salty, but sure there’s something can be done to improve the utilization of the land. Scientist never stop working on the problem of the salty land, a case in point can be found here.

The future of these farmers is unsure, but one thing is sure, if all these pig raisers are all forced to leave, price of pork will certainly rise in Sanya.

Source: Tencent news

7 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Carl says:

    I just read the article linked. whoa. salty water irrigation? Im no expert on agriculture, but that sounds like a possible (amazing!) fix for many impending ecological disasters, dealing with and soil salinization stated in the article as well as consequential desertification. Anyone with more information on this?

  2. Gary says:

    When I was on vacation in Sanya I saw a guy on a motorcycle with a huge hog in the sidecar. I wonder if he lives in this shanty area.

    When the government workers show up to knock the place down do they have to wear gold colored parachute pants?

  3. Curren$y says:

    Just build them another slum somewhere else for like 300 yuan lolol

  4. xino says:


    that is f*ked up!
    government ate all money and left them like that!
    typical chinese fuking government!
    same government who threatened Chinahush and the authors couldn’t publish any article for weeks!

    i feel sorry for those people.

  5. John says:

    See West virginia.

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