Shaanxi probes illegal villas near Qinling Mountains

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/9 22:33:41

The Shaanxi provincial government in Northwest China is investigating illegal villa construction at the foot of the Qinling Mountains, with some of them having been demolished, the local government said at its most recent meeting on the issue.

The provincial Party committee said on Wednesday they also started investigating various construction projects inside the Qinling natural reserve, including those proposed and completed, the Huashang Daily reported Thursday.

The central government considers the illegal construction in the Qinling Mountains of vital importance, and has sent a team led by Xu Lingyi, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), to correct the problem, Shaanxi Daily reported.

Serious environment issues in China are more likely related to business interests that erode the country's political power, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of Communist Party of China Chongqing Committee, said in explaining the reasons behind having a CCDI official for a team leader.

Su said that in many cases, officials from local government organs, such as the Party committee and environmental protection department, were accused of accepting bribes.

The illegal villa construction issue in the Qinling Mountains is much more than an environmental protection issue. It is also a political issue, and rectifying the problem tests the political responsibility of officials, China Environmental News reported.

President Xi Jinping has given important instructions on the illegal construction of villas in the Qinling Mountains and environmental destruction, Shaanxi Daily reported.

The Qinling case also highlights the central government's resolve to crack down on environmental corruption, according to Su.

In 2007, the Shaanxi government has banned real estate development and the construction of villas in the northern part of the Qinling Mountains. And it identified 202 illegally-built villas in the area in 2014, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

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