Amid the economic downturn, the CCP deprives farmers of their primary sources of income by destroying pig sheds and gardens.
by Lin Yijiang
On March 10, amid the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in China, local authorities in Zhangjiakou, a prefecture-level city in the northern province of Hebei, dispatched over a hundred police officers to destroy pig sheds in one of the villages.
A village resident told Bitter Winter that the local government had earlier taken over farmers’ land to build a road without proper compensation, forcing people to sign agreements to demolish the sheds for pigs. Some farmers refused, saying that the government’s payment was not enough to cover their losses. Six of the farmers were handcuffed and taken away, and a bulldozer was brought in to demolish all the sheds. The detained farmers were released only after the demolition.
Pig farmers who refused to demolish their sheds are being taken away by the police:
Having nowhere to keep the pigs, some villagers had to sell the animals immediately at a low price. “A breeding pig is worth 10,000 RMB [about $ 1,400] on the market, but I had to sell each pig for 3,000 RMB [about $ 425],” a farmer who had to sell over 300 pigs on the day when the sheds were demolished told Bitter Winter. “I had lost at least 200,000 RMB [about $ 28,300].” Another farmer lost more than one million RMB (about $ 141,360). “The government has gone too far,” the farmer added. “They are severing our livelihoods!”
On April 17, the government of Cangnan, a county in Wenzhou city of the eastern province of Zhejiang, dispatched personnel to destroy trellises—wooden structures used to support climbing plants like beans—in the farmlands in Lingxi town. Farmers were neither informed about the planned operation nor offered compensation.
“Without the trellises, some vegetables cannot bear fruits,” a villager explained. “After months of hard work, our plants started blooming, and now everything is ruined.”
An official who took part in the demolition told Bitter Winter that the trellises negatively affected the city’s image, and higher authorities ordered to destroy them. “We couldn’t do anything because the order came from our superiors,” the man said. “All counties and villages in Wenzhou have to remove all trellises.” He added that anyone going against the government would be arrested.
In May, the government of Wenzhou’s Pingyang county hired workers, security guards, and even local thugs to demolish the trellises in the vegetable gardens larger than 5 acres in over 20 villages in Shuitou town. Residents were not informed ahead of the operation.
A resident in one of the villages told Bitter Winter that three elderly men who tried to prevent the removal of trellises were brutally beaten. One of them, a 65-year-old, was slapped on his face until blood started seeping from his mouth. A 68-year-old villager was pushed to the ground, a guard pressing his neck, and the third one had a bucket of urine poured over his head.
“Elderly villagers cannot make money any other way but by growing and selling vegetables,” another village resident said. “The CCP is so cruel. It is depriving people of means to sustain their livelihood.”