Kicked out of Shenzhen, vagrants head to Dongguan

We told you earlier that Shenzhen is kicking 80,000 people out of the city – mainly those it considers “undesirable” – in a move to clean up the place in advance of the arrival of throngs of athletes, media and tourists for the Universiade this summer.

Beijing did something similar during the Olympic games, when it sent its legions of migrant workers back to their hometowns.  But unlike Beijing, Shenzhen is just kicking them out: they are free to go where they like.  And that appears to be Dongguan.  From the Wall Street Journal:

Police in Dongguan, a sprawling manufacturing center located roughly 60 kilometers northwest of Shenzhen, are under fire from residents who claim the city has seen an uptick in robberies and violent crimes recently. The wave of complaints reached such a crescendo that city police this week held a web chat to discuss the problem with concerned netizens.

Dongguan authorities haven’t outwardly criticized Shenzhen’s program (open feuding between local governments is rare in China). But during the online chat, police officials did make a reference to the neighboring boomtown’s human clean-up effort ahead of the upcoming Summer Universiade: “The Shenzhen authorities are running a thorough check on those who violate the law and all types of criminals. That will indeed push some of the highly dangerous social groups to Dongguan,” local media quoted the Dongguan police as saying.

The move is now drawing criticism, even from people inside China’s establishment, for its abuse of human rights.  One thing is certain: with Jasmine Revolutions, inflationary pressures, unrest, and the just passed day-of-which-we-cannot-speak, Shenzhen authorities won’t be taking any chances, no matter how much Dongguan complains.

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