Today while walking Baishizhou, I stumbled upon surveyors from the Nanshan District government. The were beginning the measurements for compensations and consequently for the first time in roughly two years the buildings were open.
Those of you have been following the Baishizhou story know that Tangtou buildings were put up in 1958-9 when the original Tangtou village was flooded to build the Shiyan Reservoir. In the 1990s, the area was condemned as unsafe. However, the Nanshan District government did not start renting buildings and locking them until 2008. In December 2013, the remaining families were evicted and the site sealed off until today, when the surveys began.
The representative from the government explained that he had been assigned the task of unlocking the buildings because he had grown up nearby and was familiar with the villages. In fact, his family had come in the late 1970s with the border forces. During the 1980s, he grew up with the villagers and went crabbing along the coast, which used to come up to the southern side of Shennan Road.
He noted that the distance between villagers and outsiders began to grow after 1992. The implication was that forcing villagers into the role of landlords–without access to traditional livelihoods, transformed class structure in the area.