China levies record fine on real estate developer for coastal destruction
A leading Chinese real estate firm has been hit with a record CNY 37 million (USD 5.7 million, EUR 5 million) fine for coastal construction after an investigation by ocean and fisheries authorities in southern China.
In a move that will be watched by construction and mariculture concerns across the country, the Zhong Hong Group (which also uses the “Zonhon” name in Roman letters) has been fined, named, and shamed after reclaiming a vast tract of coastal land on Hainan Island for a tourist resort – without the required licenses.
The Zhong Hong development was one of several caught up in an inspection by a national level Central Environmental Protection Inspectorate (an inter-ministerial joint working group led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection), which has been targeting different regions of the country. The teams were set up in a bid by central government to counter local officials who often fail to prevent or to enforce regulations on environmentally destructive developments.
In a related development, the Central Environmental Protection Inspectorate’s seizure and destruction of aquaculture cages and ponds has raised tensions in recent months in key aquaculture regions.
Photo courtesy of Luxurio