Some old couples and migrant workers living in underground “wells” for years to save money in Beijing became a hot topic recently in China. After media reports, officials rushed to seal such wells with concrete…
Beijing Law Enforcement Personnel Seal Up Wells; “Well Dwellers” Moving Out
On 2013 December 4th, near the south gate of Lidu Square in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, this reporter discovered while visiting the many wells in this area that in these less than 3 square meter simple and crude spaces lived some people who go out during the days to eke a living but return down into these wells at night to live. Among them are not only car washers in the prime years of their lives but also the elderly living alone making a living by sorting through trash. On the morning of 2013 December 6th, this reporter came to these wells where people live but there were already law enforcement personnel starting to seal the entrances [manholes] to such wells with cement, removing the things within such wells, with one law enforcement officer claiming that at around 5 in the morning here, [he] saw some well dwellers carrying valuables already leaving. CFP Legal Evening News China News
The entrance to this heating power well is about 3 meters deep to the bottom.
Photo is inside the well, as Quan Youzhi tidies up her bedding and tells of her own life experience to this reporter.
Photo is of old lady Quan Youzhi’s dwelling down the well.
Photo is of the food items and seasonings placed on top of a stone.
On the morning of December 6th, at multiple heating wells located near the south gate of Lidu Square in Chaoyang district, hotel staff cleared out the things from within the wells and used cement to seal up the manholes.
About 50 meters to the west of the old couple’s well was another well covered with a piece of cardboard with the word “hot” written on it. Removing the manhole cover, an acrid odor assaulted the nostrils, and just as this reporter was about to enter to investigate, this reporter was stopped by a middle-aged man. He is the “owner” of this well, Mr Wang. He said he is 53 years old this year, from Huairou village, and has lived in the well for 20 years. He has three children at home, his two daughters currently in high school, and the son is in middle school. Photo is the cardboard and plastic sheeting covering the old couple’s manhole cover.
Photo is of the late night, as two scavengers return to their homes in the wells in the dim light of the night.
Comments from NetEase:
Presumably because they don’t have a homeland [motherland/country].
Uh-oh, the chengguan will now come to collect money [protection money].
Living in our Heavenly Kingdom is wholeheartedly not easy. Eating too well, living too well. Hehe
网易广东省中山市网友 [MacoChina]: (responding to above)
If your own abilities and other various aspects are not suited for living in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities, why do you insist on squeezing into such places, and then whining about not having housing to live in and how housing prices are too high?
The rise of a great nation! An aircraft carrier setting out! The Olympic Games blooming! Chang’e [lunar orbiter] flying to the Moon! High-speed rail runs unimpeded! And the ordinary common people descend into wells….
网易山东省济南市网友 ip：123.233.*.*: (responding to above)
And people serve the “smog” [the original Chinese is a pun on “serving the people”]
This is current situation [of the country/society]
You can see many homeless people living under the bridge and in the places such as sewers in American films, just like in Batman. Except there is no chengguan [city management personnel, harassing them]
网易广西南宁市网友 [令狐臭]: (responding to above)
They have armed police dealing with these things [instead], and whoever resists the law gets their heads shot. Did you think there would be such humane law enforcements like some beautiful female chengguan patiently persuading them [to leave/obey the law] or chengguan surrounding and watching street vendors?
网易浙江省杭州市手机网友 ip：211.140.*.*: (responding to above)
The humanization of law enforcement is a sign of progress, but the corresponding problems helping the homeless should also keep apace. You can’t just have a beautiful female chengguan trick people out in order to seal the manhole covers. How is the beautiful female chengguan supposed to live afterward? Just let the innocent beautiful female chengguan take the blame?
Don’t seal the wells! What’s wrong with letting them live in them?! Why not just all harmoniously live together putting people first?
The National Development and Reform Commission Macroeconomic Research Institute Social Development Institute Director Yang Yiyong said the index of the revival of the Chinese nation in 2012 was 0.653. This shows that the Chinese nation has achieved 65.3% of its mission of revival.
Actually, [these people] have homes in their hometowns~
I cried, I want to sing a song. “I love you China, I love you, China… I’m going to sacrifice my beautiful youth to you, my mother, my motherland….
The old lady struggles to climb out of the well by herself, but the circle of well-dressed people crowding around the manhole stand there holding mobile phones taking photos, with not a single person going forward to help her up. I don’t know if these people who are exposing this [to the greater public as media] really care about the people living at the bottom of society or are just increasing attention for themselves. The truly effective thing to do here is to help.