Backlash as Beijing fire safety blitz forces exodus of city's underclass

  • World
  • Tuesday, 28 Nov 2017

A couple leave with their belongings after they were required to move out due to a citywide fire safety inspection prompted by a deadly fire in an apartment block, at Xinjiancun in Daxing district, in Beijing, China November 25, 2017. Picture taken November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - In Xinjiancun, a ramshackle village of migrant workers on the far southern fringe of Beijing, demolition machinery tears into buildings as residents drag out the last of their belongings under the gaze of police and security staff.

A citywide fire safety blitz prompted by a deadly blaze this month is forcing thousands of migrant workers out of their homes and businesses, igniting unusually direct criticism of city government measures seen by some people as unfairly targeting the vulnerable underclass.

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