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Wuxi mayor says kiosk demolitions 'voluntary'

THE mayor of Wuxi has denied a forced crackdown on the Jiangsu Province city's street stalls but said the government's operation to shut down illegal booths would continue.

Mao Xiaoping, also a member of National People's Congress, told that as far as he knew none of the kiosks on Wuxi's streets was demolished by government staff but by their owners voluntarily.

Mao said the crackdown was in accordance with Wuxi's townscape administrative rule and road administrative rule.

Some of the kiosks were approved by the government but on a temporary basis and with additional conditions, which means they should comply with the development of the city and would be demolished if necessary, he said.

Many kiosk owners complained they paid tens of thousands of yuan annually to local authorities to carry out their business, but Mao said those officials had exceeded their authority and should be in charge of the aftermath themselves.

Mao said new kiosks would be installed, but under a unified plan. They could be installed in supermarkets, parks or residential areas instead of main streets, he said.

Mao expressed his concern for kiosk owners and said he would recommend job opportunities in enterprises or offer those operators new spots.

Wuxi residents have had nowhere to buy newspapers or magazines since February 23 when the authorities ordered the demolition of most of the city's 256 newspaper kiosks.

More than 1,000 other kiosks were also ordered to shut in advance of the World Buddhism Forum to be held in the city from March 28.


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