The interests of Fenghuang people shouldn't be betrayed

Updated: 2013-04-18 21:37


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A joint company has been established by the government of Fenghuang county in Hunan province and a local company, and it will charge every tourist 148 yuan ($23.93) to enter the ancient town. That is a brazen collusion, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The travel corporation of Unitenix owns 51 percent of the new company, and the rest belongs to the local government. Unitenix President Ye Wenzhi was quoted by local media as saying that 40 percent of the ticket-selling income will go directly to the local government.

The new system, which scared off individual visitors immediately and therefore will certainly result in big losses to local private business owners who had been counting on those personal travelers, has raised wide doubts and concerns. But the local government is not backing down on the move, casting a blind eye to the fact that it may have violated laws and regulations.

First of all, the new system puts cultural relics and historical sites that are in the ancient town under a business operation as enterprise assets, and this obviously violates regulations that the State Council implemented in 2005.

In December, the State Council again issued notice to ban and correct practices that transfer cultural and historic streets, villages and towns en masse to enterprise operations and management. One cannot help but wonder whether Unitenix and the Fenghuang county government have directly violated this ban.

According to state regulations, management and service institutions in historic and scenic areas must be set by local governments, while such institutions are not allowed to engage in profit-making businesses, or te be transferred to enterprises.

All things considered, construction and tourism authorities of the central government should launch a joint investigation into the matter, and deliver an objective and just conclusion for all sides.