Beijing will pull down a minimum of 40 million square meters of illegal structures, an area 28 times larger than London’s Hyde Park, and close down 500 manufacturing companies by the end of 2018, Reuters reports.
The city’s acting mayor, Chen Jinings, aid in an annual work report Wednesday that the local government would ensure “zero increase of such [illegal] structures” and continue to move people out of the city center.
Beijing set itself a similar target of demolishing 40 million square meters of buildings last year, but it has not announced whether this target was met or not.
Authorities launched a large-scale campaign following a fire in an illegal residential structure in November, which led to the eviction of thousands of migrant workers from their homes. The wave of evictions drew an unusual amount of criticism from Chinese intellectuals, students and journalists, which criticized the government for its heavy-handed treatment of the city’s vulnerable underclass.