HK donors promised a refund The site of the school is now a commercial property-to-be. Photo: IC The city of Mainyang, Sichuan Province sa...
HK donors promised a refund
The site of the school is now a commercial property-to-be. Photo: IC
The city of Mainyang, Sichuan Province said it will pay back a donation from Hong Kong which was used to rebuild an earthquake-shattered high school that has since been demolished to make way for a commercial development.
Meanwhile, the Sichuan government has also chastised the city, calling the wrecking of the school totally wrong, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Unnamed provincial authorities told Xinhua that the demolition of the Mianyang Bauhinia Ethnic Secondary School is being investigated.
The Hong Kong SAR government and the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers (HKFEW) each donated HK$2 million ($257,716) to rebuild the school after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.
Officials in Mianyang said they would refund HK$2 million, half the donation, to the Sichuan reconstruction fund that has been set up by the Hong Kong government.
A much larger Bauhinia Ethnic Secondary School is being built in another location and HKFEW officials say they will keep the refunded money in the reconstruction fund.
"Considering the benefit to students, we will not take the money back (to Hong Kong) since a better campus is under construction. Still, tearing down a newly-built building is a waste of money," Wong Kwan-yu, president of the HKFEW, told the Global Times.
Lam Sui-lung, chief secretary for Administration of Hong Kong, last week asked the Mianyang government to return the HK$2 million that was used to rebuild the school.
Officials with both the Mianyang government and the commercial property developer are refusing to take responsibility for wrecking the new school.
"Wanda promised not to demolish the school before the Mianyang government was able to get approval from Hong Kong," government official Li Zhe told the China Business Journal.
"Wanda was awarded the land through a bidding process and local officials encouraged us to build the project," Wang Jianlin, CEO of Dalian Wanda Group, told the Beijing News.
Wong told the Global Times that Mianyang officials had asked but not received agreement from the Hong Kong donors on the school's reconstruction in another location, which local officials said would be larger and better equipped.
Wanda demolished the classroom building, which was mainly funded by the Hong Kong government, and other parts of the school without notifying either the local and Hong Kong authorities, said Lam in an e-mail reply to the Global Times.