China ‘Demolition Mayor’ Removed From Position and Expelled From Party

December 30, 2013 Updated: January 31, 2015

Han Yingxin, as second-in-charge of Shulan city in northeast China’s Jilin Province, once made statements like: “The Demolition and Relocation Law isn’t part of my vocabulary” and: “I hold the sword of the state” — a reference to a legendary 11th-century sword whose wielder was granted imperial authority to execute anyone he pleased.

Han is no longer the deputy mayor of Shulan City. 

On Dec. 29 official Communist Party media announced that she had been expelled from the Party and removed from her position. 

That removal took place after years of abuses in her post, which earned her the moniker “The most beautiful, most ruthless female demolition mayor” among Chinese Internet users. Han is a young Chinese woman — an unusual combination for a Chinese deputy mayor, and one that was exploited to comic effect by netizens.

According to the official report announcing her sacking, Han was charged with “exploiting her position and power to do favors” and “taking large bribes.” As former Municipal Committee Member as well as deputy mayor, Han was previously in charge of or involved in multiple municipal and urban bureaus, including the Slum Redevelopment Management Office, the Financial Bureau, and the Ministry of Housing and Rural-Urban development. 

In 2011, Han came under scrutiny when victims of forced demolition under her jurisdiction appealed to the central authorities. One resident, Xu Guiqin, whose store was unlawfully demolished, received a personal visit from former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. 

Other media and netizens noted that Han’s father, Han Changfu, is the current head of the Ministry of Agriculture. 

“No wonder Han said that she has the ‘sword of the state’, her dad is [Han Changfu]!”, one user posted on Weibo, an apparent reference to the widespread idea that high-level officials offer political backing to their progeny.  

According to a profile available on mainland Chinese website Laoqianzhuang, Han Changfu was communist party deputy provincial secretary of Jilin Province in 2006, rising to become head of the Ministry of Agriculture in December 2009. In the 2002 16th Party Congress, he was selected to become a member of the communist party’s Central Discipline and Inspection Committee.