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May 17, 2019
The son of 32-year-old fisherman Sun Lianxi walks among the debris of their former housing, which they...
Zhengzhou, China
The Wider Image: China's slowing economy: the view from the Henan heartland
The son of 32-year-old fisherman Sun Lianxi walks among the debris of their former housing, which they say the government tore down because of lacking building permission, at the Yellow River embankment on the northern outskirts of Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, February 21, 2019. For generations, the Suns plied their fishing boats up and down the Huai and Yellow Rivers, living off their daily catch. Like their grandfather and father before them, brothers Sun Genxi, 44, and Sun Lianxi were born on a fishing boat. China's economic ascent has tantalised the brothers. "These high-rise buildings have nothing to do with me. They're for others, not me," Lianxi says. "We don't have any part in it." The Suns were owners of a large houseboat, enough to accommodate their clan of 17 spanning four generations under one weather-beaten roof. But as part of a broad-ranging environmental crackdown, local authorities in 2017 took over the houseboat in the name of minimising water pollution and over-fishing. With nowhere to go, the Suns erected temporary housing on the riverside but that too was swiftly dismantled by authorities. The Suns now live in tents of tarpaulin and plastic sheets by a floating bridge on the banks of the Yellow River, reduced to fishing from a small dinghy. "Who knows, my son one day can maybe become something," Sun Lianxi said. "But we have to break out of this cycle." REUTERS/Thomas Peter SEARCH "CHINA HENAN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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