'Zero burial' campaign sparks massive controversy in China

Videos posted on social media show the police raiding houses in search for coffins.

    2018/08/08

NSFW    JIANGXI, CHINA — Videos of coffins being seized and smashed in the Jiangxi province have sparked a big controversy in China.

Chinese cities are developing fast, and this frenetic development has raised concerns regarding land management. One of the main issues is the lack of land space to bury dead people.

Officials in Jiangxi province launched a "zero burial" campaign and forcefully confiscated people's coffins.The aim of the campaign is to make cremation the sole approved method for disposing of dead people's remains.

The campaign goes against a longstanding burial tradition in rural China. The elderly often have tailor-made coffins stored at home in anticipation of their own death, a custom which they believe brings good fortune to the house.

Videos were published on Chinese social media, showing rural residents lying in their coffins so they wouldn't be taken away.Such methods led to a massive outcry and sparked controversy. Even national media outlets described the campaign as quote 'cold-blooded and overbearing'.

Local officials have since backtracked, saying that they would do their best to promote eco-friendly ways of conducting funerals without being quite so aggressive.
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