China's "number one drug village" is taken down:
By all accounts, the Dec. 29 raid was massive: Over 3,000 police mobilized helicopters, motorboats, and police dogs to take down 77 drug-production sites, arresting scores of villagers and confiscating guns, knives, and a homemade bomb. (Three police were reported injured in the raid, but are in good condition.) If the Xinhua report is to be believed, this wasn’t overkill for Boshe, the “most notorious” drug-manufacturing area under the aegis of Lufeng city, a municipality of about 1.1 million which provincial security official Guo Shaobo says produced more than one-third of China’s meth over the past three years. The use of methamphetamines is growing in China: A Nov. 23 U.N. report found that the share of amphetamine users among all Chinese drug users had “continuously increased” over the preceding five years, while the total amount of meth seized in China rose 13 percent from 2011 to 2012.
We've reported various techniques of village level resistance to state power in China before. They also apply here:
According to the prominent newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily, despite the village’s miniscule size — about 14,000 residents on far less than one square mile — Boshe had defied previous attempts to rein in its drug operations, using human barricades of the elderly, women, and children to counter police forces.
Single industry villages have been a thing in China since the reform era, in everything from sex toys to ball bearings. I suspect that Boshe's trade originated with local cadre spotting an opportunity to meet whatever growth targets they were set from above with something a bit more profitable than lychees: maybe the whole thing at least partly stemmed from some other village growing lychees cheaper. And if Bohe succeeded in identifying a trade that would exceed these targets, it had the wherewithal to pay upwards for tolerance.
The political dimesnion here is that Guangzhou is run by 'little Hu', Hu Chunhua, a prominent member of Hu Jintao's CYL faction who has already been faintly pencilled in as Xi Jinping's successor assuming that the generally understood succession protocol continues. So he has an interest in applying Xi's rectification doctrines all the more stringently. However, the fact that this situation has been allowedto develop to the point that it took three regiments of PAP forces to take the village down gives both little Hu and Xi the opportunity to follow the money upwards. Provincial level purge pending, I think.