BEIJING (AP) — A medicine mogul spent six years building his own private mountain peak and luxury villa atop a high-rise apartment block in China's capital, earning the unofficial title of "most outrageous illegal structure." Now, authorities are giving him 15 days to tear it down.
The craggy complex of rooms, rocks, trees and bushes looming over the 26-story building looks like something built into a seaside cliff, and has become the latest symbol of disregard for the law among the rich as well as the rampant practice of building illegal additions.
Angry neighbors say they've complained for years that the unauthorized, 800-square-meter (8,600-sq. feet) mansion and its attached landscaping was damaging the building's structural integrity and its pipe system, but that local authorities failed to crack down. They've also complained about loud, late-night parties.
"They've been renovating for years. They normally do it at night," said a resident on the building's 25th floor, who added that any attempts to reason with the owner were met with indifference. "He was very arrogant. He could care less about my complaints," said the neighbor, who declined to give his name to avoid repercussions.
Haidian district urban management official Dai Jun said Tuesday that authorities would tear the two-story structure down in 15 days unless the owner does so himself or presents evidence it was legally built. Dai said his office has yet to receive such evidence.
The villa's owner has been identified as the head of a traditional Chinese medicine business and former member of the district's political advisory body who resides on the building's 26th floor. Contacted by Beijing Times newspaper, the man said he would comply with the district's orders, but he belittled attempts to call the structure a villa, calling it "just an ornamental garden."
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