96% of buildings on Orchid Island illegally erected
By John Liu, The China Post and CNA
July 18, 2014, 12:15 am TWN
It was recently discovered that up to 96 percent of buildings on Orchid Island, which is located off Taiwan's southeastern coast, were unlawfully constructed.
The island has been under the spotlight recently as people debate the appropriateness of opening a branch of convenience store 7-Eleven there.
The island's township mayor, surnamed Jiang, maintained that the construction site for the very first 7-Eleven store to be erected on the island is on land inherited from local ancestors and so no registration should be required.
However, according to regulations, land registration is required prior to obtaining construction permits. It is a rule that has confounded the island's residents. Following this rule, 96 percent of local buildings would be considered illegal.
Chiang To-li, the mayor of Lanyu Township, the administrative division of the island, said that he cannot do anything about the problem considering its scope and has asked the central government for help.
He explained that some older locals do not recognize the nation's land registration, quoting them as saying: "This land is mine, so why should I have to register it?"
It is reported that not only is much of private housing illegal, but a number of government buildings were also constructed unlawfully.