Since several years China flattens its hills.
Bulldozers flatten hills. Then trucks carry earth away.
Most Chinese people don't contest this new trend. China is developping. This is what I am told most of the time.
But do you know why Chinese officials decide to flatten hills?
It is a question of cost.
Real estate lords build more and more. Therefore they need vacant space, lands.
And they have two options: either they expropriate, either they flatten hills.
Expropriate is not that easy and it can be expensive!
You need to face local people anger: "don't take my home...". You need to pay compensation. From time to time you should hire thugs.
Flattening a hill is not that expensive in China.
You need a permit delivered by the administration.
Though there are few ecological concerns and obligations. It doesn't matter that in a few years China will have to pay the price of this madness: drought, landslide, disappearance of humus that took millions years to build...
Real estates lords and officials will be far away when ecological disasters multiple. And who will ever link the causes and effects?
Men can defend themselves, hills and trees can not.