Sunday, August 15, 2010

China's New Tomorrowland

I wrote a short overview of Chongqing a few weeks ago. Chongqing is at the very top of the list of incredible places in China. Foreign Policy just put up a stunning photo exploration of the city that is, "growing faster than mapmakers and even government officials can track." Go check out the photos. Try to wrap your mind around this model of the city that is already "hopelessly out-of-date."

4 comments:

Hopfrog said...

Chongqing at night is my go to when I want to show people some far out photos of China.

Two things really struck me.

First, how nasty the Yangtze is. I hope the majority of that is just stirred up muddy silt and not pollution. Regardless, that river must be a cesspool.

Secondly, the amount of government income generated by real estate. Thats going to be one loud crash.

Hopfrog said...

Off topic sorry, but we were talking about the hukou system here a while back and I ran across an interesting article today about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/14/AR2010081402009.html

Mark said...

I'm pretty sure that ever since the Yangtze got dammed up, it's been more of a lake than a river. I don't think the brownish color is necessarily pollution, it's silty, but it's definitely not clean.

That is a lot of development in Chongqing. I wrote about real estate development on the post I did last night.

That's an interesting article on the hukou system. The fact that Chinese citizens can face such problems in their own country is pretty terrible. It seems like things are slowly changing for the better, but it's still a tough pill to swallow.

Mark said...

I’m reading the book “Hungry Ghosts” by Jasper Becker about the Great Leap Forward at the moment. I read an passage talking about the hukou system today at lunch:

The barriers separating the 90 million people privileged to live in the cities and the rest of the population – around 500 million – went up within a few years of the Communist victory in 1949. The state undertook to provide those living in the cities with food, housing, and clothing. With the introduction of food rationing, the corollary measure, the internal passport, became essential. This ensured that anyone registered as living in a village could not enter a city without permission and could not obtain state grain rations. Urban or rural status was determined at birth and was usually hereditary. In effect, the state had reduced the majority of China’s population to the level of passport-holders from a separate and foreign country.

Pretty creepy where the roots of this system are found.