Category Archives: Politics, Government, Law, Etc.

Legacy of the Rural-Urban Divide: Urban Villages (城中村)

One of the more unique features of Chinese cities is the phenomenon of “urban villages”. These are former rural areas that, with rapid urbanization and rural-urban migration, have been enveloped by ever expanding cities. What once was farmland is sold … Continue reading

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Of Buildings and Real-Estate

Construction, real-estate, and housing are on my mind this week. First, Beijing’s real-estate prices have been dropping steadily in recent months. This week many papers are carrying stories about bored and out of work real-estate agents as well as sob … Continue reading

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School Buses and Political Consciousness

One of the regularly offered predictions in the debate over the political future of China is the idea that as incomes, freedom, and access to information increase, movement toward liberal-democratic government becomes inevitable. The way a story about a deadly … Continue reading

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A Crisis of Trust

I’ve written before about the way a competing claims from government, media, and individuals creates a reality where truth is slippery and misinformation hard to root out, but the theme has come back in recent weeks with examples of how … Continue reading

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Mao’s Big Bumbling Legacy

Mao Xinyu is Mao Zedong’s only grandson, and he is not only quite rotund but also noticeably lacking in rhetorical ability. Both qualities are on display in this recent video (chinese). For all that however, Grandson Mao holds a Ph.D in military history, sits … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Government, Law, Etc. | 1 Comment

Urban Planning and Chinese Society

There’s a connection to be made between urban planning and the state of Chinese society. A couple of quotes recently drew my attention to how the design of cities is a deep reflection of social values. Take the comments of … Continue reading

Posted in Armchair Theorizing, Politics, Government, Law, Etc., Urbanization | 1 Comment

What a Maserati and Jet Li Say about Civil Society

A while ago the Chinese internet latched onto the story of Guo Meimei, a young woman who posted pictures of herself wearing luxury clothes and driving a Maserati. The controversy is that the girl also claimed she worked for the … Continue reading

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