walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

China has apparently made it to the mid-1970s

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-chinariots19-2008nov19,0,4719960.story

I suspect several of my regular readers are already aware of this, but the backstory is that China has a history of forcibly moving people around. They raze villages and move people to cities or other villages. They raze parts of cities and rebuild them in a form unrecognizable to someone who visited them mere decades before.

Kinda sounds like what we used to do. We called it "urban renewal" and it isn't really spoken of in polite company any more, because we did it to poor people and it cost a fair amount of taxpayer money and the poor people weren't happy about it and the crime problem didn't get enough better to justify it, particularly as all of the people who had any choice in the matter fled the city to the suburbs where their mortgages were partially subsidized directly or indirectly by the federal government.

We're much more advanced now. Now, people with choices move back into the city, displacing the people without choices to the less desirable and less maintained ring of suburbia. We call it gentrification, but we still don't talk about it in polite company. I'm not sure when China will reach this point. But it's a safe bet they will.

In the meantime, enjoy the rioting from afar. Which is really the only way to enjoy mass violence.

"An angry crowd of 2,000 rioted in northwest China's Gansu province over a government plan to demolish a downtown area, torching cars and attacking a local Communist Party office, injuring 60 officials, state-run media reported Tuesday.

At one point, rioters met a surging wall of armed police officers with a hail of rocks, bricks, bottles and flowerpots. The crowd later confronted police with iron bars, axes and hoes as they tried to hijack a fire truck and smashed windows and office equipment in two government buildings."

There is good news here. I don't think this one can be blamed on us. (Please don't get into the convoluted argument that it was us buying their cheap plastic goods that financed this expansion. They loaned us the money to buy their cheap plastic goods so this is a pick-a-frame-to-assign-blame debate.)

ETA: This is actually an unfair characterization of what the government is trying to do here. The motive for moving the administrative district is a recent, severe earthquake. We don't actually _do_ that kind of thing here (we _rebuild_ cities in California after earthquake, and cities on the Gulf after hurricanes -- regardless of whether that's a good idea or not), so I picked what I think is a reasonable close analogy.
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