Economic changes and government policies are driving millions of China’s migrant workers away from the wealthy coastal regions back to the less developed western regions. The trend is a clear sign that a fundamental change to China’s economy is in progress, as a growth model that lifted more than half a billion people out of poverty starts to slow. From the early 1990s onwards, China’s double-digit GDP growth was fueled largely by the cheap labor provided by people leaving their farms in China’s poorer inland provinces to find work in the factories springing up along the coast. Now this has changed.
In 1911, the grandest building in Beijing was the Forbidden City’s 35-meter-tall Hall of Supreme Harmony, and Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei were one province. Over a century later the gleaming China World Trade Center’s Tower III stands at 330 meters. Often its top floors are obscured by haze. On a rare blue-sky day the view from the top affords a vista of gridlocked ring roads radiating out toward a seventh ring of garbage dumps and onward to a far less prosperous periphery. Hence the drive to decongest the capital’s core via the ambitious JingJinJi plan to integrate Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei into a single, massive urban corridor.
The growing legions of migrant workers in China have had far reaching implications on the process of urbanization in China. For the last two decades, China’s cities have exploded in size, the result of the largest and fastest migration in human history as hundreds of millions of people have moved from rural to urban areas […]
A megalopolis six times the size of New York, JingJinJi will ease the pressures being faced by China’s capital Beijing.
Chinese e-commerce companies like Alibaba and JD.com are finding a lucrative opportunity in rural areas. But what kind of strategies will work there?
Changing the Chinese social structure may save the country from the proverbial ‘middle-income trap’, says Salvatore Babones, an expert on China’s political economy.
Carnegie Endowment’s Yukon Huang offers a new perspective and demystifies some popular notions about China, such as fears about the real estate bubble.
Land sales contribute significantly to local government financing in China as well as provincial GDP targets. But this is both unsustainable and problematic. A look at the situation and the kind of reform that needs to kick in. Last month, China launched a national audit of the “land-transferring fees” collected by local governments in the […]
What ails real estate in China? Are we heading for a property market crash? Does the government need to step in and save the day? In this wide-ranging interview, CKGSB professor Liu Jing, an expert on the real estate market, analyzes the situation in China’s real estate sector. China bears have never been this close […]
The government is preparing to throw billions into urbanization in China, but has it thought through the hardware challenges? Perhaps the most striking way to take in China’s startling urbanization is to sit in front of a computer and click through to Google’s Earth Engine. A search for Shanghai on the website brings up time-lapsed images […]