China: Another Great Leap Forward? by Justin Jin

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59 year old former farmer Liu Yong ekes out a living in the city selling chicken-feather brushes in the centre of Chongqing city in southwestern China. He earns around 1,000 yuan a month selling these products, made of feathers he collects from chicken farms. His village was razed down several years ago by the government and has since lived in resettlement housing on the edge of the metropolis. The Chinese government plans to move 250 million rural residents into urban areas over the coming dozen years though it is unclear whether people want to move and where the money for this project will come from. Further urbanisation is meant to drive up consumption to counterbalance an export orientated economy and end subsistence farming but the drive to get people off the land is causing tens of thousands of protests each year. /Felix Features