China: Another Great Leap Forward? by Justin Jin

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Former farmers plant trees and sow grass seeds in a park built over farmland in southwestern China's Chengdu city. The local government is razing villages and farmland on the outskirts of the city to make way for urban development. These women are from the distant township of Guang'an. They work in brigades and sleep in dormitories. They each earn around 1,000 yuan per month landscaping the city, an improvement over subsistence farming. 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