China: Another Great Leap Forward? by Justin Jin

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A former farmer, 58, pumps ground water from a well she installed in the common garden inside her relocation housing compound in Liaocheng. She also cleared the garden of flowers and planted garlic and spring onion, and turned her garage into a ground-floor kitchen to make packed lunch for the mass of construction workers nearby, who are busy day and night clearing out farms to make way for urban high-rises. 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