Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chez Ping, no more.

In my extensive travels throughout China over the years I have witnessed first hand the incredible changes taking place there. The economic boom has created change and growth on a scale unheard of in the West and unheard of in human history. The city of Shenzhen has grown from 100,000 to 8 million people in 25 years.

The rapid changes are affecting the cityscapes, the landscapes and most of all the people. A mass migration of over 200 million have moved from the country to the cities for work. People are wealthier and healthier, but are also increasingly isolated and materialistic.

All over the country old neighborhoods in the largest cities are being torn down to make way for new infrastructure.

Wu Ping and her husband Wu Yang owned a two story house and business in downtown Chongqing, one of the largest Chinese cities. A new shopping mall was going up and their friends and neighbors were forced to move away as their homes were to be razed to make way.

( THE AP SAID) "For weeks, the little house sitting stubbornly atop an earthen pillar and surrounded by a busy construction site was a symbol of individual rights in the face of China's breakneck and often heedless economic development."

On Thursday they finally gave in and accepted a$120,000 payment and a new home from the developer and the government. A new mall will go up, a couple will have a brand new building for their home and business and China marches on.