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China’s Growing Middle Class Chafes Against Red Tape

As China’s middle class—wired, ambitious and worldly—grows, its members increasingly are intolerant.



Think Renting in Your City is Bad? Try Beijing

David M. Barreda from Sohu
Compared with the numbers of a few years ago, first and second tier cities in China have an oversupply of stock on the housing market. Additionally, restrictions on multiple-home purchases are easing and “expected to be eased completely,” according...



Cities and Stability

Jeremy L. Wallace
China's management of urbanization is an under-appreciated factor in the regime's longevity. The Chinese Communist Party fears "Latin Americanization"—the emergence of highly unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest. Such cities threaten the survival of nondemocratic regimes. To combat the threat, many regimes, including China's, favor cities in policymaking. Cities and Stability shows this "urban bias" to be a Faustian Bargain: cities may be stabilized for a time, but the massive in-migration from the countryside that results can generate the conditions for political upheaval. Through its hukou system of internal migration restrictions, China has avoided this dilemma, simultaneously aiding urbanites and keeping farmers in the countryside. The system helped prevent social upheaval even during the Great Recession, when tens of millions of laid-off migrant workers dispersed from coastal cities. Jeremy Wallace's powerful account forces us to rethink the relationship between cities and political stability throughout the developing world. —Oxford University Press {chop}

The End of China’s Hated Hukou System is Less Ground-breaking Than It Seems

Richard Macauley
The new rules only make it easier for formerly rural hukou holders to move to small, backwater cities, not the vibrant mega-cities along China’s eastern coast where the vast majority of migrants are.



China’s Fake Urbanization

from Sohu
This infographic explains why it is so hard for rural migrants to settle permanently in cities. For starters, city dwellers were the first to get rich after Reform and Opening Up, which created a large income disparity between them and people living...



The ‘Nongmin’ Breakdown

from Sohu
Who are China's rural migrant workers?A uniquely Chinese social identity, the category of “rural migrant worker” is a product of China’s urban/rural dichotomy. It refers to a class of citizens no longer employed in the agricultural sector who...



Urban China

World Bank
This report recommends that China curb rapid urban sprawl by reforming land requisition, give migrants urban residency and equal access to basic public services, and reform local finances by finding stable revenues and by allowing local governments...



For Freedom, Justice, and Love

The Editors
Following is legal activist Xu Zhiyong’s closing statement at the end of his trial in Beijing on January 22, 2014. According to his lawyer, Xu was only able to read “about ten minutes of it before the presiding judge stopped him, saying it was...

Sinica Podcast


China’s Urban Billion

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Lurking silently behind practically every story on Chinese economic growth over the last thirty years has been the country’s unprecedented shift from being an overwhelmingly rural society to what is now a largely urban one, with almost 700 million...

The Struggle of 15-Year-Old Hukou Protester Zhan Haite

C. Custer
A 15-year-old girl has made waves in the Chinese press recently for her fight against Shanghai authorities after she was banned from taking the college entrance examination because she does not hold a Shanghaihukou(household registration). She and...

China’s Dirty Clean-Up

Sophia Woodman
Every year, millions of China’s poorest and most vulnerable people are arrested on the streets of the nation’s cities merely because the way they look or speak identifies them clearly as “outsiders,” not native to the city in question, or because...