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The underground world of China

Article in the Telegraph:

There, in the city's vast network of unused air defence bunkers, as many as a million people live in small, windowless rooms that rent for £30 to £50 a month, which is as much as many of the city's army of migrant labourers can afford.

... "We have two sizes of room," he says, stepping past heaps of clutter belonging to residents, most of whom work in the nearby cloth wholesale market. "The small ones [6ft by 9ft] are 300 yuan [£30] the big ones [15ft by 6ft] are 500 yuan."

"Some 80pc of our tenants are girls working in the wholesale market and the rest are peddlers selling vegetables or running sidewalk snack booths," he adds. "There are dozens of similar air defence basement projects in residential communities. In this area, they say 100,000 live underground."
 
Just great! China is much like Soviets. Soviets were threatening the whole world with enormous military and nuclear weapon and the population in mainland were poor. China is the same. The financial benefits to china go from the US corporations. So they are facilitating the flow of capital back to US to have a guarantee of capital for the next year. Purchasing US debt securities and are holding for long time. The ascent of Chinese economy is not reflected on the pockets of population. So unsurprisingly the result is clear:

"Some 80pc of our tenants are girls working in the wholesale market and the rest are peddlers selling vegetables or running sidewalk snack booths
 
Lol.. Have you been to china lately?

Is it very important??? It's not necessary to live or visit a country often to rate a living standard. I haven't even been to Egypt lately but we know what happens there.

Population in mainland are poor

That's a fact. No need to visit them and see the number of those underground living people increasing. I want it not to happen anymore.
 
That's a fact. No need to visit them and see the number of those underground living people increasing. I want it not to happen anymore.

I guess what iddqd was trying to say is that that's not the whole picture. The truth is there is a HUGE income disparity. The problem is a lot more visible in big cities because a lot of fresh college graduates came there to chase their dreams, but unfortunately, they usually end up living in shitholes and eating cheap instant noodles to survive - the so called "Ant tribes".
Eventually, most of them will have to go back to their hometown due to unemployment. But I guess to most of them, it's still better than where they came from? The government is trying to alleviate this kind of pressures on major cities by encouraging economic development in central China.
and as a side note, even though a lot of people is still suffering from sub par living standards in China, the fact remains it is a whole lot better than before. the disposable income grew by over 10 percent for the last decades.
the only problem is if China can maintain the momentum, push through all the problems (inflation, unemployment, social stability, etc).
 
the disposable income grew by over 10 percent for the last decades.

And the increase in disposable income is not reflected in the population well being.


The problem is a lot more visible in big cities because a lot of fresh college graduates came there to chase their dreams, but unfortunately, they usually end up living in shitholes and eating cheap instant noodles to survive - the so called "Ant tribes".

That's what I said, the mainland of China is still poor. The problem of many country not only for China is that, the difficulty arises to transform the economic success to the satisfaction of people. The GDP, Disposable income has been increasing in china over the last decades (as inflation follows) but has it been transforming into the social well-being? No. That is not the problem of only fast developing nation.
 
And the increase in disposable income is not reflected in the population well being.

I wouldn't be so sure. But I do see your point.
The report only reflects the living condition of a very small portion of Chinese people. That is not the big picture - not that I am sure the big picture is definitely better.
The effect of increase in disposable income in cities maybe weakened by a widening disparity. But I doubt it would happen to rural area where almost half of Chinese people live. In fact, the growth of rural China's disposable income have outpaced that of the urban areas consistently for the past 10 years.
 
It reminds me of the history of London during the industrial revolution (and Manchester as well).
Rapid expansion of urban areas, the country poor moving in (or being kicked of land) to the cities.

In London there was the Rookeries for example (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rookery_%28slum%29).

I presume that at some point China will address these issues, however it may take a number of decades and a change in the political order. However with a rising middle class, exposure to different methods and ways of doing things, and I presume what will be a boom in liberal arts within China (which a rising middle class seems to facilitate) I don't think the current way of things will last.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
NewHaven is right, very much so.

As I recall the industrial revolution reduced the height of Englishmen by over three inches, such was the degree of hardship. Life expectancy in 1909 has dropped to 43, that's the average. The level of pollution was so intense for so long that there are a number of species evolved to be different colours, typically grey-black as camouflage.
Children were used in processes that would destroy most machinery.

Much is made of the brutality of Victorian navies, where whipping was routine, scurvy was rife, weevil infested food was the norm, and eating rats hardly unknown, occasionally you'd get wounded and be operated upon without anaesthetic or antiseptics.
That was for many people an improvement on their lives.

Similar tales can be told of most places that have industrialised, some are still going through it like China. The Telegraph is written by right wing arts graduates, who like the message that "China may be outgrowing us, but at least we're civilised." This is not consistent with a country that delivers it's own citizens to America so that they can be tortured. China may torture people as well, but at least they have the integrity to do it themselves, not outsource it to American evangelicals.

Also, ask yourself why there are no such bunkers in Britain ?

That's because China, a state run by evil old men, for evil old men, spent serious money to protect its citizens against air attacks. When China does a better job of looking after its citizens than you do, you have failed.
 
As I recall the industrial revolution reduced the height of Englishmen by over three inches, such was the degree of hardship. Life expectancy in 1909 has dropped to 43, that's the average. The level of pollution was so intense for so long that there are a number of species evolved to be different colours, typically grey-black as camouflage.
Children were used in processes that would destroy most machinery.

Yep. I think before WW1 the British army reduced the height requirement for conscripts from 5'4" to 5'1". Conditions in 19th century Britain is what prompted H.G. Wells' account of the Morlocks in The Time Machine. Six- and seven-year old children would become chimney sweeps; children a little older would be sent down mine shafts to cough their lungs out by the time they reached 25. Children (and adults) caought stealing end up being hanged. Just London alone had 200,000 women working as prostitutes. Most of this has now been forgotten. Instead, there are stupid TV costume dramas nostalgically portraying an England that mostly never existed: Pride and Prejudice, Lark Rise to Candleford, Downton Abbey, Jeeves and Wooster.
 
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