Why Is China Slum-Free?

One thing you will not find in China is a slum. Why?

One reason appears in the following statistics: in 1949, 97 percent of the population lived in poverty and life expectancy was 35; today, only 3 percent live in poverty (and this is unacceptable in China) and the life expectancy is 77.

Another reason can be found in this article in the People’s Daily. Well worth a read, but note the following: ‘More than 80 million units of government-subsidized housing have been built, helping over 200 million people with their housing problems, forming the world’s most extensive housing security system’.

5 thoughts on “Why Is China Slum-Free?

  1. I recall seeing the Hutongs in Beijing, in 2000. Then I heard that they were being demolished, because of the Olympics. I had hoped that they would have been preserved, for historical reasons. But living in them was far from enviable, I agree.
    I have looked online recently, and discovered that they are now a tourist destination. I like that they have retained that cultural influence.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Inside the second ring road (the old city) one still finds many hutongs, although some have become somewhat trendy with expats – not as pleasant for other reasons.
      I have always felt that one of the functions of the residency permit (hukou) is to keep tabs on people moving from the countryside to the city to work. Imagine 500 million suddeny moving into the cities! Further, the massive spate of new buildings in many areas, most of them residential, is to replace the many that were built in a hurry in the 1950s and 1960s after the devastations of occupation and civil war. They were solidly built, but the plumbing, electricity and so on are no longer adequate, so they are being replaced with newer abodes.

  2. Dear Roland,

    I have found another great book on prophetic Communist revolution by Kautsky.

    It’s “The Road to Power” (1909).

    Unfortunately, however, it’s similar to that of the previous book I mentioned, in that it’s all about electoral triumph – instead of the more romanticised, take-to-the-streets, violent revolution seen in early twentieth-century Russia.

    Quick question, does Lenin’s “The State and Revolution” (1917) have any prophetic visions of a worldwide communist revolution?


  3. Despite his earlier (1890s) alignment with Engels’s staunch defence of revolution and dictatorship of the proletariat, Kautsky eventually took a more moderate approach and favoured using electoral processes within the bourgeois state. Lenin castigated him for this on a few occasions, calling the ‘renegade Kautsky’. As for Lenin, he both hoped for a Europe-wide and then global revolution (the latter also in terms of anti-colonial national liberation struggles), and he already foresaw the need to develop socialism in one country – an old idea in the Marxist tradition. As the possibility of an old-style global revolution faded, it was reinvented in terms of the anti-colonial struggle – although more fully developed after Lenin.

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