History and Heritage Threatened by Chinese Overdevelopment

Chinese cities are destroying their architectural heritage as they rush to urbanize, according to Shan Jixiang, head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
August 10, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Shan said that many Chinese cities are heading in the wrong direction by massively demolishing architectural gems even as urbanization is causing development problems in urban and rural areas alike.

Official figures underscore Shan's assertion. The most recent data issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development indicates that China has built 2 billion square meters of new houses every year -- consuming 40 percent of the world's building materials."

That fast pace of growth is also destroying many of the historic sites and buildings within its cities, which is causing concerns to historians and preservationists.

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Published on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 in China Daily
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