Great Sprawl of China

Historic towns and farms located on the outskirts of Beijing are being engulfed by urban sprawl.
November 12, 2003, 11am PST | Connie Chung
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"China's path from communism to the free-market system is littered with contradictions and conflicts like the one in Bai Xin: When all land is owned by the state, how should farmers be compensated when local party bosses decide to sell off the rented fields to private developers?....All over Beijing's northern suburban landscape, exclusive housing developments, industry and golf courses are springing up on former farmland....It was Bai Xin's fortune and fate to get sucked into that building boom....The village, which consists mainly of old courtyard-style abodes, is more than a century old and was once far removed from the city....Today, the site is incongruously located in the center of Beijing's affluent expatriate community. It is surrounded by luxury housing compounds that rent to foreigners and is adjacent to the new International School of Beijing."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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