Category Archives: Rural China

Living fossils of the frontier: Zhelaizhai’s “Roman Culture”

Two of my favorite topics when teaching about China’s geography, as many of my students know, are the cultural mixing that has occurred historically throughout China’s frontiers, and the ways localities in China have contrived all sorts of fantastic cultural … Continue reading

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Just another roadside attraction

When the film Braveheart came out, tourists flocked to Scotland to see the land and heritage of William Wallace (even though it was filmed in Ireland).  After Downton Abbey  became popular, tourists went looking for the ‘real’ Downton Abbey in … Continue reading

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Dying for land

The recent wave of Tibetan self-immolations garnered increasing media attention outside of China.  Yet self-immolation is a form of protest that has also been used, on rare occasion, to protest a whole range of injustices, not just the suppression of … Continue reading

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Climate change and resettlement on the Tibetan Plateau

Leslie Hook has written an extensive article in FT Magazine on how climate change is affecting environmental conditions on the Tibetan Plateau, and how China’s attempts to address these changes are often driven by misunderstandings of the human-environment relationship there, … Continue reading

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Consumable villages – more on rural China’s boutique hotels

In an older post, I commented on the rise of entrepreneurs from China’s major urban areas buying old run-down properties in picturesque villages and turning them into boutique hotels for a new class of urban Chinese independent travelers.  Recently, the … Continue reading

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More giant vegetables

What is it with China and giant vegetables?  In an earlier post, I commented on the giant vegetables being ‘scientifically’ grown in the greenhouses of Huaxi Supervillage and how these echo the Great Leap Forward’s obsession for spurring nature with … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Rural China | Leave a comment

Joshua Muldavin on China’s rural land grabs: the shaky foundation to our collective future

Geographer Joshua Muldavin has published an op-ed piece on the broader implications of the recent Wukang incident in which he reminds us that China’s rise as a global economic power “is built upon an unresolved land struggle with hundreds of … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Environment, Food, Rural China | 1 Comment

Renewed violence in Lufeng

The long-running dispute in Lufeng between farmers and developers (and local officials) erupted this week in renewed violence after one of the villagers who had been selected by villagers to negotiate with the authorities died in police custody.  As reported … Continue reading

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Global Times: who needs an urban hukou anyway?

Following-up on our various discussions about the hukou systems and about rural-to-urban migration and questions about rural migrants seeking access to urban space (as opposed, say, to an urban hukou itself), the Global Times recently published an editorial claiming that … Continue reading

Posted in Migration, Rural China | 2 Comments

Consumable villages – “Many people dream of finding paradise, but they never really find such a place. But I did.”

A few lectures ago in class I mentioned the UNESCO World Heritage villages of Hongcun and Xidi in the context of raising questions about the ways heritage preservation in rural China can be an oppressive force that can alienate villagers … Continue reading

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