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Why are there no slums in China while there’s a lot of slums in America?
译者:unknown     发布时间:2020-11-10     超过 0 位网友阅读


Why are there no slums in China while there’s a lot of slums in America?



When I informed her of this risk months ago, I saw her for the first time, who was a plump 20 something, without bra, carrying a baby in her arms, supposedly from the suburban area, with the floor of her bedroom littered with all kinds of used tissues, and her two younger brothers jumping around from one side of the room to another.
The current slum I live in gives me a portrait of the real life of the grassroots, warts and all. They typify the underclass comprising the migrant workers taking menial jobs in the city and the locals living on social welfare for various reasons.
The elders play mahjong 24/7.
They remind me of my late grandpa, who used up every penny he earned on himself everyday, rather than on his 4 kids working as laborers at early ages.
This kind of irresponsibilty and laziness has rendered my city the Internet celebrity, a mecca for every Chinese who resents work-life imbalance.





So, this slum is an epitome of the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor in a new first-tier city in China.
There are old ladies that would collect the trash from the dumpster at midnight with a flashlight in my community. They suggested that I should strike out on my own and stop relying on my mom as an unemployed person, when they saw me appear in the community at 10 am with some veggies I bought from the local street market, alone, and never felt ashamed of my reclusive life. It’s understandable because most of them have such children or grandchildren at home, whose relish for computer games repulses them.
I felt rather reluctant to explain to them how often I deal with millionaires or billionaires in my working place, so I remained silent when they offered me some “pragmatic” or “empirical” experiences to improve my seemingly “unemployed” status.
The man living on the fourth floor, who is also the janitor of our community, is so self-serving that he didn’t relent when arguing with the pathetic lady living on the second floor, whose husband has been paralyzed for years. He assailed her for her unwillingness to pay for the plumbing together with the other residents in this building, despite the fact that the government has already changed the section of plumbing for her.
What can she do, aside from sobbing?






Soon, tragedy descended on me, when I refused and criticized their negligence of food hygiene. One outraged girl then attacked me with expletives first and then pounded her fists in my arms. The police later came, informing me that this family is notorious for their past in prison and therefore any attempts to educate them is futile.
Considering that they are currently caught up in financial strait, the community went to great length to find them a business right in front of their apartment, only to find that this measure backfired. Patronage is of little avail when education is lagging behind.
In the midst of such neighbors, you can hardly find any orderly and respectable families. As I come of age, such families gradually moved out of this slum, since they are disenchanted with the possibilities of having such derelict apartments dismantled by the municipal government of Chengdu.
As a result, the cultural and social milieu of this neighborhood has been deteriorating, with the soaring housing price and the on-going urbanization being the catalyst.
Living in such place, any rational being is on the brink of a nervous breakdown on a daily basis.
Fortunately, I bought an apartment of my own 2 years ago at 1.7 million, which can help me get rid of the slum once in a while.
I feel at ease with my new neighbors-mostly civil servants, because I grew up with them before I turned 17.





P.S. Some people regard me as an uneducated brat brought up in the slum and had to rely on “translation device” to write this post.
LOL. Would you please read my profile before making such shallow comments or even slander?
This is my mom’s apartment, which I only occasionally visited on vacations when I grew up and only began to live more regularly in after my graduation from college.
I was brought up in the municipal government dorm with CCP officials, not with underclass.
My TOEFL is 109 out of 120. I can write posts on my own, without translation apps.
Comments disabled. I’d better focus on my financial products.
P.S. Some told me this is not a slum. Well, this is the worst Chengdu city can present to you, whatever it’s called.

PS: 有人认为我是在贫民窟长大的,是一个没受过教育的孩子,写这篇文章必须依靠“翻译工具”。



再PS: 有人告诉我这里不是贫民窟,好吧,这是成都能提供的最差的地方了,不管你称之为什么。

Joseph Wang, studied at Ph.D Astronomy UT Austin, Physics MIT
There are a lot of poor places in China, but there are few places that are as messed up as some of the places in the inner cities in the United States.
The difference is that the poor parts of China still have functioning social structures. So if you take a poor part of China, you still have people that are working poor, families, and even the street gangs will tend to keep the peace and manage to create a stable mini-government.
The problem with the US is that a lot of the social structures in the inner cities are gone, and no one cares. This is a long standing problem that started in the 1950’s and involve complicated things like freeway systems and the drug epidemic.
The big problem is that no one cares, and the solution has been to use militarized police to keep crime suppressed. One issue is that it’s pretty straightforward in the US to move to the suburbs where you can ignore the problem.




Sydney Ma, lives in China (1993-present)

It all comes down to the household registration system (户口簿 / hukou) in place in China. The hukou system was created centuries ago under the Zhou dynasty and first mentioned in 1317 in a book written by Wenxian Tongkao.0
Basically, the hukou system restricts people’s mobility around the country and ‘tie’ them to the city / town / village where they are registered. Where you are registered depends on where your parents are registered.
How does one restrict mobility around the country you may ask? Not residing in your place of registration means that:
You can’t get access to public education, you may if there is room but you will have to pay a huge fee nonetheless.
You can’t get subsidized healthcare in public hospitals, you have to pay the entire cost of it with your own money.
You can’t get access to certain jobs that are reserved to local residents, don’t even try to apply you’ll be denied.
You can’t get access to public administrative services, for example if you need to get some documents.
You can’t get any sort of welfare benefits like free food, public housing, handouts and other sorts of assistance.



Su Chao, Software Engineer, lives in Shanghai
There are mini slums in China, but would only exist temporarily.
Mini slums generally form around temporary city garbage/refuse dumping grounds and old vacant neighborhoods waiting to be demolished.
Residents in those mini-slums are mostly garbage sorters (home and work place)and unskilled workers new to the city or between jobs (rent free), but sometimes people in economic or mental trouble (have no home to go back). Today, residents in a mini-slum almost never exceeds a hundred. However, back in the late 90s and early 00s, there were slums containing thousands in rusty cities.
These mini-slums will disappear after a while, because:
1、Urbanization is ongoing in China and cities are expanding. Yesterday’s garbage dump is tomorrow’s shopping mall.
2、The police will constantly check on the residents because this is how public security is guaranteed in China: knowing everyone about their where, who and what. Besides it is unlawful to stay on a garbage dump unless you work there, or in a to-be-demolished village no mater what. Most of the time, the police will let you stay if you really don’t have a place to go (probably not in Beijing), but the police will give you plenty warnings and evict you by force if demolition starts.
3、People move on. Except for the garbage sorters, mini-slums are only served as emergency shelters for some desperate people. These desperate people still have family and friends. They take a shot at life in cities. If they succeed, they will move in apartments, however small. If they fail, they will go to another city, or go home. For those mentally ill, the police will provide temporary custody, but will throw them back to their families like hot potato once identified. The police normally have no budget on housing and feeding homeless and often pay out officers’ own pockets.
So to answer this question why there are little or no slums in China: ongoing city expansion, plenty of new jobs and social mobility.








Shin Lee
As I am writing this piece, I am laying on the chairs of the Beijing international airport waiting for the flight heading to New York City. I spent my past two weeks in my hometown in China. I have been thinking about this subject too. It may be different than what other people give. But here it is:
The whole reason is: mix-use development.
In China, real estate development, especially in the cities tend to be mix-use. The lower level is shopping mallls, food halls, restaurants. The middle level is movie theaters, hotels. The upper level is residentials. The malls, restaurants, food halls not only serves office workers and resiendets upstairs but also attract people afar. The offfice workers and residents upstairs in turn support the business downstairs.
In the US, the mix-use is not many. In my town, apartments/ condos are standalone. You have to drive/walk to do shopping. If the apartment /condos happen to have poor residents. It is likely to become slum.





Richard Li, Knows a thing or two about China
How do you get slums in the west?
Social housing projects? Large patches of government land that is being squatted on?
China doesn’t have slums on the same degree as some other nations because it’s urban planning, city evolution, national policies etc do not encourage the existence of such social conditions.
Chinese cities are all going through rapid expansions, some areas what were previously considered as low socio-economic housing are being overtaken by urban sprawl. People living in this areas are becoming overnight millionaires because of the compensations they received from the government.
Hukou registration limits people’s movement so that you don’t get a lot of low income household concentrated in the cities.
No private ownership of land means government can develop land according to the cities growing need.
There’s no social housing projects because as a communist country, the government guaranteed living quarters no matter who you are as long as your registration is in that city.





Ian Emery, Experience in Importing from and Exporting to China
I have visited and lived for short periods in China since 2008, and the photos and descxtions she gives are entirely familiar to me; the old, rundown city areas being left behind as the local CCP build a new version of the city NEXT to the old city.
The old men and women sweeping the streets looking for cardboard, plastic and drinks cans to sell for a few RMB, from pre-dawn - late into the night, even in the NEW city areas.
Of course, the NEW city deteriorates into slums as bad as the old city pretty quickly, building standards are poor, and upkeep non existent.
Visiting my inlaws for the first time in 2010, I thought their decrepit apartment building must have been built in the 1950’s; it was built in 1992, and pulled down as too dangerous to leave standing in 2012.
The new apartment block already looks 30–40 years old.




This is the courtyard right next to the business hotel* I was staying in; this looks pretty much like the block one of my wife’s aunties lives in, and who we visited last Christmas.
Somehow I have lost two folders full of photos from my 2014 and 2018 visits, but this slum is still there.
The romantically named “Peoples Liberation Army Supply Depot and Hotel”




David C. Maness, lived in The United States of America

I found this slum within the shadow of a posh hotel in Beijing, just near the U.S. embassy and Chaoyang Park. I loved it and preferred to hang our with the people there. It was really dark at night. It did not appear on any maps. The buildings were informal. The haircut costed less than an American barber’s tip. There was always a table with people playing games. Most of the people were from rural areas and didn’t have residence permits. The bathrooms were a hole in the ground. Among a city of 20 million nouveaux riches, it was an island of authenticity. I wonder if it still exists.


Robert Devaux
I would guess you haven’t done much traveling outside of wealthy financial centers or tourist areas.
The truth is many hundreds of millions of people still live in remote and largely undeveloped rural areas and villages. While I don’t think the term ‘slum’ is appropriate as that implies an urban setting, the quality of life and access to essential services (police, fire, schools, high speed internet, etc) is spotty at best. I have spent a lot of time in places like this across the country.
Finally, most cities do have what could be called slums. The are typically temporary houses or old neighborhoods that are awaiting demolition. They are typically extremely poor areas with crumbling infrastructure and many other issues.



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