But two other thoughts occurred. First, this is no clearing of slums, or destruction of an ancient residential quarter. I’d guess the building being demolished was no more than 20-25 years old. I find this a telling incident in the development of China as a leading industrial country.
Destroying a recent structure to put up something more useful is not something one does when money is tight, or investment prospects are uncertain. It may be a case of Parkinson’s Law concerning new buildings, but I suspect not.
The second is that this story is a reminder that outside the tourist destinations and familiar names of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, perhaps Nanjing and Guangzhou, there is a huge country. Here’s a list of Chinese cities with a population estimated at over 2.5 million inhabitants:
[taken from Wing Chan “Misconceptions and Complexities in the Study of China’s Cities: Definitions, Statistics, and Implications,” July/August 2007 issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics, which was cited here.
To put this in context, here’s the equivalent table for the European Union [adapted from national data here].
Anyone wondering how long China will pretend to pay lip service to Western political correctness may do well to ponder where current demographic and economic trends are taking us.