Category Archives: Aurelia Martin

Lilongs – Shanghai 里弄 – 上海 by Christine Estève and Jérémy Cheval

9782916981000Christine Estève and Jérémy Cheval (2010). Lilongs – Shanghai 里弄 – 上海. Montpellier: Mon Cher Watson.

In Shanghai as elsewhere, the old town fades away while a powerful and modern city emerges. The lilongs, surrounded by skyscrapers, still attest to the humanity and the particular history of the city – they remain the evidence of a bustling environment, with varied typologies, a conservatoire of the Shanghainese lifestyle.

This guide unveils 20 discreet sites of traditional habitat, in a tour of a city caught between two eras.

Written in 3 languages, Chinese, French and English, this guide book looks at 20 lilongs around Shanghai that have stood up to the pressure of Shanghai’s rapid urbanisation. With the help of maps and illustrations, each lilong is clearly located (including GPS coordinates) and described in detail. This guide also includes explanations of what lilongs are and their history, and several passages on Shanghai’s history as well.


Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Call for Papers: The Social and Cultural Impact of Migration in China

Session: The Social and Cultural Impact of Migration in China

2015 AAG Annual Meeting




21-25 April


Youqin Huang (State University of New York, Albany)
Shenjing He (Sun Yat-Sen University, China)


China is in the midst of an urban revolution, with hundreds of millions of migrants every year. Existing research on migration has mostly focused on migrants themselves and their economic strategies, while their family’s wellbeing, their identity, rights, and citizenship remain under researched. In this session, we hope to join the emerging research shift from focusing on migrants and their economic strategies to the non-economic impact of their migration on people, especially their families (children and parents), and places.


We welcome papers that address any issues related to the social and cultural impact of migration.
Topics may include but are not limited to:

• Wellbeing of their children
• Wellbeing of their parents
• Wellbeing of migrants
• Rights and citizenship of migrants
• Identity of migrant children
• Identity of migrants
• Household formation and family life
• Cultural impact on the origin and destination


If you would like to participate in this session, please send an abstract (max. 200 words) and contact details including affiliation and e-mail address to Youqin Huang ( or Shenjing He ( by 15 October 2014. All accepted contributors will then need to register for the AAG conference online at the AAG website by 31 October 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5 November 2014.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Huangshan / 黄山 by Tauno Tõhk / 陶诺

Photo by Tauno Tõhn. This work is lisenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Photo by Tauno Tõhk. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Huangshan is one of China’s major touristic locations, a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracts millions of visitors annually, and the economy of Huangshan City still relies heavily on this tourism.

In this photo, taken by Tauno Tõhk, we can see the silhouette of a porter climbing through the mist, one of the many who travel up and down the mountain carrying supplies for the hotels and various facilities catering to tourists. Although there are many cable cars going up the mountain, these are for visitors, to experience new views of the beautiful landscape.

See more photos at Tauno Tõhk’s Flickr or his blog (in Estonian).

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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昆明 Kunming by JiKang Lee

This photo of Kunming, much like Schoenmakers’ two weeks ago, highlights the juxtaposition of traditional and recent architecture that appears so frequently in China’s urban landscape. In the foreground we can see the rooftops around of the historical and cultural centre, which according to the photographer, had been recently renovated. He also explains:

Growing up in Kunming, I felt that it was fast developing city. The pleasant climate makes it a place businessmen want to invest and live in, and it is the rest stop for travelers visiting the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau.

JiKang Lee is a freelance photographer based in Kunming. You can see more of his work on Fotokon’s blog and his Flickr.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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… And bridges

The Chongqing Municipality counts over 50 bridges, twenty or so in the urban centre. Aside from two exceptions, Baishatuo Railway Bridge and Shibanpo Bridge, all of these bridges were built and opened during the last 20 years.

One of the most recent projects in Chongqing is the creation of the “Liangjiang bridge”: two bridges and a tunnel which span the Liangjiang New Area, from the south bank of the Yangtze, crossing the Yuzhong district, to the north bank of the Jialing River. The twin bridges were designed by T. Y. Lin International. The Dongshuimen Yangtze River Bridge (above) has been complete since 31 March 2014. The Qianximen Jialing River Bridge (below) has yet to be finished, but should be opened in June 2014.


Photo by Lauri Väin (2013). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this transition from past to modern infrastructure is, as usual for China, its speed.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Of cable cars…

Once upon a time, the main method of crossing the Yangtze and Jialing rivers was the cable cars, or ropeways, swinging high over the city from one hilltop to the other. Until 1960, there were no bridges crossing the Yangtze River around Chongqing.


Photo by Yeung Ming (2014). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

The picture above shows the remaining ropeway which crosses the Yangtze River, starting from the Yuzhong peninsula. It is still in use as transport, but mostly serves as a tourist attraction. In the top left corner, we can see the latest bridge of many which ousted the ropeways: the Dongshuimen Bridge. The Jialing cable cars (pictured below) ceased operating in December 2013, as they slowly fell out of use because of increasing alternative and easier routes, such as tunnels and, of course, bridges.

Tomorrow’s post will showcase some photos of the latest bridges being built in Chongqing.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Old and New by Kevin Schoenmakers

This is the first post in a series focusing on photos of China, taken under Creative Commons licenses. These will relate to the themes of UrbaChina: territorial expansion, migration, urban communities, sustainability, etc.

This photo taken by Kevin Schoenmakers in 2013 highlights the contrasting urban landscape of Shanghai. In the foreground, we can see an early 20th century lilong in the Zhabei District, Shanghai, and in the background, a new high-rise. The Zhabei District transformed after the Communist liberation in 1949, when destroyed buildings and shanty towns were razed to build new residential areas. That transformation continued in the 1990s when shikumen houses (such as the ones in the picture) were demolished to make way for new constructions built to meet Shanghai’s target development. The district’s low housing prices make it an attractive place for migrants and is often described as “up-and-coming”.

Kevin Schoenmakers is a Dutch photographer currently living in Shanghai. You can see more of his photos of China on his Flickr or his website.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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China Information: Special issue on cyberpolitics

F1.mediumChina Information‘s latest issue, vol. 28, no. 2 (July 2014) is a special issue on cyberpolitics, put together by guest editor Guobin Yang. The articles are free for download until 16 August 2014.

China Information presents timely and in-depth analyses of major developments in contemporary China and overseas Chinese communities in the areas of politics, economics, law, ecology, culture, and society, including literature and the arts.

China Information pays special attention to views and areas that do not receive sufficient attention in the mainstream discourse on contemporary China. It encourages discussion and debate between different academic traditions, offers a platform to express controversial and dissenting opinions, and promotes research that is historically sensitive and contemporarily relevant.


  • Guobin Yang
    Political contestation in Chinese digital spaces: Deepening the critical inquiry
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Silvia Lindtner
    Hackerspaces and the Internet of Things in China: How makers are reinventing industrial production, innovation, and the self

    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Marina Svensson
    Voice, power and connectivity in China’s microblogosphere: Digital divides on SinaWeibo
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Jesper Schlæger and Min Jiang
    Official microblogging and social management by local governments in China
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Steven J. Balla
    Health system reform and political participation on the Chinese Internet
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Robeson Taj Frazier and Lin Zhang
    Ethnic identity and racial contestation in cyberspace: Deconstructing the Chineseness of Lou Jing
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Marcella Szablewicz
    The ‘losers’ of China’s Internet: Memes as ‘structures of feeling’ for disillusioned young netizens
    [Abstract] [Full text]
  • Ning Zhang
    Web-based backpacking communities and online activism in China: Movement without marching
    [Abstract] [Full text]

Visit CIN’s website for more information on the journal, subscribing and submitting manuscripts, and follow CIN’s Facebook page.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai 1993 by Yang Hui Bahai

Couverture Bahai

Yang Hui, known by his artist name Bahai, was born in Shanghai. He is a photographer and painter, who graduated from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2010, àContreVue published an album of some of Bahai’s first photos of Shanghai in 1993, with the help of roots contemporary and Bergger. The àContreVue association’s mission is to support the work of photographers who have an alternative and humanist vision of our world (read more at their blog).

Yang Hui Bahai, painter, started photography when he returned to his hometown of Shanghai in 1992, after having spent three years in France. Camera in hand, he captures the changes in a city he believed his own but no longer recognises.

Since then, he has done one black and white story after another, snapshots of daily life: the last teahouses of Zhejiang Province, popular culture and religious traditions. Every season, he leaves his studio to capture shots based on chance encounters and then brings his pictures to life in the secret of his darkroom.

This selection depicts the inhabitants of an uncompromising Shanghai… A modern young woman turning away her eyes with disdain from a display of “shanghainese chickens” or fan repairers laughing behind their bowls of rice alcohol, those faces of seventeen years ago, serious or not, each tell the story of their city. They call the changes in Chinese society into question.1

These are the photos which inspired Françoise Ged’s book, Shanghai, presented last week. To learn more about Yang Hui Bahai visit his website and online photo gallery.

Photo by Bahai. All rights reserved.

Photo by Bahai. All rights reserved.

  1. Translated from the cover of this album. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Job offer: Technical expert for Franco-Chinese sustainable city project in Wuhan

A position as international technical expert is available at Wuhan in the field of urban planning. There is no fixed date for taking up the post, but 1 October would be preferred.
Seeking an expert with a background in urban planning and speaks fluent Chinese, knowing that a large part of the post’s role will be to ensure proper coordination between multiple French and Chinese actors involved in the Franco-Chinese sustainable city project in Wuhan.
Candidates can apply until 6 August on the following website:

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Shanghai by Françoise Ged


Ged, F. (2014). Shanghai. L’ordinaire et l’extraordinaire (Shanghai. The ordinary and the extraordinary). Paris: Buchet-Chastel.1

Shanghai is the mythical city par excellence. Able to renew itself cyclically, to continually rebuild, we could believe it locked in an absolute present, removed from its history, recent or ancient, without memory.

But what is true of the early 2000s is not necessarily so today. A leading city, a “laboratory” city, Shanghai has undergone some major upheavals. With large-scale constructions finished, the city turns to other sites and reclaims its history as it reclaims its territory. Society is primarily involved in these new adventures, which herald the face of China in years to come. Throughout this journey from the 1980s to the present day, Françoise Ged guides us through this city where the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side. Yang Hui Bahai’s photographs punctuate her narrative like guiding lights, signs of a disappearing era, to be replaced by a time not yet realised.2

Next week will have a post with more information on the Chinese photographer Bahai.

  1. Françoise Ged is in charge of the Observatoire de l’architecture de la Chine contemporaine at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine. []
  2. Translated from the back cover of this book. []

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Miguel Elosua’s thesis defense at ECUPL

Miguel Elosua thesis defense

Miguel Elosua, PhD student at the EHESS,  defended his PhD thesis in law at East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) on 14 June 2014.

Jury membres

  • 段匡 (Duan Kuang) Fudan Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 彭诚信(Peng Chengxin) Jiaotong Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 傅鼎生 (Fu Dingsheng) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 张驰 (Zhang Chi) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou
  • 金可可 (Jin Keke) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou

Thesis supervisor

  • 高富平 (Gao Fuping) Huadong Zhengfa Daxue Jiaoshou

Thesis title

Nongcun jiti tudi chengshihua de zhidu yanjiu – yi chengxiang tudi liyong yitihua wei shejiao) 农村集体土地城市化的制度研究——以城乡土地利用体制一体化为视角/Study on a system of urbanisation of the rural collective land – Rural and urban integration of the land use system in perspective.

Abstract in Chinese and English

在中国,自从共产党执政以来,土地权利一直就是一个核心问题。在1978年改革进程开始前,土地集体所有制下的土地分配利用一直是农村的主要经济基础,城市和农村之间的土地利用模式之间并不存在任何区别。然而,自1980年代以来,特别是20世纪90年 代,农村土地与城市土地制度开始出现分化,城乡差距也渐渐开始拉大。随着城市土地使用权的商业化流转,城市形成了一个蓬勃发展的房地产市场,极大地为经济 的稳健发展和城市居民的福利作出了贡献。然而,城市所形成的具有社会主义特色和准自由的土地市场,使得城乡土地二元利用体制不断得到深化:城市的土地转 让、出租和抵押,可以充分实现土地的内在价值,然而农村土地却被牢牢禁锢。中国共产党农村土地政策的背后,是共同富裕的理想。然而,中国经过三十多年的快 速经济发展,农村地区却是一直处于一种共同贫穷的境况。农村和城市之间的贫富差距随着经济的发展变得越来越明显。笔者认为这种城乡差距的主要根源之一在于 土地的产权制度即城乡土地二元利用体制。城乡土地二元利用体制已经到了不得不改革的时刻。实现农村的自主城市化发展的路径只能是完全彻底地突破城乡土地利 用二元体制,摒弃现有的以征收为主要方式的土地城市化,归还农村本应当享有的土地发展权,保障在土地城市化进程中农村土地不改变权属地实现商业化和市场 化,实现中国统筹城乡的快速城市化进程。最后,笔者采用比较的角度分析了西班牙产权制度,并且将西班牙土地制度中的有益部分引入中国农村土地自由流转的设 计方案之中。

In China, land rights have always been a central concern for the Chinese Communist Party since it came to power. Before the start of the reform process in 1978, the system of property for collective land was the foundation of the collective economy in rural areas. However, since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s it has coexisted with an urban system where land has been progressively liberalised. In urban land there is a thriving market in real estate that has contributed greatly to the robustness of the economy and the welfare of urban residents. However, this also led to the increasingly less peaceful coexistence of two diametrically opposed systems of property: a system of collective ownership with socialist characteristics and a quasi free-market system where land can be transferred, leased, or used as collateral, exploiting its inherent value.

Behind the rural land policy of the CCP is the ideal of common prosperity. However, after more than thirty years of rapid economic development, a salient feature of China’s rural areas has been the common poverty of the farmer class as a whole. The economic gap between the rural and the urban has not ceased to increase. The author argues that one of the main causes of this urban-rural gap lies in the dual system of land property rights, which has proved to be flawed, as farmers have been deprived from exploiting the value of their most precious asset: land. Therefore, the author advocates reforming the dual property system, and more specifically, the land-use rights system concerning rural construction land. In order to carry out such a reform the author argues that allowing collectives to fully exercise their property rights, particularly land development rights, is the optimal solution. The author proposes that, during the process of land urbanisation, ownership of land does not change, allowing collectives to develop and market construction land, fostering the countryside’s self-urbanization as the best way to finance their development and to achieve urban-rural integration. Finally, the author uses a comparative perspective analysing the Spanish property rights system as a reference, eventually devising a plan for the liberalisation of the rural land market.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou

418533_coverAspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou by Bracken can be found at the OAPEN Library, an online resource for freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Bracken, G. (2012). Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.


China’s rise is one of the transformative events of our time. Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou examines some of the aspects of China’s massive wave of urbanization – the largest the world has ever seen. The various papers in the book, written by academics from different disciplines,represent ongoing research and exploration and give a useful snapshot in a rapidly developing discourse. Their point of departure is the city – Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou – where the downside of China’s miraculous economic growth is most painfully apparent. And it is concern for the citizens of these cities that unifies the papers in a book whose authors seek to understand what life is like for the people who call them home.

OAPEN Library also provides a list of alternative platforms to acquire the book. For more information, click here.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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Aurélia Martin, a helping hand for UrbaChina

Photo du 19-05-2014 à 13.21 #4Her experience

Aurélia Martin has been working for UrbaChina since May 2013.  After her studies in English Language at the University of Glasgow, she returned to France where she went through the majority of her schooling.

She has travelled in China and is interested in Chinese cinema and photography.

Her mission

Aurélia’s role is to help with all publications and communications of research papers.  Her linguistic skills are invaluable to the UrbaChina project. Completely bilingual in French and English, she translates and corrects English publications for the French CNRS team in the project, especially the working papers for the UrbaChina collection. She works on all projects in English, including most recently the subtitles for an interview with François Gipouloux on his book The Asian Mediterrannean, which will be put online soon.

While studying in Scotland, she followed some courses in digital humanities and was introduced to a number of relevant computer programmes. She contributes to the UrbaChina blog as well as the project’s digital photo collection (UrbaChina photo collection). She helps manage the collection and train project members to upload their photos, as well as uploading for them. She works especially to ensure that the photos come with quality metadata, and that the UrbaChina blog’s English is coherent and correct.1

  1. This article was translated by Aurélia Martin. []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Realising China’s urbanisation dream

The East Asia Forum published an article on urbanisation in China. By Wang Xiaolu, published on 12 May 2014, accessed on 13 May 2014.

China is experiencing rapid urbanisation. It is the main engine of economic growth in contemporary China, although it is facing some severe challenges. A major problem is that the majority of the 234 million rural migrants in urban areas have not obtained urban permanent resident status, blocked by the hukou or urban household registration system. The newly released urbanisation blueprint by the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, National New-Type Urbanization Plan 2014-2020, announced the acceleration of the process of turning rural migrants into urban citizens.

Please read the full article here.

Aurélia Martin

Chargée de communications et des médias pour l'UMR Chine Corée Japon (CNRS)

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