Tag Archives: rural migration

Megacities of Asia

Collingridge, Vanessa (2014). Megacities of Asia, part I-III. South China Morning Post. Post Magazine. 15, 22, 29 June. Retrieved from: http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/ (accessed 30 June 2014)

  • Megacities of Asia Part I: The rise and rise of the Asian megacity (and why ‘metacities’ are the next big thing)

Asia’s rapid urbanisation is changing the very shape and nature of what we think of as a city.

Read more at: http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1530748/larger-life-rise-and-rise-asian-megacity

  • Megacities of Asia Part II: Perils of the concrete jungle

Unprecedented levels of migration from rural areas have led to a host of logistical and environmental problems.

Read more at: Carticle/1536089/perils-concrete-jungle

  • Megacities of Asia Part III: The rise of the ‘Megaregion’

Urbanisation is changing the face of Asia but what’s next for the continent’s city dwellers?

Read more at: http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1540813/megacities-asia-part-iii-grey-areas


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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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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Undo the discriminatory hukou system to achieve ‘cities of dream’?

1. Chan, Kam Wing. 2013, February 4. Turning China’s cities with invisible walls into cities of dreams. East Asian Forum (accessed 25 April 2013).

2. Chan, Kam Wing. 2013, January 19. China’s hukou system stands in the way of its dream of prosperity. South China Morning Post (accessed 25 April 2013). [Earlier version of 1.]

1. During a widely publicised tour of Shenzhen, China, the new head of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, called for the realisation of the ‘Chinese dream’ — a great national revival.

Shortly after that, the Chinese character meng (dream) was voted ‘character of the year’ in an online poll of 50,000 people.

As China enters the urban age, a critical part of the Chinese dream is the ‘urban dream’: the promotion of urbanisation to generate household consumption to put the economy on a sustainable footing. This would steer China away from its currentexport- and investment-driven growth model, which has long been considered, even by the government, as ‘unbalanced’ and ‘unsustainable’.

Premier-designate Li Keqiang has championed urbanisation for years. Some media pundits are excited by his talk of a new type of urbanisation, though details are scant. Can he do it right and help China reach its urban dream?

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2. Dreams are in vogue in mainland China. During a widely publicised tour of Shenzhen, the new head of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping , called for the realisation of the “Chinese dream” – a great national revival. Right after that, the Chinese character meng (dream) was voted “character of the year” in an online poll of 50,000 people.

The new year also began with a political storm over a censored article dreaming of Chinese constitutional reform. Whether those dreams are more like a fantasy than realistic hope remains to be seen.

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  • Chan, Kam Wing. (1994) Cities with invisible walls : Reinterpreting urbanization in post-1949 China, Oxford university press, 194 p.
  • Chan, Kam Wing and Will Buckingham. (2008) Is China abolishing the hukou system? The China quarterly, 195, pp. 582-606. [Full text here]
  • 陈, 金永. 2013年05月13. 户籍改革路线图. 财新《新世纪》. [Accessed 28 May 2013].
  • 陈, 金永. 2013年06月1.十五年完成户籍改革. 财新《中国改革》. Dowload PDF here.
  • Kam Wing Chan webpage


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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China’s workers and peasants: changing class identities

China’s workers and peasants : changing class identities (2012). Ed.by Beatriz Carrillo and David S. G. Goodman. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing. 176 p. (CSC China in Perspective). ISBN: 978-1781005729

This book explores three decades of economic change in China and the consequent transformation of class relations and class-consciousness in villages and in the urban workplace. The contributors illustrate how the development of the urban economic environment has led to changes in the urban working class, through an exploration of the workplace experiences of rural migrant workers, and of the plight of the old working class in the state owned sector. They address questions on the extent to which migrant workers have become a new working class, are absorbed into the old working class, or simply remain as migrant workers. Changes in class relations in villages in the urban periphery – where the urbanization drive and in-migration has lead to a new local politics of class differentiation – are also raised.


  • Introduction: the sociopolitical challenge of economic change / Beatriz Carrillo and David S.G. Goodman
  • Status groups and classes in a Chinese village/ Jonathan Unger
  • Awakening the god of earth / Luigi Tomba
  • The making and re-making of the working class in South China / Parry P. Leung and Alvin Y. So
  • Chinese migrant workers / Anita Chan and Kaxton Siu
  • Industrial restructuring and class transformation in China / Joel Andreas
  • Working-class cultural spaces / Jack Linchuan Qiu and Hongzhe Wang.

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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