So much nonsense has been written about so many things in the world but few nations have had more nonsense written about them than China.
One of the many aspects of the relentless western framed negative nonsense about China is the concept of their “ghost cities”. You know, those huge suburbs and cities built by greedy and ill-disciplined communists bent on raking up short term profits off of the backs of ordinary investors, by creating developments that were simply speculative initiatives, and which now lie useless and empty.
There has been many different locations in China that have featured in the western “documentary” style media about China’s ghost city problem, but surely one of the stupidest locations ever must be the Pudong area of Shanghai.
Shanghai continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the world and has much to attract more newcomers. Good climate, coastal location, high numbers of expats, huge choices of international food and retail, great transport connectivity and a generally modern international life style, with many english speakers.
So only a fool would have looked at China’s recent past and designated Pudong a ghost city or district. A lemon. A fools errand. Apparently there are alot of fools in the Wall St media.
The GIF above shows the remarkable, but quite predictable growth of not only Pudong, but Shanghai overall in the last three decades.
Unlike most nations, China has always realized that you can’t let people all freely migrate to the same “desirable” parts of the country. This will put too much stress on these popular places – too much stress on infrastructure and the environment. This would also empty out less popular locations, which are often more inland, and it would lead to overcrowding and a deteriation in lifestyle in both locations.
Many nations around the world have seen large parts of their land, including small towns and cities become desserted as people flocked uncontrolled to already high density locations, with the perceived better lifestyle. Many nations are dominated by just one or two mega-cities that grow ever bigger and more congested, whilst the remainder of their lands lie increasingly dormant.
China has been very careful to develop all regions of its immense landmass as appropriate, so as to create modern, well connected and desirable places to live in a variety of geographical locations. By developing all locations approximately equally, the Chinese government has avoided the worst aspects of uncontrolled urbanization.
Coupled with this strategy of attempting an equal geographical development, China has been following a long term plan to “build now, occupy later” in some cases. Some intrepid Western Wall St media have not understood this plan (perhaps deliberately) and have journeyed to parts of China over the years to film the so-called “ghost cities” that they find, portraying these areas as desserted and wasteful, a product of corrupt government.
There have been plenty of urban areas built around a long term development plan, which, whilst being “empty” for a period, have mostly now been filled with residents and businesses. One only needs to revisit some of the historical western presentations on China’s “ghost areas” to see that the so-called problem doesn’t really exist, when viewed over a medium to long term. Westerners don’t view things in that context. It is all “here today, gone tomorrow” in western eyes.
One question that should be addressed as part of this western narrative – how could Pudong, Shanghai ever be considered a high risk or ghost location? It is inconceivable thinking. But then, so was the invasion of Iraq, but that happened too. The stupidity of western analysts, media and commentators continues to astound.
It seems these alleged western experts have plenty of followers. Otherwise, why do they and their employers still exist? Beats me.