The China Most Foreigners Don’t See

China has some of the most beautiful buildings in the world.  The government owns most of these buildings and all of the land. Individuals can purchase a home (condo) in these buildings. However, the ownership is a 70-year lease. Even though prices in Shanghai start at one million dollars, no one really knows whats going to happen after the 70-year lease is over.In local tourist areas such as Jingan Temple shown in these two pictures, you can see the building are very well kept and the facades are really amazing. Jingan Temple is in the city of Shanghai.

If you’re lucky enough to own a house in one of these tourist areas, or on a road where government officials or westerners would be traveling, the government spends the money to keep these facades incredible. It’s a way for China to maintain face throughout the world.

So what happens to some of the buildings that aren’t close to tourist areas or the main roads? What happens to the areas the government doesn’t care about, or worse, has decided to tear down but the tenants aren’t willing to leave.

We lived in an area in Shanghai where just such thing was happening,  As I would walk back and forth to work I would notice people were still living in these partially demolished buildings.  I don’t know why I never took pictures of this but I didn’t and for that I am sorry,

I took these pictures in a city called Harbin. It’s a northern city in China close to the Russian border. As you can see the government isn’t keen on these building. They’re in the middle of the city. But, they look like a  small town in the country that’s close to being unlivable.

It’s not uncommon to see chickens or other livestock living in the middle of the city.  In areas like this, you can see chickens and goats living in the confines of the project.

I understand that all countries have ghetto areas.  In a communist country such as China, I find it funny these areas are so run down. Other areas close to them have been are new and remain pristine. I have walked through here a few times now and have seen Audi’s and BMW’s parked out front of the homes.


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