The Newsletter 55 Winter 2010

National economic reform and rural migration to China's cities

Ana Moya Pellitero

A wave of migration from China’s countryside to its cities has left a fl oating mass of dislocated people with little emotional connectivity to the places that receive them. Consequently, a space of illegality and irregularity has arisen in the periphery of China’s urban areas. As this suburbia grows so does segregation, inequality, poverty and crime. State authorities, powerless to prevent rural to urban movement, opt for a ‘demolition-redevelopment’ model that forces migrants to locate elsewhere, quelling the growth of peri-urban slums. At the same time, a lack of space and opportunity and an unclear policy of urban integration result in a constant fl ow back to the countryside.

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