Over the holiday I read a recent issue of National Geographic, which had a great piece about the Chinese government’s plan to revitalize the Northeast, or DongBei (东北). The pictures are stunning, as one would expect from National Geographic, and the story is very insightful. Over the years, DongBei has been used as an example of the power of industry: by the Qings, by the Japanese, and by Mao. It is also influenced by Russia and North Korea. Today it stands stagnant, watching China’s economic “miracle” pass it by, with low wages for scarce, dangerous jobs. It is, naturally, a focal point for the creation of the “harmonious society” envisioned by today’s leadership. A must-read.
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