Friday, May 29, 2009

Kashgar to be Bulldozered as China Destroys History

As China destroys its culture, Hong Kong proves that its people care | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian:

Reports from Beijing indicate that 65,000 houses, dating in layers back over two millennia, are decrepit and at risk from earthquakes. They will be cleared and their native Uighur inhabitants forcibly removed from the maze of alleys, mud-brick walls, courtyard houses and 40 mosques to new estates five miles from the city. Already the city walls and moat have gone. Now the old city itself is coming down, with only a zone to be rebuilt 'in Uighur style' for the million tourists who visit Kashgar in search of silk road romance. They will be shown what a local official calls 'an international heritage scenery'.

I taught Chinese History for 4 years at Brooklyn College. Since then, every time I have talked to people who have been to China they have said all they saw was "new stuff".

Most of the damage was probably dine during the Cultural Revolution, but Chinese Capitalism is rapidly finishing the task.

Still, think on this. In 200 years time, even the fallen towers of Shenzhen will be "historic".

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