We’ve all heard about land developers seizing desired property from residents in China, especially in the last few months. Recently, some developers in Hebei province sent thugs to chase Shen Jianzhong and his family off their land.
“It was only after they forced open the door, threw Shen’s wife to the ground and began to beat her that they learned the 38-year-old Shen and his 18-year-old son are kung fu masters.
“I take Bruce Lee very seriously,” said Shen in a telephone interview a month after the incident.
Shen says he does not recall exactly what happened during the fight, but an eight-minute video of the aftermath shows seven of the hired hands piled in a motionless heap in Shen’s doorway. Blood pools around the cheek of one; another lies halfway through the doorway, crumpled on the curb. Survivors mill about unsteadily on the street, glaring at the camera…
Land confiscation is one of the most contentious political issues in China and accounts for many of the mass demonstrations that occur with regularity across the country. A report by Amnesty International this year estimated that confiscations have occurred in 43% of Chinese villages in 15 years.”
I think we can all agree that the land seizures have gotten seriously out of control in China, but at least the badassery is through the roof.
From modular skyscrapers to electric cars, from dreamier environmental ideas like traffic-jumping busses to more realistic goals like cleaner, safer nuclear energy, China is making much progress in greening cities—an area where the West is seriously lagging.
Chinese building commissions awarded to foreign architects are almost always environmentally friendly and push green boundaries with photovoltaic window shades and home-grown energy generated by in-house wind turbines.
Local architects like Wang Shu use recycled materials to build sustainable college campuses and museums on the cheap.
Additionally, China hopes to roll out a growing fleet of electric taxis, becoming the world leader in electric vehicles.
It’s easy to dismiss China as an environmental disaster when you consider that the majority of their energy is still generated by coal, and pollution kills thousands of people every year, but China is in a unique position to become a leader in environmental innovation and green technology because of its centrally planned economy and powerful central government. So if we want to see what a city of the future will look like, we should look to China and follow their lead.