yumin village: changing meanings of “farmer housing”

Just recently got my paws on “The History of Yumin Village (渔民村村史)”. Yumin Village, of course, was the village that Deng Xiaoping visited in 1984, during his first inspection trip to the SEZs. Xi Jinping followed up with a visit in 2012. So yes, this village has played an important symbolic role both in the […]

laying siege to the villages: luohu and dongmen

A five-part essay, “Laying Siege to the Villages” has been published online at Open Democracy. Here’s part three, which discusses the opening of the Sino-British border at Luohu. Hong Kong lay south of the border and Shenzhen to its north. 3. Neo-Liberalizing the Bamboo Curtain: Luohu and Dongmen Two factors – political and economic – motivated the […]

The Fishing Village that Became a World Symbol: 渔民村

So, I have been catching up on the Shenzhen documentary, 沧海桑田:深圳村庄30年. After setting the historic stage with rural poverty and economic immigration / cold war defection (episode 1) and then national policy (episode 2), the documentary turns to specific villages both to illustrate general trends in SEZ history and to introduce the players. So today, […]

xi jinping rocks shenzhen

On his first trip out of Beijing, Xi Jinping visited Shenzhen and none of the streets or areas were cordoned off. And he walked the unguarded walk with Wang Yang, proponent of ongoing neoliberal reforms (transparency and ending corruption). Weibo went wild. As the two toured, Shenzhen residents swarmed taking pictures and uploading them to weibo, taking […]

as yet shenzhen has no capital h history…

The experience of walking Shenzhen is significantly different from visiting, Beijing or Shanghai, Xi’an or Guangzhou, where the meaning of the past has already been codified, renovated, and can be consumed on a nostalgic tour. In school we learn that Beijing’s history is Ming-Qing imperial, Shanghai’s history is East-West colonial hybrid, Xi’an’s history is ancient, while […]

learning from shenzhen?

Long time friend, Josh Kilroy directed me to a recent blog post by William Pesek, who argues that if Japan wants to fix the country’s economy, it should learn from China, or at least Shenzhen and set up a special economic zone. Pesek claims, In 1980, Deng Xiaoping started China’s first special-economic zone in a coastal village […]

南岭村:even after death our ashes won’t return…

Episode 4 of the Transformation of Shenzhen Villages focuses on Nanling Village, which became famous throughout the country as the “争气村 (hardworking village)”. Nanling’s [Shenzhen] story begins in 1979 with the last mass exodus of Baoan economic refugees to Hong Kong. That day, Shaxi Brigade [Nanling’s collective predecessor] Vice Secretary Zhang Weiji came home to […]