Tony's Reviews > China's Urban Billion: The Story Behind the Biggest Migration in Human History

China's Urban Billion by Tom       Miller
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bookshelves: 2013, china, reviewed, cityscape, non-fiction

Miller does a good job of setting out the situation with the split between China’s rural and urban populations, the hukou system which institutionalises this, and the likely path the large scale migration to the cities will take over the next few years, particularly as a result of the acceptance, and even embrace, of it in the current Five Year Plan.

He also explains, quite convincingly, why a lot of the Western commentary on this gets it quite wrong; many of the things that would be problems in, say, Europe or the US, not only aren’t problems in China, but are critically important, particularly in terms of building ahead of growth.

The parts where he sets out what the problems really are, though, are a little too glib and prescriptive on his proposed solutions — most of them boiling down to little more than “become like the West”. I'd have preferred much more insight into what the the internal debates are around these issues: what are the various options that Chinese politicians and thinkers are proposing and considering, and what choices are they likely to make (rather than just what the author thinks they should make)?
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Reading Progress

June 7, 2013 – Started Reading
June 14, 2013 – Shelved
June 14, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: 2013
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: china
September 9, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
December 9, 2014 – Shelved as: cityscape
May 23, 2015 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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