Any recent visitor to China will have come away astonished by the pace of change. Huge, new buildings pop-up everywhere. The government has a strategy of planned construction of whole new urban centers. While the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of Deng Xiaoping's era have prospered there is now more than example of how this strategy has failed to deliver. Ordos has been widely featured as a modern ghost town because a local boom from coal mining did not take place. Other developments within Tianjin, Kunming cities and at Yingkou, Liaoning have also failed to find take-up by companies. The government strategy seems to be moving from designating new cities to develop to following industrial development - only putting new urban cities where there is a demonstrable need for them.
Gender equality in China has been a long time coming. Traditions dating back thounsands of years are hard to shift. There has yet to be a woman appointed to the top rung of government committee. Change really only started to come after the foundation of the Peoples Republic in 1949. Our page on attitudes to women covers the few Imperial women leaders, marriage and concubines as well as foot binding. Read More
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