O'Reilly logo

China Inside Out: 10 Irreversible Trends Reshaping China and its Relationship with the World by Bill Dodson

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

003
CHAPTER 2
The Anxious Class

PROPERTY RIGHTS AND WRONGS

A crowd suddenly roared outside the patio doors of my high-rise apartment. Something very dramatic must have been happening for me to be able to hear the clamor clear up to the seventeenth floor, I thought. Typically, my adopted Chinese hometown of Suzhou was a rather placid city, just 65 kilometers outside Shanghai. The Lakeview Garden apartment complex in which I made my home was the very model of a modern middle class: all propriety, privacy, and just enough show of wealth to let others know where on the socioeconomic ladder one perched. Whatever the matter was, I considered, it sounded violent. A fight? A drunken brawl? Another protest perhaps? The Suzhou spring evening was warm without the usual heavy humidity. The perfect evening for an outdoor performance. I hurried out to the balcony to catch the show.
I couldn’t have been more surprised or amused. A small, yellow, scorpion-like backhoe was pulling down the half-meter thick wall that had blockaded owners of the apartments in the complex from half their property. A Singaporean real estate development corporation had built the wall to bar the tenants from further spoiling its delayed construction project for two more residential towers on the land. I scurried down to the ground floor to take in the action, still in my T-shirt and sandals.
Lakeview residents had pushed ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required