The history of China is encapsulated in Xi’an. Emperors from as early as 259 B.C. built cities here. No less than 12 imperial dynasties followed. Each successive emperor built upon his forefathers. But typically, not as an addition. They tore down the old and built the new.
This tradition continues in modern China. Under Mao TseTung, the official buildings in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing were all torn down to create Tian Amen Square. Additionally the city wall was demolished to open the city up. Everywhere in Beijing today, the old neighborhoods, the Huotongs, are being demolished and replaced with tightly packed, efficient high rise apartment buildings. Reportedly, the residents miss their old homes for a while but appreciate indoor plumbing.
On the Tibertan plateau, nomads traditionally have a winter home and a summer home. The summer homes are in the mountains. The nomads move their yak herds to higher pastures in Spring and live in the Black Tent ( a tent built from the skin of the dark colored yak). The government is replacing the winter homes. They have built brick row homes into kind of a village and want the nomads to live their. They have communal toilets.
In the valley of the Banbe River that flows into Chengdu, the government is totally overhauling the entire valley. Everywhere mining and construction heavy equipment machinery line the banks and bluffs of the gorge. In certain areas, the entire mountainside on both sides of the river are being covered with rocks and rip rap. Huge cranes are digging gravel out of the river to create a deep center course. Further downstream, no less that a half-dozen locks and hydroelectric stations are under construction.
Reportedly 100 hydroelectric dams are now under consturction. The largest is the Three Gorges Dam which displace 1.1 million people. The reservoir is 60% full and will take eight years to fill. The people that built the Great Wall are now totally rebuilding their country.
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