In 1911, Joseph Bailie, a professor at Nanjing University, often took his Chinese students to tour Nanjing's shantytowns. One student, the son of a district magistrate, followed Bailie from hut to hut one rainy day, and was grateful that Bail
In 1911, Joseph Bailie, a professor at Nanjing University, often took his Chinese students to tour Nanjing's shantytowns. One student, the son of a district magistrate, followed Bailie from hut to hut one rainy day, and was grateful that Bailie opened his eyes to the poverty in his own city.
However, twenty years later, when M. R. Schafer, another Nanjing University professor, showed his students a film that included his own photographs of the poor quarters of Nanjing, his students were so upset that they demanded his expulsion from China.
Zwia Lipkin explores the reasons for these starkly different reactions. Nanjing in the 1910s was a quiet city compared to 1930s Nanjing, which was by that time the national capital. Nanjing had become a symbol of national authority, aiming not only to become a model of modernization for the rest of China, but also to surpass Paris, London, and Washington. Underlying all of Nanjing's policies was a concern for the capital's image and looks--offensive people were allowed to exist as long as they remained invisible.
Lipkin exposes both the process of social engineering and the ways in which the suppressed reacted to their abuse. Like Professor Schafer's movie, this book puts the poor at the center of the picture, defying efforts to make them invisible....Continua
The Nationalist regime changed the landscape and the infrastructure of the city, although the achievements of education and public health is limited. Moreover, the Japanese and Communist government endured the urban policies of the Republic.
Under Mao, again, the prostitution and beggary were banned as the symbols of the corrupted capitalist Nationalist regime. However, the Nationalist government could not effectively solve the rural immigration as the emerging social problem, while the Communist regime controlled the migration by the household registration system after the middle 1950s.
After 1980 the rural immigration troubled the post-Mao leadership again. Especially, the author mentioned about the 2008 Olympic project that is trying to ban the beggary and prostitution in Beijing. Now the CCP government have to deal with the human right issue, another face of the "Western" modernity......Continua