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Chinese residents build make-shift blue tin roofs to get better compensation

Blue metallic roofs cover houses on the edge of a land development site. The roofs are built by house owners who, expecting their houses to be torn down by the government in a new phase of urbanisation, want to get a larger state compensation for their losses. The compensation is measured in part by the habitable area of existing properties.

For generations, Chinese farmers picked vegetables on family plots in China, a mainly agrarian society right up until the 20th century.



Faced with slowing exports, Communist leaders are pushing ahead with a historic plan to move 100 million rural residents into towns and cities by 2020 to create a new middle class and boost demand.



As a non-resident Chinese, Justin views the situation both as a concerned citizen and a questioning outsider. As he crisscrosses the country talking with farmers, he gets a feeling the government’s maths might be right, but wonders at the long-term consequences for society.



What happens to humanity -- and the earth -- when millions of subsistence farmers clamor to join the consumptive middle class in half a decade?

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Blue metallic roofs cover houses on the edge of a land development site. The roofs are built by house owners who, expecting their houses to be torn down by the government in a new phase of urbanisation, want to get a larger state compensation for their losses. The compensation is measured in part by the habitable area of existing properties. <br />
<br />
For generations, Chinese farmers picked vegetables on family plots in China, a mainly agrarian society right up until the 20th century.<br />
<br />
 <br />
<br />
Faced with slowing exports, Communist leaders are pushing ahead with a historic plan to move 100 million rural residents into towns and cities by 2020 to create a new middle class and boost demand.<br />
<br />
 <br />
<br />
As a non-resident Chinese, Justin views the situation both as a concerned citizen and a questioning outsider. As he crisscrosses the country talking with farmers, he gets a feeling the government’s maths might be right, but wonders at the long-term consequences for society.<br />
<br />
 <br />
<br />
What happens to humanity -- and the earth -- when millions of subsistence farmers clamor to join the consumptive middle class in half a decade?