The #1 task of China’s political establishment is to maintain economic growth, both to benefit the country’s bottom line and to keep revolution at bay. Toward this end, regional ministers receive money from Beijing to invest in infrastructure which often means constructing entirely new cities. Comparable to the world’s contrived national capitals like Brasilia, these new Chinese cities struggle to find an identity and a population. “Analysts have recently bandied about a number of 64 million empty apartments in China at the present moment.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Are we witnessing the inflation of a Chinese city and housing bubble similar to that which crashed the American domestic consumer economy? Though massive building projects are underway, government records are poorly kept so making definitive conclusions is difficult. It is estimated, however, that real estate projects now account for 70 percent of the nation’s G.D.P. This rate is far higher than any other country in history and, if true, is clearly unsustainable. But for the moment, more houses will not hurt the modernizing nation.