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Credit: Kai Caemmerer
The Chinese government plans to move a quarter of a billion people from the country to the city in the next 10 years in what will amount to the largest forced migration in human history.
The idea in moving the 250 million people is to transform China from an old-fashioned rural country into a modern urban nation and create a 21st century consumer culture to rival the United States.
Currently, around 51 percent of Chinese residents live in cities, compared to 80 percent of Americans who live in urban areas. China’s goal is 75 percent of its population in cities.
The concept has resulted in hundreds of “ghost cities” across China – that is, cities with buildings, streets and skyscrapers, but no people. Eventually, they will be occupied.
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Off The Grid News previously reported on the plan, which is receiving renewed coverage thanks to a picture essay by photographer Kai Caemmerer, who traveled to the empty cities.
In fact, the forced migration is already taking place in some locations.
“It’s a new world for us in the city,” 43-year-old Tian Wei, a former wheat farmer who now works in a city factory, told The New York Times. “All my life I’ve worked with my hands in the fields; do I have the educational level to keep up with the city people?”
The number of people China wants to move is greater than the population of the entire nation of Brazil, which has 200 million people, and nearly as much as the population of the United States (317 million). Critics of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 plans say that if those plans are carried out, the US and other countries eventually will force people into cities, even if it doesn’t look as draconian as it does in China. (Listen to Off The Grid News’ in-depth reports on Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 here.)
The goal in China is to make people abandon their traditional lifestyle and values, and adopt a modern consumer culture, thus reversing an economic slowdown. For example, this means putting rural “off-grid” people in cities where they must buy food instead of growing and making their own food.
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The move is being carried out under a scheme the Communist Party euphemistically calls the National New Type-Urbanization Plan. Under the plan, thousands of homes, farms and entire villages will be destroyed to force people to move.
“Cities and districts built without demand or necessity resulted in what some Chinese scholars have termed, literally, ‘walls without markets,’” William Hurst, a political science professor at Northwestern University, told Tech Insider. “Or what we might translate as uncompleted or hollow cities. Political exigency and investment hysteria trumped economic calculus or consideration of genuine human needs.”
Caemmerer said the cities are visually “appealing in a sort of unsettling way.”
“Unlike in the US, where cities often begin as small developments and grow in accordance to the local industries, these new Chinese cities are built to the point of near completion before introducing people,” Caemmerer told Business Insider.
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