According to many observers and analysts China's infrastructure is seen to be at least 30 years ahead of developing economies such as India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and most countries on the African Continent. Even though this fact may stand, and even though China's economy is booming at a dizzying pace, nevertheless it is still possible to come across areas where pockets of Chinese towns and cities have slums such as the one pictured in the eastern city of Suzhou.
The one thing that one may notice immediately is that the slums in most parts of China look rather like rundown European style homes that have huge piles of rubbish thrown on the doorstep (as opposed to a slum that one may see in the shanty towns of India, Africa and other 3rd world nations complete with metal corrugated iron roofs).
Most of the slum dwellers are construction workers who first build these temporary slums before they start construction on building sky scrapers. Most slums have electricity, proper sanitation (every home in China has a toilet- either a Chinese style or a Western style one), gas, and water (perhaps not clean water but it does the job).
The Chinese government has made great efforts to eliminate these slums from the map of the country forever, and has been successful in doing so. A perfect example of this was demonstrated during the Beijing 2008 Olympics when the Chinese government demolished thousands of slums around the city, replacing them with new flats and homes. In return the slum dwellers were provided with complimentary homes or large sums of cash.
One thing is for sure is that when you see how strong these slums are (in terms of the fragile infrastructure that withstands all kinds of weather), then you tend to admire human ingenuity much more. Thankfully for China, slums are becoming hard to find, and are in fact a dying breed. Let’s hope that it's only a matter of time when we shall start to see a similar trend in other developing nations so that one day poverty can for sure be turned into history.
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