Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What To Do With Cold War Bomb Shelters

We have posted on a number of occasions about the often bleak job prospects for China's university graduates (see here and here for two examples). Now comes this report from Al Jazeera. You should absolutely click on this link and watch the less than two minute video that is attached.

The short of it is that Mao-era bomb shelters are being used these days as sources of cheap lodging for migrant workers and recent college graduates. This illegal practice, like many others in China, has emerged without much government attention. Now, however, officials in Beijing are seeking to crack down on these underground (literally) arrangements, much to the consternation of landlords and tenants.

For those paying attention to the debate over illegal immigration and the underground economy in the United States, the fundamentals of this story will seem really familiar, in spite of the specific Chinese characteristics that are present.



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