In 1949, when Mao came to power, 0.005 kilowatts of electricity were being generated in China. Most of China did not have electricity or modern roads. In 1950, most of China was the same as it had been for centuries.
Soon after Mao’s death, China entered a transition that isn’t over. There was a period of planning and then the miraculous modernization of China that the world has seen since 1980 began.
China’s first 10, five-year plans focused on modernization and growth in urban areas. Urban China started with about 250 million people. As China became the world’s factory floor, the largest migration in human history took place and 300 hundred million rural Chinese moved to urban China to work in factories. Today, urban China has about 550 million people with more than a hundred cities with populations over a million. Trillions have been spent developing cities like Shanghai, Beijing and others.
To discover more about this modernization transition taking place in China, read Pop-Up Cities: China Builds a Bright Green Metropolis by Douglas McGray. By 2020, China plans to build four hundred new, modern cities at a rate of 20 each year.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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