Rush to Modernity ‘Devastating China’s Cultural Heritage’ – Jonathan Watts

A senior official responsible for construction is reportedly concerned that China’s lightning speed redevelopment project is destroying the country’s cultural heritage:

Qiu Baoxing, the vice-minister of construction, said the damage to the country’s heritage was similar to that wrought during the cultural revolution.

In the early stages of that 1966-76 period, Red Guards ransacked temples and burned ancient scripts in the name of revolutionary politics.

Today, the damage is more likely to be done by urban developers in the name of economic progress.

…His comments underscore concerns that China, one of the world’s oldest civilisations, is paying too high a price for its economic expansion.

Throughout the country, old buildings are making way for residential towers, office blocks and motorways. [Full text]



- See also a recent report about how residents are not happy with the rate of destruction in Beijing’s old neighborhoods in preparation for the Olympics, and “List of Endangered Cultural Sites Includes Chinese Relics – Xinhua“.