Historical Beijing Quarter ‘To Be Destroyed’

The Telegraph reports on the pending demolition of Beijing’s historic Bell and Drum Tower neighborhood:

Over the last 20 years mile after mile of Beijing’s “hutongs”, or alleyways, have been bulldozed to make way for gleaming skyscrapers and apartment complexes as the city engages in a whole-scale, and at times brutal, program of modernisation.

The plan is allied to an ambitious 20-year project to create an “underground city” by digging out three square miles of northeastern Beijing to create a network of shopping malls, car parks and even a three mile underground road.

The area around the Drum and Bell Towers has been a vibrant part of Beijing since the days of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and in recent years has reinvented itself as a faintly bohemian cultural quarter with chic boutique shops, small galleries, restaurants and courtyard hotels.

Conservationists point, with horror, to previous cultural “restoration” attempts by the Beijing government such as the Qianmen area around Tiananmen Square which is widely derided for its soulless, Disney-style rendering of Old Beijing.


Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.