by Sandy Ikeda
“To Protect an Ancient City, China Moves to Raze It” The city is Kashgar, “the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in central Asia….”
Local authorities claim that by pre-emptively demolishing 85% of it they will be protecting its citizens from the kind of catastrophe that befell Chengdu last year. As Robert Moses was fond of saying: “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?” But what’s the real end? Is it a coincidence that
Chinese security officials consider it a breeding ground for a small but resilient movement of Uighur separatists who Beijing claims have ties to international jihadis. So redevelopment of this ancient center of Islamic culture comes with a tinge of forced conformity.
Still, the same thing has been happening to the ancient neighborhoods (hutongs) right in the heart of Beijing for more than a decade. So, perhaps it’s something else.
Economic stimulus? After all, who cares about mere allocation effects?