White Horse Village
The first section introduces the change taking place in White Horse Village in China. The Communist party’s main concern is the cities overcrowding and making money from the open farmlands, by moving the cities into the villages and not the other way around. Because of this, 500 million farmers along with their families will be moved in the next three years. The government will be making a school and highway on White Horse Village and making 30 times more money than what the farmers will be paid for their land. There are mixed feelings and emotions about this big move. Firstly, people in cities have not even heard of such village and it barely affects them. Secondly, people in the villages who have adopted a mixture of urban and village life applaud the urbanization and want everyone to take advantage of this opportunity. Thirdly, devoted farmers who have farmed for generations are trying to retaliate and stop the demolition of the past before it is too late. They prefer their simple, unmaterialistic life styles and are in fact scared to move into the city life.
While White Horse Village is slowly disappearing, some stubborn farmers refuse to move into temporary government housing because of fear of losing the one thing that truly belongs to them: their home. Other farmers who have moved into the city find that distance is their biggest problem as they cannot see their families for years. Furthermore, they are given low-end factory jobs and treated as second-class citizens. These ex-farmers hope that new city jobs in White Horse Village will bring them closer to home.
The political force in the form of the Communist Party secretary representative are persuading people to move into temporary homes but people do not want to move until they see exactly what is being offered in return. To combat this, the government agent, the contractor, gives money and rewards to those people who move out when they were told to. He is taking full advantage of people’s misery and even planning on expanding his business and hiring more workers.
The fight between the villagers and the corporate government is turning out to be a strongly economical one. The government failed to fulfill its promises and there is no sign of housing, work or other resources for the villagers. There are many new buildings in White Horse Village but none of them are for the villagers. The government, according to the self-made contractor, will not answer the villagers’ pleas because they are asking for too much money. According to him, it is all about economy and money. The villagers are getting more restless and angry after been given a 3 months’ notice to leave. Their anger is legitimate because they no longer know what to do to survive in life.
The government workers and companies are also facing inner problems as they are not meeting deadlines and facing economic losses. Because of this, there is a change in administration and they want to extend to other villages as well.
The government continues to build cities from scratch, as seen in Chinese history. During this part, we see the negative effects and sacrifices people have to make in order to make more money in the city and survive. Families are being torn apart and everyone, even the children are associating reward with only money. We see the village children growing up with distant family members and barely knowing their own parents as their parents are in the city earning money. Furthermore, children are forced to learn to live on their own in many aspects. For example, Yang Yang made a forty minutes’ walk to school each day on the main road and she is only in pre-school.
It took 4 years to replace White Horse Village with a city. Most villagers accept their sacrifices in order to provide a good education for their children. However, newer challenges involve corrupt government policies which do not allow them to maker alterations to their new apartments. Those without corrupt “connections” cannot get away with anything. The government continues to expand economically in order to match its highways with America’s.
Now, the villagers are learning about the modern world and some are succeeding while others are struggling. Those who were well off before are filling in the elite social class while others are becoming the new middle class. The villagers are angry with government policies and are facing problems with corrupt officials who have cut corners with the housing qualities. The entire force behind this is economic as every intention is to gain economic reward. The government is simply playing police and protecting the wealthy, helping them get richer.
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