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November 23, 2006

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bj schulte

Chris....the story is all too familiar all over china for those who notice it. I find it terribly disconcerting that in the midst of media hype over china's economic and political rise the plight of people, such as that young girl and her family that we came to know, often goes unseen and forgotten. After I left Beijing I went down to Kunming and witnessed the same exact scene - an entire traditionally uighur street was demolished to pave the way for a new shopping mall. Flimsy shacks made of plywood for the construction workers replaced elegant and attractive buildings that once displayed kunming's architectural heritage. Even more shocking to the conscience however, is the fact, which you pointed out, that in the majority of instances where land or property is recquisitioned the occupants are not compensated adequately, if at all. And the number of these instances is not small.
For those of us lawyers or law students who stand in a position to personally reap the benefits that China's economic miracle presents to us, I feel strongly that we have an obligation to keep in mind the serious and gross injustices that the disadvantaged in China are subject to and to do what we can to stop them. The ways in which we can do so need to be explored. The obligation needs to be emphasized.
P.S. - the cold noodles are "liang mian." if you ask for "la mian" you'll get a bowl of noodles in hot soup. mmmm, i'm getting the munchies now.....

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