While European construction projects are being postponed or curtailed, China’s development continues at a rapid pace. Following the opening of the world’s biggest building in Chengdu and the announcement that a ‘groundscraping’ five-star hotel is being built, downwards, into the sheer rock face of an abandoned quarry near Shanghai, the latest project to attract attention is the ‘horseshoe hotel’ opening fully in Huzhou in October.
The village of Houtouwan on the tiny Chinese island of Shengshan truly is a sight to behold. Once an active fishing hub, inhabitants began to abandon their homes during the 1990s, as it became increasingly difficult for local fishermen to compete with the mainland’s thriving industry.
For centuries, the relationship between China and India was the diplomatic Dog that Didn’t Bark. The two largest, most populous, most durable Asian countries, for most of their collective history, have lived alongside each other with an almost studied indifference to the military, economic and cultural activities of the other. This dynamic began to change in the postcolonial period, but slowly, unevenly and with as much backtracking as forward progress.