Housing Policy and Practice in China

Housing Policy and Practice in China - Housing Policy and...

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Housing Policy and Practice in China Lee, Peter N. S., 1940- China Review International, Volume 7, Number 1, Spring 2000, pp. 233-239 (Review) Published by University of Hawai'i Press DOI: 10.1353/cri.2000.0034 For additional information about this article Access Provided by Brigham Young University at 02/29/12 5:17PM GMT http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cri/summary/v007/7.1lee.html
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Reviews 233 © 2000 by University of Hawai‘i Press Ya Ping Wang and Alan Murie. Housing Policy and Practice in China . New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999 . xii, 274 pp. Hardcover $79 . 95 , isbn 0 333 68253 x . Housing Policy and Practice in China is the first book in English on China’s hous- ing policy and reform. The authors’ research materials are mainly derived from documentary sources, such as official policy statements, circulars, and relevant regulations of the State Council, and many academic publications by local Chi- nese scholars and experts. Ya Ping Wang and Alan Murie mention that they also conducted field study in China, but the findings in this book do not seem to be explicitly attributed to the results of this field study. Nonetheless, the book has something special to offer, namely an in-depth analysis of one Chinese city, Xian, especially in chapter 3 , which utilizes a sub- stantial collection of policy papers and city regulations to describe the emergence of a socialist housing system. The book could have been even more helpful if it had been more explicit about Xian’s relative position in the larger context of
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234 China Review International: Vol. 7 , No. 1 , Spring 2000 © 2000 by University of Hawai‘i Press housing policy in China in general. For example, taking into account its size, fi- nancial strength, geographical location, progress toward a market economy, and above all special policy considerations by the State Council, has Xian been mak- ing slower or faster progress in housing reform compared to cities like Shanghai, Tientsin, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen? There are two main themes in the book: housing under state socialism and the privatization of public housing. In addition to the Introduction (chapter 1 ) and Conclusion (chapter 9 ), three chapters ( 2 4 ) are devoted to the establishment of public housing with socialist characteristics, and four chapters ( 5 8 ) cover housing policies, including housing reform, from 1978 to the mid- 1990 s. In a word, the book deals with the state’s intervention on a massive scale in housing in China from 1949 to 1977 , followed by the retreat of the state from all functional areas of housing during the reform era from 1978 onward. To maintain coherence among the chapters, however, it does not seem necessary to include a discussion of rural housing (chapter 8 ), because rural housing in China does not normally fall into the orbit of state intervention and the Centrally Planned Economy.
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Housing Policy and Practice in China - Housing Policy and...

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