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Old June 11th, 2014, 05:51 PM   #621
hkskyline
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Myriad water diversion projects suggest rapid degradation of local environment
11 June 2014
Shanghai Daily

LAST Thursday a German reporter expressed her interest in China’s ongoing South-to-North water diversion project. To my embarrassment, I did not know enough about the project to enlighten her. I found it necessary to investigate a little bit.

The whole project, consisting of eastern, central and western routes, is estimated at 500 billion yuan (US$81 billion), spanning a period of 40 to 50 years.

The reporter was particularly interested in the central section, whose construction began in 2003. Following the completion of Phase I last year, the central route is scheduled to supply water to parched northern regions including Beijing and Tianjin in mid-2014.

The city of Shiyan, Hubei Province, is seriously affected by the water-diversion project. The reporter described Shiyan as “ugly.” It is home to Dongfeng Auto Company, which makes Dongfeng trucks and Fukang automobiles.

Toward the end of the 1960s, the government, following a row with the former Soviet Union, decided to set up a giant automaker in this city nestled among mountains, about 400 kilometers from the city of Wuhan.

As the capacity of the Danjiangkou Reservoir in Shiyan had to be raised significantly so that water could be sourced and diverted to the north, about 471 villages in Shiyan were inundated. As a result, over 200,000 people have been relocated — the largest relocation in China since the mammoth Three Gorges Dam project.

To slake its thirst for land, Shiyan has been expanding its “new city” aggressively. According to a local government report, since 2007, when construction of the west part of the new city started, 1,000 households were relocated, over 100 mountaintops were flattened, and over 5,000 tombs were removed.

Given the racket and the dust kicked up in this land-shifting endeavor, we should not be surprised that local authorities are in dire need of money to curb pollution in five tributaries to the Danjiangkou Reservoir.

The water quality in one of the five rivers is labeled “grade IV,” which means “industrial use only,” and that in the other four is the worse “grade V,” meaning “agricultural use only.”

It is said that half of local sewage water is discharged untreated into these rivers. The water quality in all five rivers is supposed to meet “grade III” by 2015.

The German reporter seemed politely optimistic about the anticipated cleanup.

She came from Stuttgart, home to Mercedes, Porsche and Bosch, and during Germany’s economic development, many German rivers were heavily polluted.

I did not derive much solace from her reassurances, for Germany has cleaned up partly because it has successfully outsourced its most polluting manufacturing capacity to other countries. It’s a moral irony that a place known for luxury brand cars should be allowed to have access to clean air and water.

Outsourcing

I thought about the Confucian tenet, “Do not impose on others what you yourselves do not desire.”

This is exactly where the globalized trick of “outsourcing” has gone awry.

When extended, this outsourcing philosophy can also apply to the many water-diversion projects. The logic is that when local resources can no longer sustain local greed, you can always export pollution, or import clean resources.

According to government statistics this May, of the 657 cities in China, about half are in “grave shortage of water.” In addition to the gigantic South-to-North water-diversion projects, there are at least 15 smaller-scale local projects, involving nearly 130 billion yuan in investment.

As Qiu Baoxing wrote recently, when water diversion becomes costlier and goes over longer distances, it causes greater and greater ecological damage to the areas where the water is sourced. Qiu noted that there are generally strict restrictions over long-distance water diversion in developed countries, especially when this involves different river systems.

Qiu is a former deputy minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

It is easy to see why water-diversion projects are being resisted. According to the June 6 Oriental Morning Post, Hangzhou plans to divert 20 percent of the water from Qiandao Lake, but this has been fiercely resisted by Jiande, which is close to the lake.

One should be surprised that Hangzhou, the earthly paradise sitting right next to the Qiantang River, should lack water. Of course Hangzhou does not lack water. Like nearly all prosperous water-rich cities, it is merely thirsty for clean water. According to a statement from the Ministry of Environmental Protection on June 4, the water quality is “extremely poor” not only in Hangzhou Bay but also in the estuary of the Yangtze River, the Minjiang River estuary and the Pearl River estuary. That’s an extremely disturbing comment on the cost of being a global factory, for these areas are all engines of soaring growth.

By allowing those who have soiled their own nest to outsource, we are essentially encouraging a dirty, destructive and irresponsible way of life.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 04:57 PM   #622
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Any new updates on the wangjing CBD or the InterContinental hotel?And is the Wangjing SOHO finished now?
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Old June 27th, 2014, 06:37 PM   #623
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Hebei envisions integrated traffic network by 2020
27 June 2014
China Daily



Hebei province has taken the lead in planning an integrated transportation network with Beijing and Tianjin, as Hebei works and plans two new ring roads that will surround the nation's capital, a top provincial official said.

The grand traffic network will include convenient air, sea and land traffic. And Hebei will make six major cities, including Shijiazhuang and Tangshan, into important traffic hubs like Beijing and Tianjin.

The integrated transportation network will be complete by 2020, allowing people to travel between major cities in the region within an hour and fueling regional economic development, said Gao Jinhao, head of the province's traffic bureau.

Of the projects listed on the plan, the Seventh Ring Road stands out.

Though it's known informally as the Seventh Ring Road of Beijing, only a small part of the 940-km-long expressway will run through the nation's capital, in Miyun county and Pinggu district. The other 850 kilometers will extend into neighboring Hebei cities, including Langfang, Zhangjiakou and Chengde.

The route of the ring road will follow Hebei's existing expressways, Gao said.

The Seventh Ring Road will open to traffic by 2015, and the majority of construction is already finished, said a provincial official on Thursday who declined to be named.

In addition, an even longer ring road outside the Seventh Ring Road is in the works. The road will run as much as 1,250 km through Tianjin and more cities of Hebei province.

Gao said the throughways will promote a more active interaction among cities in the new northern economic hub and fuel future coordinated regional development.

In the region, Hebei is weaker economically than Beijing and Tianjin, and the province's current traffic system also lags behind.

According to Hebei's traffic authority, the length of highways in the province is 19 percent less than those in Beijing. The expressway density in the province only accounted for half in Beijing.

To fill the gaps, Hebei has increased the allocation on expressway projects by 8 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) a year, reaching 46 billion yuan in 2014.

"The construction of the Seventh Ring Road will promote the regional development, that's for sure," said Chen Yanyan, a professor at Beijing University of Technology's Transportation Research Center.

But she also pointed out that the integrated traffic network in the region needs cooperation from the three areas, adding that initiatives only from Hebei cannot work.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 07:16 PM   #624
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Yongqing in Hebei may realise 'liveable suburb' dream thanks to greater Beijing integration
29 June 2014
South China Morning Post



"New" Yongqing, in Hebei province close to the boundary of Beijing municipality, finally looks like it might justify a property developer's tagline and become the "closest liveable suburb to Beijing" 60km away.

Yongqing had for years made fruitless attempts to attract some of the economic windfalls of a much-talked-about integration of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei (also known as Jing-Jin-Ji).

Now the integration is taking on new momentum after being declared a showcase project by President Xi Jinping and included in Premier Li Keqiang's work report this year.

Along with real-estate projects targeting Beijingers feeling the pinch of high property prices, Yongqing county wants to attract some of the capital's businesses. Plans are under way to build a garment manufacturing and wholesale hub.

Eight markets covering garments, fur, footwear and small commodities in Beijing's famous Dahongmen wholesale district have agreed to move to the planned Yongqing International Garment City. An agreement on the mega-market was signed in mid-May, but Han said there were as yet no details of the timetable for its construction or the size of the investment involved.

The zone hopes to lure other garment markets from the area around Beijing Zoo.

The eight markets in Dahongmen comprise more than 9,000 shops employing 35,000 people. But the sector has created congestion, leaving it unwanted in the eyes of the municipal government as it seeks to reduce Beijing's traffic jams and air pollution.

Wu Jianjun , a shop owner at the Jingwen clothing market, is open to relocating. Like most of his fellow businessmen, he rents private homes nearby as workshops and sells at the market. "After all, Yongqing is still very close to Beijing, and I can have my own production line there instead of renting a place where I risk eviction at any time," he said.

Li Li, another Jingwen shop owner, is worried she might lose customers after the move. She also wonders whether the schools and hospitals are good enough. Li predicted fewer than half of shop owners would make the move. Those shops not doing well might simply withdraw from the industry or move to areas they felt offered better opportunities, she said.

The garment hub will also house factories, an outlet mall, a theme park and museum, among other attractions, according to a brochure about the development zone.

Shi Jiasheng , assistant to the general manager of Zhongguangxin, a real-estate agency in Beijing, said industry insiders mostly had high hopes for the Jing-Jin-Ji programme.

"Everyone has expectations over the plan, as it is a national strategy now," Shi said. Developers were especially optimistic about the "mega Beijing" plan.

Governments of some nearby cities are waiting to see how the integration plays out.

The head of Cangzhou's publicity bureau told the Sunday Morning Post it had no plans of its own to become a key sub-centre to the capital but would "firmly support and follow the arrangements of the central government".

The government of Langfang , which oversees Yongqing, also said it would await orders from the provincial government.

Li Chen, a researcher with Beijing-based real-estate developer Huaxia Xingfu Jiye, said his company remained cautious about the programme.

"The three places still have many things to decide, with different views on industries and city planning," Li said. "So we shouldn't move too early."

Despite the announcement of several big infrastructure projects, including a new airport and a seventh ring road to be located largely in Hebei, many believe true integration is still far off.

Hebei has tried to explore growth opportunities within the framework since the National Development and Reform Commission launched the idea a decade ago. Steelmaker Shougang Group, one of the nation's biggest, moved to Caofeidian in Tangshan . But the industrial zone has numerous unfinished buildings and few residents, Faren magazine reported recently.

Tangshan has drawn criticism for attracting only a few low-level institutions, while Yanjiao, on its outskirts, has been dubbed a "dormitory city".

"A satellite city should make its residents feel part of a community," Han said. "Real integration should mean a proper mix of culture and public services such as medical care and education."
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Old July 1st, 2014, 08:51 AM   #625
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Beijing to build 10,000 public EV charging poles by 2017

BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) – Beijing plans to build 10,000 public charging poles by 2017, according to an action plan published by the municipal government on Friday.

The plan said the capital city will step up the construction of charging facilities for electric vehicles (EV). Initially the charging poles will be primarily located in public areas, including public parking lots and highway service zones.

According to a source with the municipal development and reform commission of Beijing, authorities will study on involving property management entities into the construction and operation of EV charging facilities, as part of the efforts to encourage private use of electric sedans.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 07:40 AM   #626
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Beijing Monorail Plan Earns Ire Among Residents
18 July 2014
Caixin Online

A group of Beijing residents have mounted a campaign against a 22.95 billion yuan monorail project expected to be built in the eastern part of the city, citing a lack of environmental safeguards and insufficient public consultation.

On July 8, representatives from several residential communities handed in a joint statement to the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), which published environmental assessments for the project, attacking the validity of previous assessments on the monorail project.

The 33.7-kilometer long beam-riding monorail project, with maximum speeds of 76 kilometers per hour, is set to be built in the east part of the city and will run through several residential communities. The owner of the project is the government-backed Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co. Construction is set to be launched this year and completed next year.

According to residents, a survey has found 70 percent of nearby residents oppose the project due to concerns over noise, light and environmental pollution due to the planned proximity of the train to residential buildings. Some residents also cast doubt on the efficiency and necessity of building the line as 10 kilometers of the monorail's total 33.7 kilometers would run parallel to the Beijing Metro Line 14, at only 1 kilometer apart. Residents complained that they did not receive adequate notification of the project. A resident surnamed Shen said she and many other residents only learned of the project in January when CRAES issued an environmental assessment report on plans for the monorail.

Shen said some of the residents then collected and submitted public opinions to CRAES. They were told a follow-up assessment which would include interviews with local residents would be held. However, the assessment with the residents never took place, said Shen.

On June 14, residents said they learned that a second environmental assessment was published through news reports. The project began calling for bids on January 27, long before the second public notice was released. Under Beijing regulations, plans for major construction projects must first pass an environmental evaluation prior to obtaining approval for construction, according to a government official.

Caixin contacted the agent for the bidding process, Beijing Zhongchang Engineering Consultancy, and was told bidding had been completed and the project had moved into the process of evaluation. When asked about the environment assessment of the project, Xie Jin, spokesperson of the company, said he is "not clear" about the issue.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 11:40 PM   #627
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some truly amazing projects in Beijing. I look forward to visiting some day.
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Warsaw Post-War Reconstruction to Present
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Old July 20th, 2014, 07:43 PM   #628
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Beijing opens first museum of literary classics
Updated: 2014-07-17
China Daily



After detailed restoration in a heavily guarded warehouse, the cream of China's literary works have finally found a home open to the general public with the official opening of the National Museum of Classic Books in Beijing on Tuesday.

The museum, established by the National Library of China after two years of preparation, is the country's first public institution to focus on exhibitions of ancient classic books.

"Ancient classic books are a historical witness of China's consistent civilization throughout thousands of years," said Han Yongjin, director of the library. "A combination of museum and library is an inevitable trend. The Chinese characters written on these ancient books have to be seen. Our readers will also thus get new experiences."

Han said the museum is home to 2.75 million copies of ancient classics (published before 1911), which include metal and stone rubbings, rare books and old maps, thanks to the library's huge collection of such items. The 800 most precious works are on display as an opening gift for visitors. This first exhibition, tentatively scheduled to run for three months, began to receive groups of visitors, numbering up to 2,000 people a day, on Aug 1. Individual visitors will be allowed from Sept 9, the 105th anniversary of the library's founding.



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Old July 22nd, 2014, 07:37 AM   #629
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Some U/C sites i took yesterday at CBD
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Old July 26th, 2014, 02:07 PM   #630
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What's the name of this ongoing project?

It also appears in the photo below (on the bottom left just across the road of the Guanghua Rd SOHO)



20140724 Oracle #CloudWorld Beijing by Software Insider POV, on Flickr



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I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


Last edited by little universe; July 26th, 2014 at 02:14 PM.
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Old July 26th, 2014, 02:59 PM   #631
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Overgrown Beijing slaps new limits on industry in bid to cut smog

BEIJING, July 25 (Reuters) - China's overgrown and smog-hit capital Beijing has passed new rules banning the expansion of polluting and resource-intensive industries, the local government said on Friday.

In a list of restrictions published on its website (www.beijing.gov.cn), the municipal government said it would ban the further expansion of a wide range of industries, including food processing, textiles, construction materials, papermaking, chemicals and oil refining.

It said in an accompanying statement that the list had been drawn up to serve the capital's plans to restructure its economy and promote integrated development with the neighbouring regions of Hebei and Tianjin.

Beijing has been under heavy pressure to end its obsession with industrial growth, which has not only left the city choking with smog, but also deprived poverty-stricken surrounding regions of the opportunity to improve their economies.

"Constantly-developing Beijing is now facing a series of problems, including overpopulation, congestion, water shortages and air pollution - these deep-rooted problems are related to the fact that the city has too many functions, and its economy is too big," the statement said.

The city's economy grew 6.5 times from 1998 to 2012, researchers have estimated, while its population grew by two thirds, energy consumption doubled and the number of vehicles on its road tripled over the period.

Beijing has already been moving hundreds of industrial enterprises to Hebei to ease pollution and congestion.

It has also started closing down coal-fired power plants with the aim of cutting average daily air pollution by a third by 2017.

China is considering plans to create a "super-region" around Beijing by relocating industries, improving transportation, breaking down administrative barriers and setting unified industry standards.

It is also planning to relocate some non-essential government functions to Hebei and is studying a proposal to relocate as many as 5 million people outside of the city, according to local media reports.

The new policy will also impose restrictions on new real estate projects, including bans on the construction of large-scale hotels, schools, office buildings and hospitals in "core districts", the city government said.

Beijing's average readings of tiny airborne particles that are hazardous to health, known as PM2.5, reached 91.6 micrograms per cubic metre in the first half of 2014, down 11.2 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Environmental Protection showed.
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Old July 29th, 2014, 12:01 AM   #632
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if that city solves the problem of pollution, it will be truly awesome!
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Old July 29th, 2014, 10:17 AM   #633
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Beijing is big, but I think reducing pollution inside Beijing, especially by moving it to Hebei, will have limited effect. Beijing produces plenty pollution on its own, mind you, but the worst winter smog comes from the outside, from Hebei. The Hebei capital, Shijiazhuang, has far worse pollution than Beijing.
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Old July 29th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #634
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Beijing Monorail Plan Earns Ire Among Residents
18 July 2014
Caixin Online

A group of Beijing residents have mounted a campaign against a 22.95 billion yuan monorail project expected to be built in the eastern part of the city, citing a lack of environmental safeguards and insufficient public consultation.

On July 8, representatives from several residential communities handed in a joint statement to the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), which published environmental assessments for the project, attacking the validity of previous assessments on the monorail project.

The 33.7-kilometer long beam-riding monorail project, with maximum speeds of 76 kilometers per hour, is set to be built in the east part of the city and will run through several residential communities. The owner of the project is the government-backed Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co. Construction is set to be launched this year and completed next year.

According to residents, a survey has found 70 percent of nearby residents oppose the project due to concerns over noise, light and environmental pollution due to the planned proximity of the train to residential buildings. Some residents also cast doubt on the efficiency and necessity of building the line as 10 kilometers of the monorail's total 33.7 kilometers would run parallel to the Beijing Metro Line 14, at only 1 kilometer apart. Residents complained that they did not receive adequate notification of the project. A resident surnamed Shen said she and many other residents only learned of the project in January when CRAES issued an environmental assessment report on plans for the monorail.

Shen said some of the residents then collected and submitted public opinions to CRAES. They were told a follow-up assessment which would include interviews with local residents would be held. However, the assessment with the residents never took place, said Shen.

On June 14, residents said they learned that a second environmental assessment was published through news reports. The project began calling for bids on January 27, long before the second public notice was released.
I guess Suddenly Monorail took more people than us by surprise.
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Old July 29th, 2014, 12:11 PM   #635
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A building complex u/c at the financil street taken by me today
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Old August 4th, 2014, 05:47 PM   #636
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Companies keen to pay for prime CBD locations
1 August 2014
China Daily

Demand for grade-A office space in major cities holds its own in a generally weak property market, reports Yao Jing.

Office space in core areas of China's big cities is getting more expensive. But instead of walking away, companies are paying up, topping expectations in China's commercial property sector in an overall weak real estate market.

The demand for grade-A office space in major cities has remained steady, driven by a lack of new supply, low vacancy rates, domestic companies' interest in new leases and increasing confidence on the part of landlords, according to property services consultants and providers.

A glance at a skyscraper in Beijing's central business district in Chaoyang district gives evidence of the trend.

China World Trade Center Tower III, at 81 stories and one of the tallest buildings in Beijing, is also the most expensive office building in the CBD. It currently is home to about 70 companies.

East of the building, the China World Trade Center Phase 3B project is under construction.

In the second quarter of the year, Beijing's prime office market registered 39,800 square meters of net absorption. CBD rents rose 2.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, the first increase recorded in six quarters, according to a report released by Jones Lang La Salle IP Inc, a real estate management company.

Strong leasing velocity in the nearby Fortune Financial Center, coupled with limited availability in the CBD, led key buildings, such as China World Trade Center, to regain confidence and raise rents.

The banking and insurance industries were the main drivers of demand, and several new leases were signed in the sector.

Domestic companies again accounted for the majority of new leases, while foreign firms generally renewed or leased comparatively smaller spaces.

"Landlords and tenants are becoming more discerning as the market matures, and there is an increasing understanding that not all buildings are created equal," said Eric Hirsch, head of markets for JLL Beijing.

By comparison, most other submarkets were flat or registered minimal increases.

For Zhang Ying, managing director at JLL North China, the rising rents and growing construction areas in the CBD were a sign of something more: signs of the company's expansion in China.

Working for JLL for 18 years, Zhang has witnessed the company's growth from a single office with three people to one having more than 2,000 staff members.

Meanwhile, starting from a 360-square-meter office in Fulllink Plaza in Chaoyang district, the company's Beijing branch represented the first company to move into the China World Trade Center Tower III in 2010.

It now occupies a spacious office on the 11th floor of the landmark building, with a unit size of nearly 3,500 sqm.

During construction, the company stayed in the World Trade Center Tower I from 2003 to 2010.

"The size of our business is 24 times than that of 10 years ago, and the number of employees is 13 times," Zhang said.

An expert in commercial property, JLL was selective about when to sign its tenancy contract. "I think our rent is at the lower level among tenants of the building as we came here when the net take-up of the city's office market was low," said Zhang.

Zhang said Beijing's office market hit bottom at the end of 2009, but rents climbed in 2011.

Surrounded by numerous banking and insurance companies, law firms as well as multinational companies, JLL hopes to attract more talent, win clients' trust and improve its expertise in the commercial property market.

"Employees and our customers will be happy to see our stable growth within one area," said Zhang.

Still, the CBD is not the most expensive area in Beijing. With domestic financial companies continuing to expand to Financial Street, prime office rental growth is continuing there.

But worsening traffic conditions and a lack of new supply in the CBD is pushing some companies to look into emerging industrial parks.

"An increasing number of companies such as Siemens AG, Alstom SA and Microsoft Corp, are establishing their headquarters in the capital's Wangjing area," said Liu Bing, head of investment and advisory services at North China DTZ, a real estate consulting firm.

Office space in industrial parks is much cheaper than in the CBD. Beijing CBD rent tallied 336.9 yuan ($55) per square meter in the second quarter, while the Beijing grade-A office rent was 300.8 yuan per square meter per month, according to DTZ.

In Shanghai, grade-A office vacancy rate in the Pudong New Area fell to a record low in the past six years, to approximately 1.2 percent, said a report by Colliers International, a commercial real estate service company.

By the end of June, average rent in the Pudong grade-A office market rose by 3.8 percent year-on-year to approximately 9.1 yuan per square meter per day, primarily supported by the robust increase in Pudong, which continued to outpace Puxi given its limited supply and increasing demand.

The CBD grade-A office market received four new completions with a combined office gross floor area of 202,452 sqm, three of them located in Puxi.

"Demand from corporations relocating from downtown areas as well as those upgrading from lower grade buildings was stimulated by the new completions, with net absorption increasing by 42.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2014," said the report.

James Shepherd, executive director and head of research for greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, a privately held commercial real estate services firm, said the peak of office development in Shanghai's CBD will happen between 2015 and 2017 in such large developments as Shanghai Tower, Bund Financial Center, Xujiahui Center and Pudong Financial Plaza.

"It will likely be a winner-take-all market, with good projects having high pre-commitment rates, while poor projects struggle to lease at all. Demand for Shanghai Tower (China's tallest building and the world's second-tallest) is likely to be strongest from domestic companies," said Shepherd.

Looking at South China, Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, demand for grade-A offices also increased in the second quarter of the year, following government policies to boost economy and increase investment in finance and technology.

Several big transactions, especially by finance, securities and high-tech companies, were reported in the second quarter in Guangzhou, according to Cushman&Wakefield.

The report predicted that the vacancy rate of grade-A offices in Guangzhou will drop to 12 percent by the end of the year as the Pearl River Delta economy has started picking up since the second quarter.

The reduced vacancy rate of grade-A offices in Guangzhou indicates stronger demand from domestic companies, said Ma Weitu, director of JLL South China.

Qiu Quanlin contributed to this story.
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Old August 12th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #637
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72 newsstands hauled away in Chaoyang district
12 August 2014
China Daily

Vendors say they had no advance notice; legality of action in Beijing area questioned

Seventy-two newsstands have been removed from the streets of Chaoyang district in the capital - and owners fear more could face closure.

Some vendors said their stands were demolished, and a law professor said the action, which was ordered by the Chaoyang district government, broke administrative laws.

However, the district government said the stands were removed because they violated regulations.

Zhao Yumei, a spokesman for the Beijing Newspapers and Periodicals Retail Company, said the 72 stands were removed by force on July 31 and Aug 1.

"All the stands were located in busy sections of Chaoyang district and were built around 1999," she said. "We did not get any notification in advance."

Zhao said the company has stopped sending daily papers to stands in Chaoyang district to avoid losses as it fears more will be shut. Vendors are ready to resort to the law, she added.

Xu Jing has run a newsstand near the crossing of Huizhong Road and Anli Road for almost 10 years, but has been told it must be moved by the end of the month.

The Chaoyang district government said in a statement to China Daily that the stands were not demolished but were moved to other locations as they contravened regulations covering the construction of newsstands.

The statement said stands must be built at least 15 meters from entrances to subway stations and bus stops, and should not be placed on sidewalks less than 5 meters wide, according to a Beijing municipality order.

However, vendors said they were given no formal notification and chengguan - urban patrol officers - and police officers removed their stands by force.

Zhang Jiwei said his stand was "demolished" on Aug 1. He had been told twice that it would be removed, but was given no written notification.

Zhang, who has been running the stand since 2003, said it was placed on a truck by a forklift at 4 am on Aug 1 after officers threw away magazines and newspapers.

"The stand was broken and the door fell off when it was put on the truck," he said.

Yang Xiaojun, an administrative law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the Chaoyang district government has broken the law.

"Demolition by force should only be used in cases of illegal construction," he said. "Demolition should be carried out according to a legal procedure even if the newsstands are illegal.

"The authorities should issue a written demolition order and the vendors should have a right to appeal, according to the current administrative law."
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Old August 28th, 2014, 08:54 PM   #638
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Jammed Beijing Clamping Down Fails to Stem Migration
By Bloomberg News
Aug 27, 2014

What would Beijing be like with more than twice as many people?

It’s a dystopian scenario tormenting Mayor Wang Anshun and local Communist Party chief Guo Jinlong as they plow ahead with a mission impossible: turning people away.

Growing pains in the Chinese capital of 21.1 million are on full display -- from the clogged roads around Tiananmen Square to the brown haze choking its residents. Beijing was the second most-inhospitable international city behind Moscow out of 40 studied by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, according to a report released in February.

Trouble is, the metropolis remains a magnet. The population -- 2.5 times New York’s -- surged 53 percent from 2000 to December 2013, the equivalent of adding all the residents of Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. Where it took the largest U.S. city more than a century to double to its current size, Beijing did it in within 25 years.

“If you look at large cities around the world, no city has a policy of saying ‘OK we have a size cap,’” says Wang Feng, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Authorities should be thinking of Beijing as a city of 30 million -- still less than metropolitan Tokyo’s 37 million -- or even 50 million people, he said.

Instead, Mayor Wang, 56, who was acting mayor from July 2012 and officially took the role in January 2013, has banned the sub-division of apartments, restricting the supply of low-cost housing. Authorities are maintaining limits on services to those without a municipal residency permit and forcing markets, hospitals and agencies out of the city center.

Squeezed Out

Among those being squeezed out is 37-year-old He Hongjun, a native of Hefei in central Anhui province who runs a women’s trouser shop at the Dahongmen wholesale-clothing market, which is earmarked for closing.

“My kid can’t go to school here, I can’t drive and although I’ve got the money, I can’t buy a flat,” said He, who has lived in Beijing for eight years and sends his son to a school back in his home province. “They really discriminate against outsiders.”

China's Pain Points

Beijing broke through its own 2020 population target of 18 million in 2010, just six years after setting it. Superior schools, universities, hospitals and job opportunities continue to lure people from under-serviced provinces.

Flooding In

“Beijing is a victim of its own success,” said Lu Jiehua, a professor specializing in demography at Peking University and a delegate to the city legislature. “As the capital, it’s directly controlled by the central government so it has a very strong capacity to direct and channel resources into economic investment, hospitals, schools and so on. It’s developed very well, so that’s why workers have flooded in.”

The media office of Beijing’s city government responded to phone calls by requesting a fax, which wasn’t answered.

To take pressure off Beijing, national authorities have dusted off a long-delayed plan to create a regional super-hub linking the capital with the port city of Tianjin and surrounding province of Hebei. Few specifics have been announced, including how the plan would navigate the regional bureaucracies.

The newest drive to control population growth echoes Mao-era central planning rather than the market model articulated by President Xi Jinping and pursued by authorities in Shanghai, which has seen its population jump 44 percent to 24.2 million since the start of the century.

Shanghai Strategy

While Beijing Mayor Wang’s 2014 annual report to the local legislature played up population control, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong’s report makes just a passing reference to it and focuses more on improving services and boosting efficiency.

Shanghai “has a more pragmatic mentality, which is basically to drive whatever policy comes its way to making it a more important, successful city,” said Kerry Brown, director of the China Studies Centre at Australia’s University of Sydney. Beijing “is stifled by the heavy presence of central governance and this makes it far less willing to take risks and experiment,” said Brown, author of “Shanghai 2020,” a book commissioned by the city government to outline a vision for the metropolis’s future.

Shanghai last year introduced a system allowing non-locals to accumulate points based on education or professional qualifications to access public services, an initiative designed to attract educated migrants. Beijing has no such measure.

Approach Questioned

Poor planning is a more likely explanation for Beijing’s struggles than the weight of its population, according to critics such as the University of California’s Wang. Tokyo’s density is greater yet it’s renowned for its efficiency; southern California has less rainfall without the same water scarcity, said Wang, who wrote a 2013 paper on the city for Brookings’ Global Cities Initiative.

The government should use market mechanisms to influence the population and allocate the city’s scarce resources more efficiently, said Tao Ran, director of the China Center for Public Economics and Governance at Renmin University in Beijing. He says farmers on the outskirts should be allowed to build housing on their own land, boosting supply, and the government-set price of water should rise to reduce usage and waste.

While Beijing’s streets are gridlocked even with limits on cars, Shanghai’s system of auctioning license plates, as opposed to Beijing’s rationing through a free lottery, has worked better and could also raise money to subsidize public transport, he said. The subway system charges users a flat-fare of 2 yuan (33 U.S cents) regardless of distance traveled; in Shanghai a ticket can cost as much as 15 yuan.

“Beijing’s problems are due to poor administration and management,” said Tao. “If the government lets people take the initiative and follows market rules, problems will be solved.”
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Old August 30th, 2014, 08:39 AM   #639
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Great article Makes me really wonder about the future of these kind of mega cities.
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Old August 30th, 2014, 09:03 AM   #640
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This is why movement of people needs to be restricted in China. Imagine the dire consequences if hundreds of millions of rural peasants descend into the coastal cities looking for the "China dream".
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