A coal mine factory in Hegang, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. The rust-belt town has been hit by a declining population as government revenues dry up, which some see as a bad omen for other areas of the country. Photo: Wendy Wu
A coal mine factory in Hegang, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. The rust-belt town has been hit by a declining population as government revenues dry up, which some see as a bad omen for other areas of the country. Photo: Wendy Wu
Zhou Xin
Opinion

Opinion

Zhou Xin

A town in China’s rust belt offers a cautionary tale of development ambition

  • Hegang has lost nearly a fifth of its population in 10 years, and government revenues have dried up while many flats for sale sit empty
  • Other cities hoping to avoid Hegang’s fate require an approach to development that looks beyond property and infrastructure

A coal mine factory in Hegang, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. The rust-belt town has been hit by a declining population as government revenues dry up, which some see as a bad omen for other areas of the country. Photo: Wendy Wu
A coal mine factory in Hegang, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. The rust-belt town has been hit by a declining population as government revenues dry up, which some see as a bad omen for other areas of the country. Photo: Wendy Wu
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