Transcript: Ep. 4 - Exodus of 100 Million Farmers | Oct 09, 2018

(music plays)

A caption reads "NHK Documentary."

(HAMMERING)

A clip shows a man taking a brick wall down with a sledge hammer.

The narrator says CHANGE, CHINA'S
DAILY REALITY.
PERHAPS MOST NOTICEABLE OF LATE
IN ITS MEGA INLAND CITIES.

A clip shows people throwing furniture through apartment windows.

A patrolling officer asks a vendor on the street "Yo're still operating here?"

The shop owner says "I know, I get it."

The vendor says "You've been told not to. You've been told not to.
Otherwise we'll confiscate your stuff."

The narrator says 100 MILLION MIGRANT FARM
LABOURERS ARE HAVING TO LEAVE
THESE MEGA CITIES.

(CAR HORNS HONKING)'
An old man cries and says "The government should value us farmers. That's what I want to say directly to President Xi Jinping, even if it gets me executed."

(music plays)

The Chinese flag flutters.

The narrator says WITH A POPULATION OF 1.4
BILLION, CHINA HAS BECOME A
MAJOR ECONOMIC POWER.
BUT AS THE CHINESE ECONOMY SLOWS
DOWN, THE COUNTRY IS BEING
FORCED TO FACE A MAJOR TURNING
POINT.

A clip shows a demolition machine destroying a building.

The narrator says THE GOVERNMENT'S NATIONAL
NEW-TYPE URBANIZATION PLAN IS
DESIGNED TO BUILD THE FOUNDATION
FOR CHINA'S FUTURE ECONOMIC
GROWTH BY TRANSFORMING ITS
LANDSCAPE, AND MOVING
100 MILLION PEOPLE.

A clip shows an urban model plan.

The narrator says THE TRIGGER FOR THIS WILL BE THE
RESETTLEMENT OF HUGE NUMBERS OF
FARM LABOURERS TO SMALLER
CITIES.
BY TURNING FARMERS INTO URBAN
CONSUMERS, THE GOVERNMENT IS
AIMING TO DOUBLE CHINA'S GDP BY
2020.

A real estate salesman says "We will get rural folks to stimulate consumption."

The narrator says THE GOVERNMENT POLICY WILL
CREATE A FLOOD OF 100 MILLION
MIGRANT FARMERS.
(CAR HORNS HONKING)
WE GO DEEP INTO THE HEART OF
THIS SWEEPING NATIONAL PROJECT
OF CHINA: THE GREAT DRAGON.

(music plays)

Chinese symbols appears as an animation shows a dragon twirling and spotting fire. The name of the show reads "China. The great dragon. Exodus of 100 Million Farmers."

An aerial view of an express way appears.

An animated map zooms in on the city of Zhengzhou.

The narrator says ZHENGZHOU, IN HENAN PROVINCE,
IS AN INLAND INDUSTRIAL CITY.
(CAR HORNS HONKING)
IT HAS A POPULATION OF
10 MILLION.
ABOUT A THIRD ARE FARMERS AND
THEIR FAMILIES, WHO HAVE LEFT
THEIR RURAL VILLAGES TO LOOK FOR
WORK.
IT'S THESE MIGRANT FARM
LABOURERS WHO HAVE FUELLED
CHINA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH.
AHEAD OF THE REST OF THE
NATION, ZHENGZHOU HAS
IMPLEMENTED THE NEW POLICY,
TARGETING THESE MIGRANT FARMERS.
ONE OF CHINA'S LARGEST
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS FOR
MIGRANT FARMERS IS RIGHT IN THE
HEART OF THE CITY.

A caption reads "Chenzhai district."

The narrator says 800 APARTMENT BUILDINGS ARE
JAMMED INTO THIS DISTRICT,
CALLED CHENZHAI.
MIGRANT FARMERS HAVE RESIDED
HERE FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS.
THEIR NUMBERS HAVE GROWN OVER
THE YEARS, AND NOW 180,000 OF
THEM CALL THIS PLACE HOME.

A clip shows images of a crowded street market.

The narrator says THEY LABOUR FOR LOW WAGES AT
CONSTRUCTION SITES AND
FACTORIES.
ALL MAKE THEIR LIVING BY RUNNING
EATERIES AND SHOPS.

The young men sit down to eat.

One of them says "We all come from the same village. We live together. We've been living here since we were students. It's been six years already."

Another one says "We like it here."

The narrator says IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY 2016, CITY
OFFICIALS MADE A SUDDEN
ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE RESIDENTS OF
CHENZHAI.

The announcer says "Attention residents of Chenzhai. We will soon begin demolishing this district. Cooperate with the dismantling."

The narrator says THE PLAN IS TO EVICT THE MIGRANT
FARMERS, SO CHENZHAI CAN BE
DEMOLISHED AND THE AREA
REDEVELOPED.
THE RESIDENTS HAVE ABOUT A MONTH
TO MOVE.
IT WAS A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE
FOR MANY OF THEM.

The announcer says "We will demolish the Chenzhai district. You must move out immediately."

The narrator says CITY OFFICIALS SEND IN SECURITY
OFFICERS TO START ENFORCING THE
ORDER.

A girl runs in a building and says "Mom!"

The narrator says MORE THAN 100 SECURITY OFFICERS
HAVE BEEN MOBILIZED.
WALKING IN GROUPS, THEY PRESSURE
RESIDENTS TO MOVE OUT QUICKLY.

An officer says "You're still operating here?"

The shop owner says "I know, I get it."

The officer says "You've been told not to. Get moving immediately. By tomorrow."

The show owner says "All right."

Another officer says "We'll confiscate your stuff tomorrow."

The narrator says THE SECURITY OFFICERS TAKE
BOLDER ACTION AS THEY WORK TO
ENFORCE THE EDICT.
THEY METHODICALLY CONFISCATE THE
EQUIPMENT AND GOODS THE MIGRANT
FARMERS ARE USING FOR THEIR
BUSINESSES.

An old man says "The Communist Party has changed. They only care about the rich. They abandon the poor. I want the government to value us farmers."

A clip shows images of a demolition site.

The narrator says IN ZHENGZHOU, ALREADY MORE THAN
90 RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS FOR
MIGRANT FARMERS HAVE
DISAPPEARED.
MORE THAN 600,000 PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN EVICTED.
BEHIND THIS EVICTION OF MIGRANT
FARMERS IS CHINA'S NATIONAL
PROJECT TO REVITALIZE THE
NATION'S SLUGGISH ECONOMY.

A caption reads "China National People's Congress March 2016."

The narrator says IT'S THE NATIONAL NEW-TYPE
URBANIZATION PLAN, LAUNCHED BY
PRESIDENT XI JINPING AND HIS
ADMINISTRATION IN 2014.

The caption changes to "Li Keqiang. Premier of China."

Li is in his sixties, with short black hair and wears glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and polka dotted red tie.

Li says "We will develop the regional small-and medium-size cities and enable more and more rural farmers to find jobs nearby."

The narrator says UP UNTIL NOW, RURAL FARMERS HAVE
CONCENTRATED IN BIG CITIES.
UNDER THE NEW URBANIZATION PLAN,
THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO
REDIRECT FARMERS TO THE SMALL-
AND MEDIUM-SIZED CITIES.

An animation shows the flow of migration from farming villages to big cities to smaller cities.

The narrator says BY MAKING 100 MILLION FARMERS
MOVE, THE PLAN IS TO CREATE NEW
GENERATORS OF CONSUMPTION.
AS A FIRST STEP, THE GOVERNMENT
IS DEMOLISHING THE MIGRANT
FARMERS' RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS
IN THE BIG CITIES, OSTENSIBLY TO
REDEVELOP THE AREAS.
AT THE SAME TIME, IT'S GOING TO
DEVELOP SMALLER DESIGNATED
CITIES IN AN EFFORT TO ATTRACT
MIGRANT FARMERS.
THEN FARMERS FROM NEARBY
VILLAGES WILL BE MOVED TO THESE
CITIES, TURNING 100 MILLION
FARMERS INTO URBAN RESIDENTS.
THE IDEA IS THESE PEOPLE WILL
FIND JOBS IN THESE SMALLER
CITIES, AND THEIR CONSUMPTION
WILL GROW, RAMPING UP DOMESTIC
DEMAND.
THIS WILL BE REPLICATED
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, TO SPUR
ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Li says "Once we break through this barrier, China will without fail rise again like a phoenix and shine brightly."

(APPLAUSE)

The narrator says THIS EPIC EXPERIMENT IS
UNDERWAY.

The caption changes to "Chenzhai district."

The narrator says IN THE CHENZHAI DISTRICT, THE
PRESSURE TO FORCE OUT MIGRANT
FARMERS IS GROWING.

A couple of officers stand outside a shop.

One of the officers point at a burner on the street and says "Is the owner here? Are you using this burner here?"

Xiang says "I'll turn it off right now."

The officer says "Hurry up. Next time we won't let you."

(CAR HORNS HONKING)
(MEN SHOUTING)

The narrator says RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END, SOME
PEOPLE STILL FIND IT HARD TO
TEAR THEMSELVES AWAY FROM
CHENZHAI.

Xiang says "I can't go on. Shops are closing down."

The narrator says XIANG QINGDANG HAS BEEN IN THE
RESTAURANT BUSINESS FOR THE LAST
30 YEARS.

The caption changes to "Xiang Qingdang."

Xiang is in his forties, clean-shaven and with very short gray hair. He wears a gray T-shirt with black rims and an orange apron.

The narrator says HE AND HIS WIFE OFFER A MEAT BUN
AND SOUP SET FOR ONE DOLLAR.
THEY'VE SUPPORTED THE MIGRANT
FARMERS, WHO LABOUR FOR LOW
WAGES.

Xiang says "We always sell out this soup. More than 100 bowls a day. I've been here a long time, so everyone is a regular customer. I know everyone."

The narrator says THIS IS XIANG'S NINE-YEAR-OLD
DAUGHTER.

His daughter plays with a popsicle on Xiang's mouth and laughs.

Xiang says "Sweetie, go over there."

(LAUGHING)

The narrator says HER JOB IS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT
FOR A RAID BY THE AUTHORITIES.

She runs to the shop and shouts "Mom!"

The narrator says SUDDENLY, SHE RUNS OFF.

She says "Hurry up!"

They hide the food inside the shop.

Xiang's wife says "Clean everything up."

Xiang says "They'll be here in no time."

His wife says "Bring everything inside. Do it now! Clean up everything. Hurry!"

The narrator says HIDING HIS GOODS, XIANG GETS
AWAY WITH IT...FOR NOW.

Security officers go past.

The narrator says HE'S TRYING TO PROTECT THE ONLY
LIVELIHOOD HE'S KNOWN FOR THE
PAST THREE DECADES IN THIS
MIGRANT LIFE.

Xiang goes in an empty shop to make soup.

The interviewer says "Why here?"

Xiang says "Because if not, they'll confiscate everything I have. If that happens, my business will be finished. It's strange to have to make a living in secret."

The narrator says UP TO NOW, RURAL MIGRANT FARMERS
LIKE XIANG HAVE BEEN AT THE
MERCY OF THE TIMES.
AFTER THE FOUNDING OF THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA,
FARMERS WERE TIED TO THEIR
VILLAGES.

Old clips show farmer working the land.

The narrator says THEY WEREN'T PERMITTED TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THEIR FARMS, TO ENSURE
THE STABLE SUPPLY OF FOOD.

A clip shows people running and struggling to get on a train.

The narrator says BUT CHINESE LEADERS BEGAN TO
OPEN UP THE NATION IN THE 1980S.
FARMERS FLOODED INTO THE BIG
CITIES, SEEKING A MORE AFFLUENT
LIFE.
HOWEVER, THESE RURAL MIGRANTS
LIVED SEPARATE EXISTENCES FROM
URBAN RESIDENTS.
THEY WERE TREATED AS A FACELESS
LABOUR FORCE THAT WORKED FOR LOW
WAGES.
FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, THE
CHINESE ECONOMY HAS BEEN SLOWING
DOWN.
MOST OF THE COUNTRY'S NEARLY
300 MILLION MIGRANT FARMERS HAVE
LOST STEADY EMPLOYMENT.
AND NOW THEY ARE BEING FORCED
OUT OF THE BIG CITIES.

Xiang says "Some people moved out last night."

The narrator says XIANG IS FACING ONE OF THE
TOUGHEST DECISIONS OF HIS LIFE.

Xiang says "Everyone's leaving."

The narrator says HIS EVICTION DEADLINE IS IN TWO
WEEKS.
FOR DAYS ON END, THE TABLES AT
HIS RESTAURANT HAVE SAT EMPTY.

The interviewer says "Not many customers today."

Xiang says "I know. Customers can't eat in peace."

He stirs the soup and say "Nothing to do but throw it out. All of that work wasted."

Xiang's wife says "How are we supposed to make living?"

(CAR HORNS HONKING)

(MAN SPEAKING THROUGH BULLHORN)

The narrator says THE NEXT DAY, IT'S NOT BUSINESS
AS USUAL FOR XIANG.

Xiang says "I've decided to pack it up. I can't do this anymore."

The narrator says XIANG SPENT 30 YEARS BUILDING UP
HIS BUSINESS.
BUT NOW, HIS MIGRANT WORKER LIFE
HAS COME TO AN END.

Xiang locks up his shop.

The narrator says THE RESIDENTIAL AREAS WHERE
MIGRANT FARMERS COULD LIVE
CHEAPLY HAVE BEEN ALMOST ALL
DEMOLISHED.
NOW, THEY HAVE NOWHERE TO LIVE
IN ZHENGZHOU.

Xiang says "Everyone has no choice but to go back to their villages. It's really sad to have to leave here."

The narrator says THE 180,000 RURAL MIGRANT
FARMERS HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE TO
THE CHENZHAI DISTRICT.

A sing reads "Farewell Chenzhai."

The narrator says AND AS THEY BEGIN TO LEAVE THEIR
HOMES AND THE CITY...
THE HARSH REALITY OF RURAL LIFE
AWAITS THEM.

A clip shows images of people cutting crops.

A map shows the location of "Huang Lian Cheng village."

The narrator says XIANG COMES FROM THE VILLAGE OF
HUANG LIAN CHENG, ABOUT 200
KILOMETRES SOUTH OF ZHENGZHOU.
(SPEAKING CHINESE)

The narrator says XIANG IS STAYING AT THE HOUSE
WHERE HIS MOTHER, HIS ELDER
SISTER, AND HER FAMILY LIVE.
IT'S THE FIRST TIME HE'S BEEN
BACK HERE IN 30 YEARS.
THE VILLAGE WASN'T LIFTED BY
CHINA'S ECONOMIC BOOM.
IT'S BECOME DESOLATE.

Xiang enters a precarious house and says "This is my house."

The narrator says THIS IS THE HOUSE WHERE XIANG
WAS BORN AND RAISED.
IT'S FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR.
XIANG AND HIS FAMILY WON'T BE
ABLE TO LIVE HERE UNLESS THEY
FIX IT UP.
AND SOMETHING ELSE HAS HAPPENED
THAT HE DIDN'T EXPECT.
THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHERE HE
WAS GOING TO SEND HIS DAUGHTER
HAS BEEN CLOSED.
THE VILLAGE CHILDREN LEFT FOR
THE CITY WITH THEIR MIGRANT
WORKER PARENTS.

Xiang "I was naive. My wishes are never granted. I'll need 15,000 US dollars to rebuild the house. It will be difficult even if I borrow money from people in the village."

The narrator says WILL XIANG AND HIS FAMILY BE
ABLE TO LIVE IN THIS VILLAGE?
WHAT ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER'S
EDUCATION?
XIANG HAS STARTED THINKING ABOUT
MOVING TO A NEARBY CITY.

(music plays)

The narrator says THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS
EXPECTING THAT SMALL- AND
MEDIUM-SIZED CITIES WILL ABSORB
RURAL FARMERS.
UNDER THE NEW URBANIZATION PLAN,
A CONSTRUCTION BOOM IS UNDERWAY
IN CHINA'S SMALLER CITIES.
HUGE AMOUNTS OF INVESTMENT MONEY
ARE FUELLING THIS DEVELOPMENT.
CHINESE STOCK PRICES HAVE
REPEATEDLY DECREASED OVER THE
PAST FEW YEARS, AND INVESTORS
ARE HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING
ALTERNATIVE TARGETS FOR
INVESTMENTS.
GOVERNMENT LEADERS ARE URGING
THEM TO INVEST IN SMALL- AND
MEDIUM-SIZED CITIES, HOPING TO
REVITALIZE THE ECONOMY.
WHEN THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED
THE NEW URBANIZATION PLAN,
INVESTMENT MONEY BEGAN FLUMING
IN, ACCELERATING THE
DEVELOPMENT.
SOME LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE
HELPING RURAL FARMERS PURCHASE
APARTMENT UNITS BY GIVING THEM
SUBSIDIES.

A sign on the wall reads "Provide subsidies."

A real estate agent says "If they sign a contract, they can get a subsidy of 1,500 US dollars. We are encouraging the farmers to become consumers. It's not only the rich who are buying residences here. Some farmers want to purchase property for their children."

The narrator says THE NEW URBANIZATION PLAN IS
BEING IMPLEMENTED BY BRINGING
TOGETHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
STAKEHOLDERS.
ITS SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THE
CHOICES MADE BY THE FARMERS.
XIANG IS STILL TRYING TO FIND
HIS FEET AFTER RETURNING TO HIS
VILLAGE.
TODAY, HE'S VISITING A NEARBY
CITY TO SEE ABOUT OPENING A
RESTAURANT.

A map shows the location of Xuchang.

The narrator says XUCHANG IS ONE OF THE CITIES
EARMARKED FOR FURTHER
DEVELOPMENT IN THE GOVERNMENT'S
PLAN.

A floor-sized urban plan model appears.

The narrator says THIS MODEL DISPLAYS THE
FACILITIES ENVISIONED FOR THE
CITY WHEN THE PLAN IS COMPLETED.
WITH AN INDUSTRIAL PARK AND A
DISTRIBUTION HUB IN THE WORKS,
THE PLAN IS TO INCREASE THE
CITY'S POPULATION BY A FURTHER
300,000 BY 2020.
XIANG IS LOOKING AT A PROPERTY
IN THE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT
THAT'S BEEN REVITALIZED.

Xiang and a realtor look at a vacant space on a street.

The realtor says "How do you like it? The current renter is planning to leave."

Xiang says "It's nice and fairly big. How much is the rent?"

The realtor says "1,200 dollars a month. You need initial investment of 45,000."

Xiang says "That much..."

The narrator says THE RENT IS NEARLY THREE TIMES
WHAT XIANG PAID IN CHENZHAI.
WILL IT BE WORTH IT?
THE STEEP COST MAKES IT HARD TO
DECIDE WHAT TO DO.
XIANG ALSO FEELS UNEASY ABOUT
THE SURROUNDING NEIGHBOURHOOD.
THE CLOSED RESTAURANTS AND
VACANT SHOPS HAVE CAUGHT HIS
ATTENTION.
AND THERE ARE NOT MANY SHOPPERS
IN THE MALL.

Xiang says "It's a clean city, but the problem is the lack of people.
There's too much risk. I could lose my shirt if I'm not careful."

(LAUGHING)

The narrator says AT NIGHT, ONLY A FEW LIGHTS ARE
ON IN THE HUGE APARTMENT
BUILDINGS.
THE EFFORT TO RESETTLE FARMERS
IN SMALLER CITIES IS MAKING
LITTLE PROGRESS FOR NOW.
SOME REPORTS SAY THAT IN 2015,
UNSOLD APARTMENTS IN CHINA
AMOUNTED TO ENOUGH SPACE TO
HOUSE 13 MILLION PEOPLE, WITH A
CUMULATIVE TOTAL OF OVER
100 MILLION.

The caption changes to "Huang Lian Cheng village."

The narrator says XIANG CANNOT FIND WORK, EITHER
IN HIS VILLAGE OR THE NEARBY
CITY.
HIS IRRITATION AND IMPATIENCE
ARE BEGINNING TO HAVE AN IMPACT
ON HIS FAMILY.

Xiang argues with his sister and says "What you say upsets me."

His sister says "What do you mean?"

Xiang says "You are blaming us."

His sister says "Not at all."

Xiang says "I'm only in my 40s, but my hair is gray. You complain about this and that...It's really annoying."

The sister says "Don't be silly."

(music plays)

The narrator says LEFT BEHIND BY CHINA'S ECONOMIC
GROWTH, THE MIGRANT FARMERS FIND
THEMSELVES CAUGHT BETWEEN THE
GOVERNMENT'S PLAN AND REALITY.

The caption changes to "Chenzhai district."

The narrator says IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 30 YEARS
SINCE CHINESE LEADERS BEGAN
OPENING UP THEIR NATION.
MORE AND MORE MIGRANT FARMERS
ONLY KNOW THE MEGACITY LIFE.
IT'S THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST 2016.
THE DEADLINE FOR MOVING OUT OF
THE CHENZHAI DISTRICT IN
ZHENGZHOU HAS ARRIVED.
SOME MIGRANT WORKERS IN CHENZHAI
ARE STILL LINGERING IN THE CITY,
WITHOUT RETURNING TO THEIR
VILLAGES.

The caption changes to "Li Junfeng."

The narrator says LI JUNFENG IS ONE OF THEM.
HE BEGAN WORKING AS A MIGRANT
WORKER WHEN HE WAS 15, AND HAS
LIVED IN ZHENGZHOU EVER SINCE.
LI AND HIS FAMILY WANT TO REMAIN
IN ZHENGZHOU, AND ARE SEARCHING
FOR A WAY TO BECOME URBAN
RESIDENTS HERE.

Li is in his forties, clean-shaven and with short black hair. He wears cropped jeans, an orange T-shirt with a print on the front and a white beaded necklace.

(CAR HORNS HONKING)
(DOG BARKING)

Li says I don't want to leave, but there's nothing I can do about it."

The narrator says THEY MOVE TO AN OLD RENTAL
APARTMENT.
LI IS FINDING IT ESPECIALLY HARD
TO LEAVE ZHENGZHOU.
HIS FATHER HAS A BRAIN TUMOUR,
WHICH HAS PARALYZED HIS LEFT
ARM.
ONLY ZHENGZHOU HAS A HOSPITAL
WHERE HE CAN GET TREATMENT.

Li says "My father's illness is very serious. At one point, he was unable to walk."

Li's wife says "We want to protect our family."

She tears up and says "Other people may have given up. We won't abandon our father."

The narrator says BUT THERE IS A HIGH BARRIER THAT
MUST BE CLEARED BEFORE MIGRANTS
CAN BECOME URBAN CITIZENS.

An animation shows China divided between farmers and urban residents.

The narrator says SINCE CHINA'S FOUNDING, ITS
HOUSEHOLD REGISTRATION SYSTEM
HAS STRICTLY DIFFERENTIATED
FARMERS FROM URBAN RESIDENTS.
HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, SOCIAL
INSURANCE AND OTHER BENEFITS A
PERSON MAY RECEIVE DIFFER,
DEPENDING ON THE FAMILY
REGISTER.
AFTER ADOPTION OF THE REFORM AND
OPENING UP POLICY, FARMERS WERE
PERMITTED TO MOVE TO THE CITIES.
BUT, IN PRINCIPLE, THEY COULD
NOT RECEIVE THE SORT OF ADVANCED
HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION CITY
DWELLERS COULD.

Premier Li Keqiang says "We will enable farmers to benefit from basic public services such as education and healthcare. We will accelerate the granting of residence status "We will enable farmers to benefit from basic public services such as education and healthcare. We will accelerate the granting of residence status."

The narrator says UNTIL NOW, PURCHASING A HOUSE
WAS A REQUIREMENT FOR FARMERS TO
ACQUIRE URBAN RESIDENT STATUS.

An animation shows farmers located in smaller cities and in big cities.

The narrator says A SHIFT IN NATIONAL POLICY HAS
MADE IT EASIER FOR FARMERS TO
RECEIVE URBAN RESIDENT STATUS BY
JUST RENTING A HOUSE IN SMALL-
AND MEDIUM-SIZED CITIES.
GOVERNMENT LEADERS ARE TRYING TO
ENCOURAGE FARMERS TO MOVE TO
SMALLER CITIES.
EVEN SO, LI IS AIMING TO BUY AN
APARTMENT IN THE LARGE CITY OF
ZHENGZHOU, AND BECOME AN URBAN
CITIZEN.
AFTER HE WAS FORCED OUT OF THE
CHENZHAI DISTRICT, LI STARTED UP
A STREET STALL IN THE CORNER OF
A MARKET AREA.
HE WORKED AT CONSTRUCTION SITES
UNTIL FOUR YEARS AGO.
HOWEVER, WITH THE SLOWDOWN OF
THE ECONOMY, HE COULDN'T FIND
EMPLOYMENT.
SO HE STARTED THIS BUSINESS.
ONE DISH IS 75 CENTS.
HIS EARNINGS ARE HALF OF WHAT
THEY WERE WHEN HE WORKED AT
CONSTRUCTION SITES.

Li walks in his house and says "I'm home."

The narrator says LI CAN'T SAVE UP THE MONEY TO
PURCHASE AN APARTMENT.
Li says "Today I made only 25. I couldn't sell everything."

The narrator says ANOTHER REASON LI PERSISTS IN
HIS EFFORTS TO GET THE URBAN
RESIDENCY PERMIT IS HIS
DAUGHTER'S EDUCATION.
SHE WILL ENTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
IN SEPTEMBER.
LI WANTS TO LIBERATE HIS
DAUGHTER FROM THE UNCERTAIN LIFE
OF A FARMER, BY LETTING HER
STUDY AT A SCHOOL WHERE THE
LEVEL OF EDUCATION IS HIGH.

Li's wife says "We were unable to receive an education. We'd be proud if she went to university."

Li says on the phone "I need documents like an ID card."

The narrator says says TODAY, LI IS BUSY GATHERING THE
DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR HIS
DAUGHTER TO ENROL IN THE SCHOOL.
FARMERS MUST SUBMIT VARIOUS
DOCUMENTS, SUCH AS CERTIFICATES
OF EMPLOYMENT, AND RESIDENCE, IN
ORDER FOR THEIR CHILDREN TO
ATTEND A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE
CITY.

At the registration desk, a man says "You need a copy of your ID card."

The narrator says IN ADDITION, LI MUST COVER OTHER
EXPENSES APART FROM TUITION,
SUCH AS A DONATION TO THE
SCHOOL.
(SPEAKING CHINESE)
BUT PRIORITY FOR ENROLMENT IS
GIVEN TO URBAN RESIDENTS.
CHILDREN OF FARMERS ARE
SOMETIMES REFUSED ADMISSION.

Li's wife says "What if she doesn't get in?"

Li says "We'll be in a fix then."

Li's wife says "Tell the officials our daughter really wants to study! It's irritating talking with you."

The narrator says IN AUGUST, NEWS OF A GOVERNMENT
ANNOUNCEMENT FLASHED,
ENCOURAGING FARMERS TO MOVE.
IN CHINA, VILLAGE COLLECTIVES
OWN FARMLAND.
ONLY THE RIGHT TO USE THE LAND
IS GRANTED TO FARMERS.
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE
FOUNDING OF THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA, THE RIGHT TO
USE LAND CAN BE BOUGHT AND SOLD,
AND USED AS COLLATERAL TO GET
LOANS.
THE GOVERNMENT IS ENCOURAGING
FARMERS TO RELY ON THIS TO BUY
URBAN HOMES, WHICH WILL SPUR
CONSUMPTION AND LEAD TO ECONOMIC
GROWTH.
HOWEVER, THERE ARE RISKS FOR
FARMERS OF LOSING THEIR LAND IF
THEY DO NOT PAY BACK THEIR
LOANS.
HEARING THIS NEWS, LI HURRIES
BACK TO HIS HOME VILLAGE,
ZHAOYING.
IT IS LOCATED 150 KILOMETRES
NORTHEAST OF THE CITY OF
ZHENGZHOU.
HERE, LI'S ANCESTORS HAVE
CULTIVATED WHEAT AND CORN FOR
GENERATIONS.
LI IS THINKING OF USING HIS LAND
USAGE RIGHTS AS COLLATERAL TO
BORROW MONEY, AND BUY A
RESIDENCE IN ZHENGZHOU.
HIS FATHER HAS LONG PROTECTED
THE LAND.
BUT HE GIVES HIS CONSENT.

Li's father says "It'd be a welcome gift if my grandchild could study hard in Zhengzhou. I want to buy a house for her."

Li says "It's for my daughter's school and for my father."

The narrator says LI IS VISITING A LOCAL LAND
CONSULTATION OFFICE.
HERE, THEY ARE VERIFYING THE
LOCATION AND AREA OF THE
FARMLAND, USING SATELLITE
PHOTOGRAPHS AND LAND RECORDS.
THE AREA OF LI'S LAND IS AROUND
0.5 HECTARES.
LI EXPECTS THAT IF HE USES THE
LAND AS COLLATERAL, HE'LL BE
ABLE TO GET A LOAN OF
45,000 US DOLLARS.
THAT'S THE EQUIVALENT OF AROUND
THREE YEARS' WAGES FOR HIM.

The consultant says "Please sign and put your seal here."

Li signs the papers.

The narrator says HE IS PREPARED TO LOSE THE RIGHT
TO HIS LAND IF HE IS UNABLE TO
REPAY THE LOAN.

Li says "I'll be able to get a loan now with the farmland."

(TRAFFIC AMBIENCE)

The caption changes to "Zhengzhou."

The narrator says LI BEGINS LOOKING FOR A
PROPERTY, BUT HE'S FACED WITH AN
UNEXPECTED HURDLE.

Li speaks to a woman on the street and says "I heard that you are selling apartments."

She says "They're all gone."

Li says "They're completely sold out?"

A man next to the woman says "They went fast."

The woman says "It was 45,000 dollars."

The narrator says THE ONLY THING WITHIN LI'S
FINANCIAL REACH IS A SECOND-HAND
APARTMENT BUILT MORE THAN 40
YEARS AGO.
THESE ARE JUST THE KIND OF
PROPERTIES THAT THE MIGRANT
FARMERS TRYING TO REMAIN IN
ZHENGZHOU ARE BATTLING TO SNATCH
UP.

Another woman says "They sell out very quickly around here."

Li says "I want to buy a cheap apartment, but city property prices are getting expensive. If something good comes along, I'll think about it again."

The narrator says LI'S ONLY WISH IS FOR HIS FAMILY
TO BE ABLE TO RECEIVE THE
EDUCATION AND MEDICAL CARE THAT
A BIG CITY OFFERS.

The caption changes to "Huang Lian Cheng village."

A clip shows Xiang carrying debris.

The narrator says MEANWHILE, XIANG QINGDANG HAS
BEGUN A LIFE IN HIS HOME
VILLAGE.
HE'S GIVEN UP ON HIS IDEA OF
OPENING A RESTAURANT IN A NEARBY
CITY, AND HE'S STARTED
REBUILDING HIS HOUSE IN THE
VILLAGE.

Xiang and his helpers argue with a neighbour woman.

The woman says "With this construction going on, we can't drive our car through here."

A man says "It will be all right. We'll fix it properly."

The narrator says IT WILL COST MORE THAN
15,000 US DOLLARS TO REBUILD THE
HOUSE.
THAT WILL EAT UP HIS ENTIRE
SAVINGS, EARNED OVER 30 YEARS IN
THE CITY.
(DOG BARKING)

A clip shows Xiang peeling corn cobs.

The narrator says XIANG HAS NOW BECOME PENNILESS
IN THIS VILLAGE, WHERE HE CAN'T
EARN ANY MONEY.
BUT SOMEHOW, HE LOOKS SERENE.

He says "I've got my family. If we have food, that will be enough."

The narrator says AS LONG AS THEY HAVE THIS
FARMLAND, HIS FAMILY WILL BE
ABLE TO SURVIVE.
ON THIS DAY, THE WHOLE FAMILY IS
VISITING THE GRAVES OF THEIR
ANCESTORS, IN A CORNER OF THEIR
FARMLAND.
THEY EXPRESS THEIR GRATITUDE TO
THEIR ANCESTORS FOR LEAVING THEM
THIS LAND.

The bow down and pray to their ancestors.

Xiang says "Farmers can't survive without farmland. It's so important for when we can't work in the city anymore. Farmland has always been life for us farmers. We can't sell this life to others."

The narrator says IT'S THE REALIZATION XIANG,
WHOSE LIFE IS AT THE MERCY OF
THE GOVERNMENT, HAS REACHED.

The caption changes to "Chenzhai district."

Clips show workers tearing down buildings.

The narrator says THE DISMANTLING OF THE CHENZHAI
DISTRICT HAS BEGUN.
IT HAD BEEN HOME FOR MANY
MIGRANT FARMERS.
THE MEN TEARING DOWN THE
BUILDINGS ARE THEMSELVES MIGRANT
RURAL FARMERS.
THEIR DAILY WAGE IS 30 DOLLARS.
THEY WANDER FROM ONE
REDEVELOPMENT SITE TO ANOTHER IN
THE BIG CITIES, IN ORDER TO
SUPPORT THE FAMILIES THEY'VE
LEFT BEHIND IN THEIR VILLAGES.

A worker says "Without money, our families can't eat. We can't do anything."

Another worker says "All we can do is obey government policy. There's no beating that."

The narrator says LI JUNFENG HAS A DREAM OF
RESIDING PERMANENTLY IN THE BIG
CITY.

A clip shows Li working at a food stall on the street.

A woman says "What's the taste like?"

Li says "Try one."

The narrator says NO LONGER ABLE TO OPERATE AT THE
MARKET, HE'S DRIFTED TO ANOTHER
MIGRANT FARMER'S DISTRICT.
HE'S STILL SELLING 75-CENT
DISHES.
BUT WITHIN A FEW DAYS, IT WAS
ANNOUNCED THAT THIS DISTRICT,
TOO, WOULD BE DEMOLISHED.

Li says "Society is changing too fast. We are barely getting by. I can't imagine at all what the future will bring."

Steel window frames fall from high buildings.

The narrator says THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS
COUNTING ON ITS BOLD NEW
URBANIZATION PROGRAM.
AND STRUGGLING IN THE FACE OF
THIS PLAN ARE 100 MILLION
MIGRANT FARMERS.
BUFFETED BY THE FORCES OF
CHANGE, THEY ARE CONFRONTED WITH
THE DILEMMA OVER WHAT TO DO.
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS
PURSUING AN EPIC EXPERIMENT.
THE FATE OF THE GREAT DRAGON
WILL DEPEND ON ITS OUTCOME.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Produced by NHK.

Copyright, NHK.

Watch: Ep. 4 - Exodus of 100 Million Farmers