ghost cities, take 2

The foreign media never seems to tire of their latest buzz word about China, regardless of its truth. I mean why worry about the truth when you’re onto a good buzz word? Hey if enough people believe it, it might contribute to world racism, global economy downturn led by Chinese economy downturn….

I recently read another take on the sadly overused phrase ‘ghost town’. Someone made a big deal about Chinese real estate companies using ‘foreign faces’ to sell their apartment blocks. The use of foreign faces in advertising in China is actually nothing new – been around for ages. Not much different from western advertising companies displaying beautiful skinny women in not much clothing arranged across cars, makeup, dresses.. you name it. (Not that that is a good thing either….)

Only trouble is, in the article I recently read, the western media take on this advertising gimmick,  – tasteless as it might be – is that the foreign faces are “needed” because the apartment blocks are “empty” because these new towns are “ghost cities”.

Pity the writers of this type of article havent read Wade Shephard’s book. He describes, quite humourously really, the number of times he has visited places dubbed as “ghost cities” by the western media, to find the place bustling with life. He describes the besmused and suprised remarks of the locals in coffee shops, teahouses, resturants, and bars when told that their town has been called a “ghost city”.

With that in mind, its hard to take this kind of article seriously.

Here’s the New York times article

Take it with a grain of salt. The Chinese don’t understand why foreigners label new developments ‘ghost cities’ when they are still in building mode. To the Chinese, the new developments boost the economy.

New ‘cluster’ developments are already driving economic growth.

Here’s another perspective

The new developments, of course, have their down side, but that’s another story. The question remains, why does the Western Media continually use a phrase to indicate stagnancy when there is really substantial economic growth in China from the new development areas?

In whose interests is the use of this misleading term ?