It’s crazy when you look at how quickly cities within the delta are expanding, and the rate at which the transport system is being built. Shenzhen opened 5 new MTR line extensions last month. Five! And when you review the proposed system by 2020 it’s just insaine!
Guangzhou just opened its MTR line to Foshan. It takes the best part of an hour to run its length, and barely anyone gets on at the stations in between the two cities. So who is this for? The highspeed line down toward Zhuhai and Macau will open soon, so this line isn’t just a cheap way of travelling between the cities. I haven’t been above ground to check, but I’d like to bet that there isn’t substantial development. It would seem this line has been constructed with the future in mind… the Mega-City.
Is the idea to move industry away from Guangzhou? Already factories are moving inland and up the coast to areas of cheaper labour (and less stringent management of health and safety). So will Foshan be the future hub of factories which remain in the Guangzhou region, as the city pushes its economy into a more tertiary environment?
The speed of development and size of these subway networks rivals anything found elsewhere in the world. This is a country which could be classed as 3rd world within some rural areas, and yet its subway systems within its cities are substantially better than most found in the majority of 1st world countries. If only people learnt that in order to get onto the train they need to first let people off it would be almost perfect!
It seems that my Cantonese learning is more of a cultural experience in general. One which has started to take me outside of Hong Kong and into Canton. As such, I’m producing posts like this which kind of deviate away from the reason I originally created this blog, however, my interest in Chinese culture is the reason I am learning, so this has become more of a journey in a way and I’m no longer just learning a language, I’m learning a way of thinking.