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在线翻译:
szdaily -> China
Essay on Beijing migrants’ plight fuels online debate
    2017-August-2  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

A SHARPLY worded essay by an obscure Chinese author on the plight of Beijing’s migrants has stirred intense online debate over its polemical style.

The essay, titled, “Beijing has 20 million people who are faking lives,” by Zhang Wumao, the pen name used by Zhang Guochen, who is from the northwestern province of Shaanxi, went viral after being posted on his WeChat account July 23.

It highlighted the tension between “old Beijingers,” or those with “hukou” — household registrations in the capital, who can own multiple homes, and migrants kept off the property ladder by sky-high prices.

“Beijing is a tumor, no one can control its growth,” Zhang wrote, describing the speed of the city’s expansion.

Some commentators applauded the essay’s sharp critique of Beijing and its portrayal of the migrants’ plight, but others derided it as “click-bait,” calling it exaggerated.

Hundreds of commentators responded to Zhang’s article with essays carrying titles such as “Beijing has 20 million people living real lives” and “Beijingers need a great big hug.”

In a commentary last week, the People’s Daily said Zhang wrote “fantastically” to stir up emotion and pointed to the numbers that continue to flock to Beijing, despite high living costs.

On the day the commentary was published, Zhang, who is in his mid-30s, appeared to distance himself from the essay, telling the respected Economic Observer that readers had misunderstood what he meant by “fake” lives and that the essay had lots of holes.

Zhang told the newspaper he meant the term “fake” to humorously describe the differences between lifestyles in small cities and Beijing.

(SD-Agencies)

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