Latest Issue

China café

The government loses a ton of money on my village—but it’s unwilling to devolve authority

By Mark Kitto   December 2009

Something big almost happened. It would have changed Moganshan, possibly for the worse, more likely for the better. Control of the area was nearly passed from the Zhejiang provincial government to the county officials based in Wukang, our local town.

From 1949, the provincial government has treated Moganshan as a retreat for party officials, with hoi polloi increasingly allowed to enjoy the place. It is rare now that the roads are sealed off and hotels closed to the public for a top official. But despite large numbers of tourists, the village is locked up tight. Buying property is impossible…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect