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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…

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