In the late 1990s, the entire population of the Aksay Kazakh Autonomous County in Gansu, China, was resettled to the newly built town of Hongliuwan. About one-third of Aksay’s Kazakh population had already left before the resettlement started, migrating predominantly to Kazakhstan. In order to keep the favourable status of an Autonomous County, the remaining Kazakhs had to be persuaded to stay. This paper argues that by building the new town, the Chinese state has considerably shaped its citizen’s decision-making process regarding migration. The state has offered appealing options regarding financial safety and a modern lifestyle, so that most Kazakhs in Hongliuwan would see no reason to leave anymore. This case presents an example of how the Chinese state impacts the decisions of its citizens by manifesting itself in an urban context.
Inner Asia – Brill
Published: May 5, 2016