Historically there’s been great tension in China between the rural areas and the richer, urban (coastal) regions. That’s true in most any country, but it’s been a particular sore spot for China. When the city dwellers get to big for their britches, the peasant-based army comes in to put them down.

That’s the reason why, during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the Beijing-based 38th Army failed to restore order. And why other armies were brought in from the sticks to do the actual shooting.

That’s what I thought of when I caught an Ann Althouse bit via Glenn. From the original NYT report:

China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come.

The government, often by fiat, is replacing small rural homes with high-rises, paving over vast swaths of farmland and drastically altering the lives of rural dwellers. So large is the scale that the number of brand-new Chinese city dwellers will approach the total urban population of the United States — in a country already bursting with megacities.

Looks like the smart city kids figured out a solution to their problem: Outlaw the boonies.