Assignment Asia Episode 42: China’s ‘Vanishing’ Villages

As China’s economic growth lures more and more people to cities, many of its ancient villages are losing their occupants and are now almost deserted. What future awaits these communities, which are considered cradles of traditional Chinese culture and heritage?

In Shanxi province, a village that used to have more than 300 residents today has only 17. Natural disasters and economic opportunities caused many villagers to leave, and only their elders stayed. Ryan Chua visited Dachang village, which has been in existence for more than a thousand years, and gives us a look at life in a community that’s at risk of vanishing.

Once abandoned, village houses end up in a state of disrepair — if they don’t crumble to pieces. But at a 300-year-old village in Henan province, a group of volunteers has stepped in to stop that from happening. CCTV’s Yang Zhao spoke with the architects and designers who are restoring village houses and reviving a dying countryside.

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