It has popularly been accepted that the relationships among neighbours in China are closer than their counterparts in Western societies. The socialist government of the People’s Republic of China cherishes these intimate relationships and mutual help spirit among neighbours, and put forth neighbourhood structures of Street Offices and Residents’ Committee as well as community service policies to sustain them. In this book, the author describes the traditional Chinese neighbourhood structures at different historical periods and discovered that the neighourhood structures were tightly knitted more for the purpose of control than for welfare protection of the people. The transformation into the socialist system has revitalized the neighbourhood network since 1949.
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