China’s cities are strewn with hidden rubble fields, vast apocalyptic landscapes that terminate abruptly at the thresholds of bustling neighborhoods. The skeletons of houses show what once existed there. Onlookers say it resembles the aftermath of a bombing raid—and it does, except bombs aren’t this precise. The damage here obeys strict geometries. You can fill a wheelbarrow with what’s left of a house on this side of the road, while a house on that side stands without a scratch.
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