(Doug Saunders/The Globe and Mail)
The “ant tribe” consists of an estimated 100,000 people living in below-grade, illegal apartments beneath the courtyards and shopping streets of Beijing. They are not low wage workers and have the salaries, possessions, interests and educations of people comfortably in the middle class but most do not have a non-Beijing household-registration permit – a document known as a hukou that traditionally stays with you for life. Without legal hukou people born outside of Beijing and their offspring, wherever they’re born, are denied access to any of Beijing’s public services, including education.
This article tells the story of the Xie family who live in a damp, dark, tiny apartment underground to secure a better future for their children.
Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail