Yun Hai: Undressing China’s window-dressing

From Asia Times Online:

The home town of China’s party chief and president Hu Jintao in Jiangsu province has stunned China (or those who read and pay attention) and China watchers worldwide, by its lavish public works of adulation – mistakenly intended to impress Hu. The small city, where Hu spent his childhood, demolished its nearly brand-new station, completed in 2002 at a cost of 20 million yuan US$2.41 million, and it is investing 210 million yuan ($25.3 million) for a mammoth and breathtaking replacement. Necessary? Hu doesn’t think so, nor does he approve.

The plan for the new railway station – despite adamant warnings from honest party officials who heed Hu’s and his ally Premier Wen Jiabao‘s emphasis on simplicity and efficiency – is yet another case of irresponsible window-dressing construction. This case, like others, was conjured up with public funds by public officials hoping to impress President Hu and the communist powers that be. Hu was singularly unimpressed, though the station would presumably be dedicated to him, as the driver of China’s rationalized growth.

This extravagance comes at a time when China is trying to cool its overheated economy and curtail costly, unnecessary construction. Building the brand-new station flies in the face of Chinese Communist Party and central government dictates – even if it was Hu Jintao’s old home, one where he enjoyed few pleasant memories because of the persecution of his father.

Thanks to Yong Liu for providing this link through del.icio.us

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