People Call Them “Corruption Buildings” – Li Xinde

From Yulun Jiandu, translated by CDT:

When you walk through Yingkoudao of Tanggu District in Tianjin, you will be awed by the high-rise government office buildings of the district. They are probably the only buildings that can compete with other places in terms of wow-inspiration. They are the pride of Tanggu, and also its shame at the same time. Pride comes from the collective wisdom that was put into the “Twin Towers.” The shame is that they exhausted state funds and people’s energy, for this pile of blood and sweat.

The height and long flight of stairs are indeed awe-inspiring. No wonder that people all are proactive in sending their children to take exams to become a civil servant.

Entering the buildings, you will see four elevators and two electro-sensor escalators. Looking around in the lobbies you will find top-notch, modern facilities and d√©cor, gym, bowling, shuffle boards, chess and cards, golf, bath tubs and swimming pool, etc. What a heaven-and-earth contrast with the cave guerilla war zone in Yan’an.

Yes, government buildings should take into account human needs and make people comfortable. But not to make people feel aloof and unreachable.

Now, people call these towers “ buildings,” which I think right to the point. I hope the name will arouse the awareness of government officials. I want to ask, when the buildings were blue printed, did the public or real people’s delegates attended the deliberation? When the buildings were completed, did the government report to the public?

The people may not be as knowledgeable as the officials or sing poems as fluently as cadres do. But average Joes know how to live an economical life and treasure the grain. Officials are supposed to be the gatekeepers of social wealth, not ones that squander the public finds.

Let’s also think about how many people are squeezed in crammed housing in Tanggu. They see the people building the towers and the city, but not a chance for the people to benefit from the urbanization. The money that was spent on the “corruption buildings” are enough to better feed and clothes the poor. [Full Text in Chinese]

See pictures here

August 27, 2006, 12:01 PM
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