Thursday, June 28, 2007

National Television Turns to Online Forum for Revealing Extravagant Government Buildings

From top to bottom: a city government building in Zhejiang; government building of a poor county in Shanxi; government building of a small town

In a post titled “You are a citizen, but also a journalist,” the popular online public forum asks visitors to contribute photos of extravagant government buildings around them. The post says the China Central Television is calling for these photos to prepare for a program revealing how local governments waste tax dollars for lavish structures.

Nearly 100 pictures of such structures from all over China, provincial capitals as well as impoverished rural towns, have been posted by the public. Some of the buildings are shockingly huge and splendid, especially when they appear in a small city or town that is not economically advanced. Most of these buildings violated construction and spending limits set for official buildings.

Along with the photos are people’s harsh criticisms of government’s lavish spending of public money. One poster lashed out at the waste by composing a poem, and some of the lines read:

Using people’s money, constructing official building
Minding government’s face, forgetting people’s coldness

The more extravagant official building, the less affordable public housing

Officials laugh happily, the public frowns in grief
Corruption and waste uncontainable, how can people’s life not be difficult!

In April, The central government banned extravagant governmental structures, including office buildings, governmental hotels and entertainment facilities, and requested local governments to voluntarily report their own extravagance.

The deadline for self-revealing was June 20, but cover-up by local officials was suspected. Calling for revealing by the public via the Internet could be a powerful antidote to officials’ concealing efforts.

For more pictures and public comments

Central government’s ban on extravagant official buildings


Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is not some kind of competition going on among China's architects to find how who can design the ugliest government building

hari deepak said...

but that is capitalism getting richer poor getting poorer...but at least some people in china are getting ultra rich...and these people are changing the perception of what the world thinks about china...and it is not just china....take any other fast growing economy in the world...similar occurrences happen...

All i am trying to say is that the occurrences are not necessarily negative....

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