News

Residents: giant, $11M copper ‘puffer’ tower is fishy

Residents: giant, $11M copper ‘puffer’ tower is fishy

SHEER SCALE: A viewing tower in the shape of a giant copper puffer fish is seen under construction on the banks of a river in Yangzhong county, Jiangsu province Sept. 21, 2013. Photo: Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese viewing tower in the shape of a giant, copper puffer fish has raised an online huff about the latest in a series of bizarre and extravagant targets of state investment.

Encased in 8,920 copper plates and built at a cost of around 70 million yuan ($11.4 million), the tower on an island in Yangzhong county, eastern Jiangsu province, hovers 15 storeys above ground.

The government has often been criticized for wasteful investment to power the world’s No. 2 economy. Beijing acknowledges the problem and wants consumption to overtake investment as a driver of growth.

Residents who welcome the fish tower say it improves the county’s image. Less enthusiastic residents question whether such expensive and impractical buildings are needed.

“To spend so much money on something so meaningless, I really admire these ‘wealthy’ people,” Mother988 said on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, with apparent heavy irony.

The People’s Daily, the Chinese government’s main mouthpiece, acknowledged that the construction had polarized opinion.

“Once this giant puffer made its appearance, it caused a heated debate online,” it said.

Public records show Jiangsu’s local government bodies are the most indebted in the country.

Jiangsu says its debt is manageable, but took steps this week to rein in risk by announcing plans to control land sales, becoming the first Chinese government to do so.

Yangzhong aims to promote the tower as the world’s biggest metal construction in terms of volume, The People’s Daily said.

Central Henan province drew controversy in 2011 when a state-backed charity tried to build an eight-storey sculpture of Song Qingling, second wife of modern China’s founding father Sun Yat Sen. Construction was scrapped half-way through.

The eastern province of Zhejiang also came under the spotlight after it modeled one of its city court houses on Capitol Hill.($1 = 6.1 yuan)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Teenager Charged with Homicide in Troy Man’s Death

GENERIC ARREST

Maine state police say they've charged a 16-year-old boy with murder in the death of a Troy man last month.

in Local

Maine House Backs Bill to Block Future Keno Plans

keno

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) The Maine House is supporting a bill that would prevent Gov. Paul LePage’s administration from introducing keno…

in Local

Maine House GOP Leader Proposes Overhaul of Energy Office

GENERIC VOTING

A bill backed by the top Republican in the House and Gov. Paul LePage would create a Maine energy commissioner and give the governor the power to nominate the head of an independent agency that helps residents cut their energy bills.

in Local

Maine School Faculty Favors New Optional Pledge Proposal

GENERIC AMERICAN FLAG

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Faculty members at a Maine high school say they agree with a student proposal that…

in Local

Maine Gov. LePage Vetoes First 3 Bills of His 2nd Term

governorlepage

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a handful of bills that deal with taxes in Maine.…

Tweets

  • 6h
  • 7h
  • 8h
  • 8h
  • 11h
  • 13h
  • 15h