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)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards

Fresh
football genric image

Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine set a major college record by running for 427 yards in a driving rainstorm, scoring five touchdowns and leading the No. 23 Sooners over Kansas 44-7 Saturday.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

elvis

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Sports

USC coach confirms Josh Shaw will play vs UCLA

shaw

Cornerback Josh Shaw will play for Southern California in its rivalry showdown against UCLA, although his role hasn't been determined.

in Sports

Wizards hand Cavaliers 3rd straight loss

Washington Wizards' John Wall (2) in action during the second half of game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Indianapolis. Indiana defeated Washington 86-82.

The hustling Washington Wizards clamped down for a 91-78 win over LeBron James and the mostly flatfooted Cleveland Cavaliers.

in Sports

Judge denies sports betting in New Jersey

gavel laying

A federal judge says New Jersey cannot partially lift a prohibition on sports betting in an effort to boost the state's struggling horse racing and casino industries.

Bellingham Traffic