Sunday 15 August 2021

Construction with Chinese characteristics


This is the steel bar used in the construction of a building in China. Its fragility is disturbing. In China, it’s everyone's dream to own their own home. China's real estate industry is arguably the largest in the world. The majority of Chinese people's savings are invested in their homes. But the quality of China's housing construction has always been a concern for buyers and residents alike. The Chinese refer to buildings that are of poor quality or even have serious safety problems as tofu-dreg projects.

These are just some of the tofu-dreg projects in China so far this year. The term "tofu-dreg" was first coined by former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. After he inspected the collapse of floodwalls in a southern city in 1998, the Premier angrily criticized it as a "tofu-dreg project" when asked about the cause of the failure. Since then, the term "tofu-dreg construction" has appeared frequently in all major Chinese media and has gradually become well known. 

More than two decades later, the collapse of "tofu-dreg" projects in China has not disappeared or decreased. Instead, it has become more frequent. It keeps repeating itself and eventually becomes a characteristic of China that is known by the world. 

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