01 October 2021

Video of the day -- "tofu-dreg" buildings (updated)

"But, but, China has all those huge cities full of modern (well, mostly rather Stalin-era-looking) high-rise buildings!"  Here's another part of the reality behind the fa├žade.  Lack of democracy or a free press means lack of accountability, which in turn means rampant corruption and incompetence.  Recall how the USSR, similarly, became notorious for shoddiness and bungling, though I don't recall hearing of things this bad.  Watch these too if you haven't already.

Update:  Here's another one, which goes a bit more into the role of corruption and lack of proper oversight.

We hear a lot about the extensive development of China's military, but I have to wonder whether the manufacturing standards of its military equipment are much better than this -- and how well, therefore, it would fare in a real war against the modern and properly-maintained forces of the US, Japan, Taiwan, and other democracies.


Blogger Mike said...

Remind me not to buy real estate in China.

01 October, 2021 03:06  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Oh. My. Gawd.
It's unbelievable. Absolutely astounding. It's like living in cities built as a movie set. Everything is for show. Can you imagine living/working in the 'shaky building' and not being able to do anything about it?


01 October, 2021 06:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mike: Not a good idea for lots of reasons.

Sixpence: A lot of it is indeed just for show. The regime is desperate to project the image of a modern, first-world country rapidly catching up with the West. And a lot of Westerners have fallen for it. The Chinese people who have to actually live in this nightmare presumably know better.

01 October, 2021 06:10  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

WTF?! Beyond incredulous.

01 October, 2021 08:03  
Anonymous The Psy of Life said...

Howdy y'all!

That's the thing, whose military has been seeing nearly continuous deployment for twenty years using every weapons system we have in combat conditions? The US and select NATO allies. Whose hasn't? Everyone else. As the WW2 Russians and many young folks have found out, it's the experience, not the size, that counts most. It's why we trump up conflicts to send in the Marines.

Infidel: Having lived in four unpleasant years in China, most Chinese people have fallen for it, too... that is, until it falls on them.


01 October, 2021 18:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ricko: It seems astounding, but it's good that these problems are coming to light. One wonders what will happen with all those skyscraper-filled cities over the next couple of decades as materials deteriorate.

Psy: Possibly so, but these videos are about building/manufacturing. As for the Chinese falling for the regime's bullshit, the internet comments shown in the videos, and the fact that expressions like "tofu-dreg" are becoming widespread, suggests that many are seeing through to the reality of the situation nowadays.

02 October, 2021 04:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: This isn't a place for long essays only tangentially related to the post topic. Get your own blog.

02 October, 2021 22:50  
Blogger NickM said...

You might find this interesting...


03 October, 2021 09:35  
Blogger Daal said...

so very sad. thanks for helping inform people about this

04 October, 2021 00:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: Thanks, I'll check it out.

Daal: I always like to bring in a bit of reality. Misconceptions about China are rife in the US.

05 October, 2021 00:37  
Anonymous Art said...

Clearly the wording selected was designed to make the presentation as dramatic as possible. The use of the word "bombs", as opposed the more typical description of controlled demolition using 'charges'. The description of people heard 'screaming' as opposed to the less alarmist 'cry out' or 'cheer'. To me it sounded like the crowd at an air show. Entertained and thrilled, not shocked or alarmed. Semantics.

But this is to be expected as the broadcast is coming from China's main rival in the area, India.

I am not saying that there isn't an issue. There are huge issues with China and the building boom, and the forms it takes in quality and debt is certainly one of them.

I am suggesting that China is a huge nation with a lot of internal resources. China has perhaps the most muscular and effective internal control mechanisms ever, they are the Stazi with full use of modern technology and scaled up thousands of times, the population is forced to accept unlimited hardship without resort to political action. Losing control of the population is the single largest risk. Everything else is secondary.

Yes, there is potential financial contagion. Anyone invested in China, or having secured loans with China, could face losses and shocks. Worse case, there will be massive economic and trade disruptions because China has become the majority world-wide supplier of manufactured goods. Western manufacturing has atrophied.

I think that the Chinese leadership will take steps to limit external disruptions. Their reputation as a reliable business partner, albeit one that limits your ability to control your company inside China and with an eye toward stealing your technology, is important to them. Likely they would rather see their population suffer than risk that. Peasant revolts they can handle. They have a harder time making foreign companies come to them.

China is a huge command economy so they have a lot of resources and mechanisms to limit and direct the pain to and away from various groups.

I think that the Chinese leadership is well insulated from all of this. Anything short of widespread mass starvation is going to disrupt their leisurely lunch and tee time. The poor endure what they must. After a time, the leadership will try a different approach. A different groups will be rewarded and burdened and luncheon and tee times will remain unchanged.

09 October, 2021 09:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Art: I moved your comment here since it seems obvious it was meant for this video, not for the dinosaur one where you posted it.

The occasional odd word choices just reflect the fact that the people involved are Indian and English is not their native language.

I don't dispute, and indeed have repeatedly emphasized, that the Chinese gangster-regime has very powerful tools to enforce obedience on its subjects. I don't expect rebellion -- under the circumstances, passive non-participation is the only viable option. My point is that China is a craptacular rat-hole even by Third World standards, rife with incompetence and corruption beyond eve what's normal for totalitarian states, and that as a result, their building standards are among the worst on the planet. Pictures don't lie.

09 October, 2021 09:21  

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