Guest Post: Chongqing - The Largest Construction Site In The World

Tyler Durden's picture

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eigenvalue's picture

They are creating ghost cities and town for future Hollywood zombie movies. 

Fish Gone Bad's picture

China is such a society of corner cutters.  Anyone remember the melamine problem?  Killed a bunch of kids, poisoned pets, etc.  There was some guy in China who made a stink about the poisonings, so he is in jail.

Does anyone think all the lead in Chinese products went away?

At one time, China really was all that, but those days are long gone.  If China is supposed to be the world's role model, then we are in for a great deal more bad behavior.

AnAnonymous's picture

China is such a society of corner cutters.  Anyone remember the melamine problem?  Killed a bunch of kids, poisoned pets, etc.  There was some guy in China who made a stink about the poisonings, so he is in jail.

 

Actually, some german firms were behind the curtains in this story.

GoldmanSux's picture

Is there a new sovereign man? What the fuck? Is it a conglomeration? A franchise? Where's Simon Black? Has he been sacked? Has he appointed a vice president? Is there a Simon Black? I bet Simon Black is a lawyer who processes foreign visas for a fee.

Tsukato's picture

This guy is a fucking idiot. I live here in CQ. Nobody is tearing down good buildings and roads to build new ones. Yeah, they are putting new, and better  sidewalks in the nicer parts of town like where I live, but the old ones looked like hell. Also, there are over 500 foreign companies moving here in the next 5 years. Simon and this guy should quit conning people. Its as big a shit as him talking about Guangzhou station being a ghost station. GZ, Shenzhen, and Dongguan will merge into one megalopolis in the next 10 yrs or so, and this is just forward planning, by building it south of GZ. Too bad American leadership has no foresight. Fuck these idiots.

Peak Everything's picture

Very nice to hear a different perspective. Thank you.

Tsukato's picture

You fucking uninformed, back biting little cunt. What the fuck do you know about anything. You probably think those scarey Chi-coms are comin to take yer land and bitches, and yer gonna fight them off with a hunting rifle. Idiot! Learn sthg before you open your stupid fuckin piehole!

The Real Fake Economy's picture

Thank You for setting them straight Tsukato.  I'm also personally tired of people who have personally never stepped foot into China or who are obviously not from the regions they write about (as per author who is staying at hotel next to a construction site) 

Please forgive China for being forward thinking and laying the groundwork and infrastructure for decades to come.  Americans (wall street) have gotten too used to the idea that if this investment doesn't make me money tomorrow, then what good is it?  There's a reason China works in 5 year plans.  They set the bar high with every plan only to fall short, but I suspect they set these high bars so they can achieve what they truly would like.  This newest 5 year plan, no fucking way they achieve even 60% of it, but perhaps that's the real goal?  Who really knows?  

No one complains about forward thinking bills like the New Deal, the GI Bill, the boom in suburban housing construction, University/College construction following WW2 in America because it yielded good results for America for the better part of 40 years.  Of course we now see that so many Universities only created a true bubble of super high tuition costs, dumbing down of the system, schools not producing truly educated people, a glut of educational debt which may or may not ever be paid off - all because Americans were made to believe that a college degree entitles you to a cushy, high paying, white collar job.  

Trust me, China is not and will not make that same mistake.  China's education is super competitive for a reason - they know they won't be able to put everyone in cushy, high paying, white collar jobs like America thought they could.  You either go to a top 10 Chinese school, a top international school or you come back and you earn your living (and are fucking happy and grateful about it,) not handed it, like it's some sort of birthright.   

 

Is China corrupt in some ways?  Sure, but name me a country in either the civilized or uncivilized world that isn't.  Is the real estate market perhaps a little heated at the moment?  Perhaps, but would I bet it "pops" even in the next 5 years?  I wouldn't count on it.  

 

So while America's politicians continue to waste taxpayers money arguing about debt ceilings, left vs right, blue vs red, liberal vs conservative...forgive China's politburo for simply taking action that they see will benefit the greatest number of Chinese people in the long term.  

 

ps - this author doesn't even mention Chongqing's rail connecting them to Germany cutting maritime export in half.  what a joke!  any wonder why China's willing to bail out any European country in dire straits?  It's called an IOU, and China will just come back later to collect bitches!

TruthInSunshine's picture

Tsukato,

I've been to China over a dozen times, so I don't have the benefit of living there as you do, but are you static, or do you travel to different provinces?

I agree with you that there's much misinformation and disinformation about China, spread by those who are ignorant, and also by those who have ulterior motives.

Much of what the Chinese are doing makes sense, but quite a bit of it is clearly born out of desperation, also, in an attempt to keep employment rates as stable as possible. Is the latter an intelligent use of resources, including China's cash surplus? I will defer to history on that.

But let's call a spade a spade on some other issues.

1)  As corrupt and opaque the U.S. Government has become, and also the non-Federal Reserve Bank, the Chinese Central Politboro is at least as bad, and IMO, far worse (as hard as that is to comprehend).

2) As bad as graft and bribes and legal and illegal payoffs for political favoritism is in the United States, it's far worse in China (even with far more severe penalties if caught - something, to be perfectly honest with you, I don't understand; Why do Chinese take such risks?).

3) Shoddy and too quick construction poses real safety and infrastructure problems in many (not all) Chinese Provinces. I have witnessed this first hand in a new development zone under construction near the North Korean border, and without getting into elaborate detail, it was shocking to see how construction crews were operating in terms of lack of safety, lack of proper methods (I know something about construction), and the reckless pace of the projects I saw being undertaken (I talking about not incredibly deficient concrete being poured, not even letting foundations cure properly, lack of proper forms, and even using the exact opposite base material that should have been used underneath roads). It's hard to get much data out of China, but there are lots and lots of road failures there, especially where sand was used as base over clay, for example, before additional layers of base materials were added and compacted (road literally have slid off the ground).

4) Pollution that was so horrific, it not only affected human health, but it literally caused problems in electrical conduit (there was sulfur induced corrosion in electrical wiring and components on commercial construction projects that I set foot on) and sanitary sewer infrastructure (a first time thing for me to actually see).

5) This is more of a cultural thing, but no matter how clear documents were, and no matter how many assurances or how agreeable Chinese 'partners' were to terms that were clearly defined and agreed upon, it was just completely common and with absolute ease to see them deny core, fundamental agreements routinely.

6) In or near some of the new development zones, like Changchun, the disparity between the old and the new, the wealthy and the poor, was incredible, but this is somewhat off topic, and to be perfectly honest, this uneven development was due to the fact that Changchun, at least when I was there, was just starting to be aggressively developed (as an auto parts production development zone). Also, there's great disparity in many parts of urban America, with mere miles separating rich and poor (but the poverty I saw while being driven along the roads of Changchun was incredible to absorb, even for me, with literal dirt floor shacks standing in between two new office towers, for example).

7) This is back on point: This is just my opinion, but much of the non-industrial construction that I saw, such as massive apartment buildings (I am talking complexes of buildings that had 1000 apartments each in them, and there were three dozen of these being built in a cluster, was clearly being done to provide jobs and book GDP growth figures for the central planners, as these apartments were literally in the middle of nowhere, and it would take decades for them to draw occupancy, because they were way further from any development zone that was actually in real progress, and too far for factory workers to travel from a daily commute standpoint (I saw housing for workers built on the outskirts, close by, to the factories and development zones).

The only problems I experienced in China, to be fair, were the pollution, which on some days in Beijing and even Shanghai, caused my eyes to burn, and my unfamiliarity with the food (I know it's a stereotype, but there is no way that what I was told beef or chicken was really beef or chicken - not a chance in hell - and these were the better restaurants I was eating at, including some that were inside the best hotels). I did also see very sloppy construction methods and materials being used in many of the development zones, but there were some others that were as well constructed as any I've seen anywhere else in the world, so maybe it was a regional thing having to do with local codes and standards, or enforcement of those standards.

China is very hard to comprehend from a western mindset. It's very difficult for an American like me to feel comfortable there, not because there's anything sinister about the Chinese People, but because I don't think I've ever been to a country where the approach to day to day living, the concept of time, and the attitude of the individual regarding fate versus free will could be more different. This is not a moralistic judgment, but just a reflection on the cultural differences I perceived.

Chinese are very industrious, seem to accept their fate with very little complaining, and are almost in a zone all the time, focusing on whatever immediate task is at hand. The only time I saw native Chinese in China appear to relax was in the wealthy sections of Shanghai - which were becoming very westernized -, at a few tourist attractions, or at places of spiritual reflection.

As to the issues this article speaks to, I do not have the answer as to whether the author is more right than wrong, but I tend to agree with much of his observations, but you live there and do not, so maybe it's because of the different way by which Westerners and Chinese filter things, or there sense of perception (we are very linear in our thinking, but short term, and I believe the Chinese to be much more circular and long term, by contrast).

I hope I didn't offend you with any of my admittedly but unintentionally biased perceptions and observations, nor the conclusions I draw from them. I think much of the tension between China and Westerners when topics of discussion like this arise are based on vast gaps in our approaches to life, and general cultural and philosophical differences.

Final thought, and I will not sugar coat this: America causes much havoc, with very damaging (and many senseless) wars and foreign intervention, and we are hypocritical by holding out notions of freedom, democracy and individual liberty (and human rights), while we suppress many of these things in other parts of the world when it suits our economic or political agenda.

But the Chinese Government scares me in the sense that they treat any notion of freedom or individualism with such contempt, and they dole out such harsh punishment for things that we Americans can still rightfully claim we can do, relatively unfettered, and without the government sanctioning us, let alone imprisoning or executing us (though we've lost ground on privacy rights and other constitutional rights, and it appears a slippery slope in now in place, unfortunately for us).

Tsukato's picture

Hi T.I.S,

I will try to answer as well as possible, but I really am no sinologist, just know what I experience first hand.

Actually, I live here in CQ full time, as my wife is Chinese, and we have kids. I do however get around a lot, and have friends, and have been in Jilin in Songyuan, and Changchun. Actually a friend of mine whole is a representative of the area in the peoples congess, introduced me to his friend who is the GM of the VW factory up in CC.

Much of what the Chinese are doing makes sense, but quite a bit of it is clearly born out of desperation, also, in an attempt to keep employment rates as stable as possible

You're right about that. The party's support comes from the countryside. Gotta keep the peasents as happy ass possible. The middle class dont matter so much, and the poor hate them.

2) As bad as graft and bribes and legal and illegal payoffs for political favoritism is in the United States, it's far worse in China (even with far more severe penalties if caught - something, to be perfectly honest with you, I don't understand; Why do Chinese take such risks?).

I don't know if its much worse than the US, but the Chinese view is that its an acceptable  risk for the possible gains. Also, with enough money, you can buy your way out of nearly anything here.

3. You're right. Can't explain it other than absolute greed.

4. Pollution- CQ and Chengdu, where I spend most of my time, don't seem nearly as bad as L.A. or Nagoya, Japan, where I used to live.

5. You are right. Don't get me wrong by my postings. The Chinese will fuck over anyone not in their nuclear family. You cannot trust them whatsoever. The trick is to understand them, and play their game. Once you understand them, and how they are so limited by "face", you have the upper hand.

Lastly, I agree with you about America causing ungodly amounts of misery in the world, but I too am a little worried by a world lead by China. I don't think it will be as dangerous as a world with american hegemony, but it  definately will be more competitive and corrupt. That sucks I know, but humans must learn to   adapt or perish

 

Quarky Gluon's picture

Hmm, both in the OP and your post the importance of face is emphasized in Chinese culture.  Would the Chinese government then find it a worthwhile investment to hire a disinfo agent to come on a forum like this and pretend to be writing from and defend the image of particularily important location in China? How do we know you, Tsukato, live in CQ and are not instead posting from somewhere here in America? 

qweilo's picture

Chongqing's pollution is really bad. Much worse than Los Angeles, which is the second most polluted city in America.

The middle class does matter. More and more people have ad a taste of freedom and the good life. They know what the governent is trying to do to them. I don't know how they are gonna put the genie back in the bottle.

I don't believe that Chinese can only be trusted by their family members. But family definitely comes first. The rules of engagement are just totally different with Americans and Chinese.

 

Spitzer's picture

What you see as poverty is not actually that bad. In Thailand, poor people always have a cheap decent apartment to rent for $80 a month. The cheap living costs is a good safety net.

Tsukato's picture

Boy, you hit that one on the head. In america, if someone is poor, they are completely fucked. In places like Thai, Indo, VN, and China, the poor can still have a pretty nice quality life- cheap rent, cheap restaurants, cheap alcohol. Not such a stigma for the poor in these countries. In america, if you cant afford Starbucks, there's not another cheap starbucks selling cafe for $.50

King Durian's picture

Okay, I was reading a lot of this, but this I simply just cannot let pass. I can speak with authority that you may be correct that living while poor is doable and of a decent quality life in Thailand, due to their temple system there. If you are hungry and destitute in Thailand, the Buddhist system of temples will ensure a meal for pets and humans alike. So, you are right concerning Thailand, and Indonesia is somewhat similar to that.

But China is a place where if you do not have food you STARVE. There are NO social safety nets, no salvation armies, and well the smaller the city, the better your hope of having someone give you any money on the street for that food. You starve and collapse in a shrunken heap of a previous human being if you do not have money in China. And for the poor that do manage the get by, their day-to-day existence is MUCH worse than in these other countries. My chinese friends have commented that they think the poorer Thais more live like kings than poor people- just look at the size of their house! And the way Malaysians live- whoa, get out of here- you're talking 1st world living status and thats without considering the bumiputras! So with few exceptions, the poor of China are truly among the poorest in the world in terms of living standards. No NGO's there to help you, no soup kitchen to save you.  Don't let the nouveau riche of China blind you on the way out.

Tsukato's picture

You've gotta be kidding! There are plenty of cheap alternatives to everything in China. Maybe if you are poor, you shouldn't expect to live in Shanghai, or Shenzhen. But so what. The countryside is super cheap, and people can always farm. It in no way resembles really fukt up places like India or many parts of Africa. Again, you are ill informed.

Tsukato's picture

You've gotta be kidding! There are plenty of cheap alternatives to everything in China. Maybe if you are poor, you shouldn't expect to live in Shanghai, or Shenzhen. But so what. The countryside is super cheap, and people can always farm. It in no way resembles really fukt up places like India or many parts of Africa. Again, you are ill informed.

King Durian's picture

What's the monthly salary of workers for a rural internet cafe?

What's the monthly salary of teachers in rural schools?

How much is a bowl of noodles out there?

Start talking numbers, or else this talk of "cheap" is all irrelevant.

Tsukato's picture

Haha! That Durian is such a stinky little bitch :)

Ok Durian, a wangba worker probably makes 600-800 kwai a month plus free room and board. Maybe more or less, but how the fuck would I know cuz I'm not hangin out with  fukn offspring of peasents you fucking dumbass! Noodles maybe 2-3 kwai. Not cheap enough for you einstein?

Tsukato's picture

Haha! That Durian is such a stinky little bitch :)

Ok Durian, a wangba worker probably makes 600-800 kwai a month plus free room and board. Maybe more or less, but how the fuck would I know cuz I'm not hangin out with  fukn offspring of peasents you fucking dumbass! Noodles maybe 2-3 kwai. Not cheap enough for you einstein?

King Durian's picture

precisely. you don't know the salary. because you dont know any of these people. you see china through one lense only.wangba workers do NOT get free room and board.

2-3 kuai, is only for instant noodles. and you apparently think a worker eating ramen for life is a good life. versus what they eat in thailand for 4 kuai, which is fresh food.

and 600 is generous for a salary in the country. try 400-500. teachers making 400. I guess that's enough salary for them, huh einstein?

While Thailand people would make a minimum of 1000 rmb at that same comparable job. Huh? Are you that surprised the PPI for Thai Baht is higher than the RMB? Are you so surprised that the RMB doesn't buy anything close to what it used to?

Excluding breakfast, in which you are correct 2-4 rmb gets a meal, your numbers are from 5 years ago. Try minimum 8 rmb for a decent meal now. 15 in the city. 8x3=24 24x30= 720. Whoa, so this 600 RMB isn't so generous of a salary now, is it? Is it any wonder the peasants think that peasants from another country are living the high life.

 

 

Tsukato's picture

Bullshit. In the countryside people spend 2-3 kwai for mei shien. And more importantly, who the fuk cares what they are making. These people are doing nothing. How much is a McDonalds worker making back in the states? Is that enough to live on? How about new teachers? Also, why don't you think peasants eat fresh food?! Its cheaper than processed food dumb ass. What the hell are you trying to prove? That I dont hang with peasents? You got me there. Should  I feel some sort of guilt for making a lot of money? I don't. Should I feel ashamed that life in China is becoming better than life in the US, and there is much more opportunity? I don't. Should I feel bad for the american penguin because they lived beyond their means, and have an inability to adapt to a more competitive world. I don't. The smartest and the best will always adapt to contemporary situations, and come out on top. The back biting, passive agressive types with no courage, intelligence, or drive, will always sink into oblivion. That sucks for them / you, but life is tough. Quit whining for the campesinos, cuz its obvious the campesino you cry for is you.

King Durian's picture

Your contempt for the people of the countryside proves that you are most likely not an American. It more than not proves that you are a Chinese city dweller that believes themselves better than that of the countryside people, a defining trait of the urban citizen in China. I just wanted to identify that you aren't in fact American, and your response provided that nicely.

I would love to see how passive agressive and backbiting these peasants are when they have the power of the uncensored internet and a strong renminbi. Let's see how powerless these people are then. And I would love to see how you compete with these countryside folk when the renminbi equals the dollar, or the ringgit or taiwan dollar at least, when suddenly what they have in their pocket is actually worth something.  Lets see what your ability is to adapt to a competitive world will be when the renminbi itself is forced to be competitive instead of sitting in the playpen at the childcare center.

Tsukato's picture

Whoa there Mary, in your hurry to brand me a chinky. you fukt up. Of course I don't hang out with peasents. Why would I? But I have no hatred for them. The passive -agressive I was talking about was YOU,  and the majority of Americans. I'm gonna laugh my ass off when the average peasent can fly over to L.A. and fuck a blonde american chick for 100 kwai! Just deserts if you ask me. Maybe they can fuck you for 50? Bitch! 

King Durian's picture

Mmhmm, you still didnt mention what you would do when you suddenly had to be competitive because the renminbi wasn't in the playpen anymore.

Tsukato's picture

For God's sake, are you retarded!? You did notice that I live in CQ didnt you? That means I'm already competing, and winning. And, of course I'm waiting for Bernanke to force the party's hand, cuz then, I'm gonna be super rich! Perhaps I'll be able to buy some of my ex-country men and women, and use them as a kind of indentured servant type thing. Hell, I'll pimp out uni grads from back home, and get even richer! HAHAHA! Yeah, good times they are a'commin!

King Durian's picture

Well, Tsukato, we will see indeed the result when a bowl of noodles in Shanghai is the same price as a bowl of noodles in New York City.

Zone1's picture

Proof you aren't American: no American calls it uni.  Sorry.

ElvisDog's picture

I must say, Tsukato vs Durian is the ZH bitch-slap fight of the year. Yes, fucking blonde american women is the non-American male dream around the world. How much would 100 kwai be in U.S. dollars?

One advantage to being an American even in the 21st century - I'm married to a hot, blonde American woman and get to fuck her all the time.

The Real Fake Economy's picture

the best english speaking Chinese here (in China) would not know how to use slang like Tsukato, so yes I do believe him when he says he's American.  

full disclosure: every once in a while I miss fucking white American women, but the Chinese punani is too easy and fine (though they don't shave/wax here) the feeling quickly passes.  

tarsubil's picture

LOL, phishing for where he screwed up? I don't think anyone is going to help you with that.

chumbawamba's picture

Thanks for the great comment.

- Chumblez

Thomas's picture

Somebody has quite a potty mouth.

Non Passaran's picture

Thanks for posting the link.
This guy and that "laomei" (which my iPhone spellchecker corrects to "lame") seem to be true China scholars!
:-)

Tsukato's picture

Nobody said Laomei or I are China experts. We do however, live here, and our opinions are surely worth more than yours. When people like you make your sorry assed, snide, backbiting, little bitch comments about China, its like me making uniformed comments about doucheviille, alabama, or whatever other cesspool you live in. God made us with 2 ears, and 1 mouth for a reason champ.

Thomas's picture

I live in Doucheville, Alabama. The French quarter is delightful. 

moneymutt's picture

Agreed, when Vegas was tearing down everything, was it a jobs program or anticipating demand

AnAnonymous's picture

Agreed, when Vegas was tearing down everything, was it a jobs program or anticipating demand

 

When it is done by US citizens, it is different.

When US citizens do something, it is forcefully good.

For example, stealing a land that was never theirs was good.

When others try to recapture land that was theirs, it is bad.

US=good, others= bad.

This is the US world order and the US citizens nature is eternal.

Tsukato's picture

Tibet....

Haha! You probably have that dumbass sticker on your car. Ever been to Tibet? Bet not. Tibet was a lot like El Salvador. A small number of super rich families owning everything. Many tibetan people were actual slaves, owned by the rich, and treated no better than livestock. Ask some old Tibetans. When the Chinese came in, the rich split post haste with the Dalai Lama, and started bitchin and moanin, and hanging out with stars like richard gere. Only fucking retarded, half informed, american "hippies" would post "Tibet..." Get out and understand your world douchebag.

AnAnonymous's picture

Chinese are hated by US citizens on Tibet because contrary to the US, China ended slavery in Tibet.

 

US citizens love to indulge themselves in believing their own propaganda. The very fact is that the US is a nation that, while proclaiming freedom, maintained slavery. They looked over their shoulders and see that Europeans made the same. US citizens are satisfied with that. Can play the gang game and anytime questioned about their stance on slavery, tells Europeans that they did not end slavery themselves.

US looks over shoulder again and sees China in Tibet ending slavery. By Jove. No longer gang game possible, no longer sharing crime pie blame story possible.

Every time the US looks at Tibet, they are forced to admit their real history, discarding their own pampering propaganda.

 

The very idea that China ended slavery in Tibet is a disgusting thought to US citizens.

Jacks Creation's picture

What is this 'sharing crime pie blame story' of which you speak? Should it be served with cream?

Look, if you're going to Astroturf western forums I think you need to suggest to your Handlers that legibility really needs to take a higher priority in your set of achievable goals.

AnAnonymous's picture

What is this 'sharing crime pie blame story' of which you speak? Should it be served with cream?

 

What is the story? Known by all US citizens.

Do not oppose the principle. Oppose others acting the same.

So if one states that the US has done this or that, the first reaction of US citizens is to look for common ground, one (or more exactly one's group) has done the same. Many, many occurrences on this site. State the US has stolen an entire continent and poof, the reaction is that US citizens tell that others did the same or it is human nature.

That is why  US citizens are uncomfortable on Tibet. They can not play the game "you did the same" China went into Tibet and ended slavery.

 China did not act like the US on the ground on slavery. The claim that what US has done is human nature takes fully in the face the very fact that one billion people or more did not act the same. 

 

US citizens are big relativists. Every time one speaks of the US citizens vs their own US set standards, US citizens keep looking elsewhere to find rationalizations to their own doings.

Never miss. Blatant when it comes to their opposition to Muslims. The "Muslims do that too" occurs on and on.

Again, trouble with China and Tibet, they cant tell Chinese have done the same.

Fukushima Sam's picture

You're a bit obsessed with this American slavery thing.  Meanwhile, most Americans have made peace with their ancestors' past decisions and have moved on.

History is rife with closets containing skeletons.  The best we can do when we open the door is learn lessons from them, not shriek with guilt and fear and crumple into a heap of self-loathing despair.

AnAnonymous's picture

No. It just underlines that the US citizen nature is eternal. US citizens have not changed a bit since the inception of their nation.

Most 'Americans' have made peace with their ancestors' past decisions and have moved on? I suggest you read your own sentence again and again and test it, I dunno, against this forum and when it is not enough, against another forum. Do not limit yourself to virtual pools of information. Go in real life and test your thesis.

If you return a positive on that thesis, please send me your protocol. I'd gladly use it anytime I need to cook a conclusion.