Despite Surging PMIs, China's Poor Resort To Self-Immolation

Tyler Durden's picture

With China's Manufacturing PMI at cycle highs and Services PMI comfortably in expansion, everything must be ponies and unicorns among the world's most mal-invested credit-bubble-fueled populace. However, as we have pointed out, discrepancies abound in the data and now desperately sad anecdotal picture of a wretched working class in China are starting to emerge. As WantChinaTimes reports, 55-year-old Zhao Guangsheng poured flammable liquids on his body before lighting himself on fire and running into Xingtan city government's office lobby (in Hunan province). Poverty appears to be the reason for his self-immolation, aside from mental instability, as Zhao was unable to pay utility bills after being moved due to forced land acquisitions by the government.

 

As WantChinaTimes reports,

The city government of Xingtan in south China's Hunan province has confirmed rumors that a man set himself on fire outside government offices on Friday after photos of the self-immolation incident went viral on the internet.

 

Witnesses say the man, identified as Zhao Guangsheng, a 55-year-old former local boiler plant worker, poured flammable liquids on his body before lighting himself on fire and running into the city government's office lobby at around 4:30pm on Aug. 1.

 

 

 

The flames were eventually put out by security guards and Zhao was rushed to the hospital, where he reportedly sustained third-degree burns to 99% of his body.

 

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Zhao's motive for setting himself on fire appears to be linked to a combination of long-term financial desperation, family problems and emotional and psychological instability.

 

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Neighbors told reporters that Zhao and his son previously lived in public housing but were forced to vacate the property for a different government-funded community in the second half of 2013 because they were unable to pay utility bills. Sources told Xinhua that Zhao had visited the government office on multiple occasions and had applied for early retirement and low-price housing...

 

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In some of the photos online, it appeared someone had written the Chinese characters for "Land" on the ground, leading to speculation that the incident may have been related to forced land acquisitions by the government, though this has been denied by insider sources.

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This is all very depressing - and anecdotal of course - though we note that employmeht indices in the PMIs have been in contraction for 27 months. By way of finding a more jovial conclusion to this story, we thought the following clip might help... as Chinese central planners build an 'optimal' square-cornered running track...

 

Mal-investment at its best...