In an effort to curb corruption and eliminate wasteful spending, the national government has banned government and Communist Party agencies from any new construction projects for the next five years. The ban seeks to eliminate wasteful projects like the massive Anhui White House or the Harbin drugs factory that looks like a royal palace.
Xinhua is calling the ban “part of an ongoing frugality campaign,” but most foreign news sources blame increased public hostility towards obviously wasteful government projects. Bloomberg reports:
“The main purpose of the call for a ban on new government buildings is largely symbolic in that these are a highly visible sign of government officials misusing public monies,” Andrew Wedeman, a political science professor […] wrote in an e-mail.
“A real assault on corruption, however, requires a much less visible, long-term effort to attack the causes of corruption, not just those involved and the visible symbols of corruption.”
The ban also forbids luxury interior design and “repair work” that also expands office compounds. With no more government buildings to design, China’s phallic-architecture industry may need to find a new line of work.
[Image via El Economista]