China to demolish new skyscrapers as part of anti-corruption campaign

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China to demolish new skyscrapers as part of anti-corruption campaign
Tianjin, in northern China / Photo © Greg Baker
China to demolish new skyscrapers as part of anti-corruption campaign
Tianjin, in northern China / Photo © Greg Baker

China is reportedly planning to demolish three new high-rise buildings, including one that is 65 stories high, as part of its ongoing campaign against corruption. The residential buildings, in the northern city of Tianjin, are up to 30 floors taller than originally planned and Chinese state media said this “serious breach of planning regulations” posed a major safety risk.

It’s the latest blow to the northern Chinese city, which saw a devastating explosion at a warehouse in its port in August, killing 173 people. More than a dozen officials, including the president of the port and the head of China’s work safety administration, have been arrested in connection with alleged corruption. The warehouse that blew up was found to have been illegally storing huge quantities of sodium cyanide close to residential buildings, many of which were badly damaged in the blast.

The latest case is also reportedly linked to corruption, in what state media said was a “reminder” of the risks of collusion between corrupt officials and real estate developers — something seen as having contributed to a number of building collapses in China this year. The three apartment buildings to be demolished make up the “Waterfront Ginza” development, owned by Zhao Jin, a wealthy real estate developer arrested last year in the corruption crackdown. Zhao’s father, who is also in detention for bribery and fraud, is a former secretary general of the Communist Party Committee of Jiangsu province — and the younger Zhao is suspected of using his father’s influence and connections to build up his business. […]

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