“Tofu Buildings”

Doufu Jianzhu or Doufu Zhengfu?

Doufu is the Chinese word for Tofu. It is sometimes used metaphorically to describe something that, like tofu, looks strong and hard on the outside, but is soft and weak on the inside. Following the huge earthquake in Sichuan and the subsequent collapse of so many shoddily built schools killing thousands of school children and students, the local press in China has been labelling the schools, Tofu buildings (doufuzha gongcheng). The actual meaning implies a complete botch job, combined with official graft.

With the expression doufuzha gongcheng flying all over the Chinese media, it now seems that the government has had enough of this open criticism and is reining in the local press, most likely because the truth hurts. In the people’s minds there is no doubt that official squeeze in collusion with business interests led to those poorly constructed state schools. The extent of the repercussions of local party corruption for the Chinese Communist Party as a whole will be known much further down the line. For now it is a case of damage limitation.

If you can read Chinese, here is an interesting link confirming what I have said above:南方周末 – 【学校之殇】建设部专家认定聚源中学是问题建筑——聚源中学倒塌悲剧调查

It now appears that the above article has been removed from the web. I wonder why????????????

One Response to ““Tofu Buildings””

  1. […] Speaking about the relocation of those residents: there are already indications that the compensation being offered to owners and dwellers to move out of their homes and businesses is inadequate. The authorities claim they can relocate to new buildings in the centre. However, there are fears that they will be forced to leave and live in new featureless and shoddily- built apartments on the outskirts; as has happened in all historic cities that have bitten the dust in China’s recent modernisation. What’s more, given the overall quality, or lack of it, of  this type of apartments, they are quite likely to fall down in the event of an earthquake (see dofu jianzhu). […]

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