When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

NANFANG DAILY (China), GUCHENG.COM (China)

Worldcrunch

GUANGZHOU - For a country like China, founded on the precepts of fairness and justice, where the proletariat are supposedly the masters, this wasn't supposed to happen.

Thanks to photographs posted this week by a Chinese blogger, we see the space under a viaduct in Guangzhou city covered with sharp protruding mini concrete pyramids. The nasty-looking teeth-like cones are 10 centimeters high and cover the whole area underneath the elevated road.

Obviously they have been put there so those on the margins of society give no thought to congregating there, even if some manage to sleep in a narrow place nearby: see photo below.

After the news was disclosed it immediately spread across China and caused a public firestorm. The majority of people are appalled at the inhumanity of the Guangzhou authorities as well as their contempt for basic human rights. One blogger asked: "If the authority has the time to do such things, why can't it use the energy and money in helping these people instead?" Gucheng.com reported that another commentator added: "Who gives you the right of using tax-payers' money to make life difficult for people?"

After days of public indignation, the Guangzhou Municipal Construction Committee's official finally admitted that the cement cones in several locations of Guangzhou were put there 10 years ago. Originally they were indeed intended "to prevent tramps from living there", according to the Nanfang Daily.

According to many bloggers who responded to the incident, many other Chinese cities apart from Guangzhou use the same "eyesores', as many put it, to fend off the destitute.

Like those all over the world, China's major cities are full of the impoverished. Often they are migrants who come from the rural areas, and end up stranded on the streets without being able to find any work. The Chinese authorities used to implement an administrative procedure of forced custody and repatriation. They detained people who didn't have a residence permit (the hukou) or a temporary living permit and returned them to where they could legally live or work. The regulation was abolished in 2003 under public pressure after a poor chap called Sun Zhigang was beaten to death while in custody because he happened not to have the right papers on him when searched.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Russia

How The War In Ukraine Could Overturn Everyone's Plans For The Arctic

Russia owns 60% of Arctic coastline and half of the region's population. In recent history, NATO has not been overly concerned with the defense of the Arctic region because the U.S. military has been focused on the Middle East. This is all changing since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Photo of employees walking through frozen installations at the Utrenneye field in Murmansk Region, Russia.

At the Utrenneye field in Murmansk Region, Russia.

Kateryna Mola

-Analysis-

KYIV — As important as the Arctic is for studying climate control and ecology, various states have eyes on it for another reason: resources. Climate change has made the Arctic more accessible for mining, and much of that area is in the Russian Arctic. In order to exploit these potential natural resources, Russia turned to foreign investors and foreign technology, from both the West and China. The war in Ukraine is throwing all of that into question.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine will have a profoundly devastating impact on the development of Russian Arctic infrastructure, as well as shipping routes through the Arctic. Western companies have left or are about to leave the market, and counter-sanctions threaten those who still cooperate with the Russians.

Given that Russia does not produce the sophisticated equipment to operate in such a complex region and soon will not even be able to repair the equipment it possesses, we can expect Russia's activity in the Arctic to slow down.

Yet, Vladimir Putin has continued to emphasize the Arctic as a priority region, and extended invitations to cooperate to both India and China.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest

InterNations