dispatches from the front

Category: China (Page 2 of 2)

58 killed in Shanghai’s towering inferno

Friday, 19 November 2010.

Flammable ‘energy conservation’ foam installed in building caused rapid spread of flames

Kate Devlin, chinaworker.info

A national crackdown on unsafe practises in the construction industry has been announced in the wake of a fatal fire that destroyed a 28-storey residential high-rise in the Jing’an district of Shanghai this past Monday, November 15. The death toll has risen to 58 people, with “more than 40 names” still unaccounted for according to Shanghai’s media. A major cause of the fire was the flammable energy coneservation foam packed into the buildings walls as part of a government ordered pilot scheme to reduce energy usage. Other still occupied buildings in the same district are being upgraded with the same material. Local residents in these buildings were refusing to talk to journalists, very likely on orders from the housing company. Continue reading

Hong Kong: Protests continue after Lehman Brothers collapse

Over 40,000 small savers lost heavily from banking system’s shady practises

Published in Chinaworker, May 18, 2009

On Friday 8 May, this reporter joined a victim’s rights demonstration in front of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, in Central, Hong Kong. Between 300-400 people took part initially, holding signs in Chinese and English protesting bank fraud. Signs said “Fuban Bank is a Fraud”. Several signs said “Dumb Donald Tsang Dumb” and “Stupid Donald Tsang” a reference to the unelected Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Signs also denounced the Bank of China, Wing Hang Bank, Public Bank, DBS, Dah Sing Bank, and others. The age range of the crowd was varied, but over half were over 50. As the protest continued, the size of the crowd picked up to around 1,000. There were speeches, chanting, and much rhythmic drumming and cymbals. Continue reading

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