In China's mad scramble to develop, its cities are rising at an astonishing rate. That's the good news. The bad news is that they're already falling apart. China's rush toward Western-style development has not brought with it a commensurate culture of quality. Too often, the new structures that look so impressive from a moving car are breathtakingly slapdash up close. Beneath their glitzy veneers of granite, marble and tile, China's buildings are literally rotten at the core. Even important public works such as civic parks, freeways and bridges seem hurriedly thrown together, as if only to impress foreigners in distant postcard views. Rampant corruption among government officials isn't helping matters–at least one new highway bridge collapsed shortly after completion because inspe...
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