Rising Fast


On July 21, 2012, Beijing was hit with what state media called the most severe rains in more than 60 years. At least 37 people died in floods that crippled the city, according to official numbers up to July 26, 2012 — but Chinese on social media argued that the real death toll was much higher. Harsh criticism turned on the insufficient attention to basic infrastructure in the city under rapid development. In this cartoon by Will Luo (罗杰), published in the July 25 edition of China’s official English-language China Daily, two construction contractors are shown at work with their “Beijing city planning” blueprints. In the initial long view at left, a large skyscraper is visible above ground, and the assistant holding a black umbrella says: “It’s gone up really fast!” In the second close-up view, at right, it becomes clear the two men are up to their waists in rainwater, and the assistant clarifies his statement: “I mean, the flood waters are coming up really fast.”

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