People Love Glass Bridges in China

by Sam Schenerman

China has some of the strangest fads. Like the Roman Empire before it, the CCP is using bread and circuses of various kinds to curtail rebellion. This bread and circus program doubles as an infrastructure project. China is building ever-longer glass bottom bridges.

Transparency In Action

In a clear attempt to curry public favor, the Chinese Communist Party is constructing public access glass bridges. Letting the sun shine isn’t the easiest thing when pollution is rampant. However, glass is see-through, so the tourists flocking to these bridges can get plenty of Vitamin D while posing for silly pictures.

Young women pose for pictures on the glass-floor suspension bridge in Zhangjiajie in south China’s Hunan province on October 14, 2016 in Zhangjiajie, China. The 430-meter-long bridge, featuring 99 pieces of five-centimeter-thick reinforced glass as its floor, spans some 300 meter above the bottom of the Karst valley in the scenic zone. It is both the longest and the highest glass bridge in the world. (Photo by Wang He/Getty Images)

Last year, China shattered world records with the largest and tallest glass bridge in the world. It was such a smashing success that officials had to close the bridge after two weeks. It was clear to see that too many people were flocking to the bridge, so it was closed by the government. I guess their planners couldn’t foresee the popularity these bridges would have. So much for the effort put in by crack teams of damage proofers.

Reflecting Greatness?

Building large infrastructure projects is something the Chinese do well. These glass bridges are a reflection of the CCP’s drive to improve its image overseas. Large construction projects and happy Chinese citizens are used to cover up the regime’s crimes. It’s hard to see through the propaganda if a lot of it’s focused on glass bottom bridges. Cracking the veneer of Chinese greatness is made more difficult when 10,000 tourists flock to bridges made of molten sand. After all, isn’t a shiny new bridge a reflection of Chinese greatness? Or is it a transparent bid for world dominance? The answer isn’t clear.


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