Chinese authorities have spooked the country’s neighbors by reviving a plan to build the world’s longest undersea tunnel that would connect China’s northeast to its eastern seaboard. The proposed tunnel would cost US$42 billion and run 124 kilometers between the cities of Dalian and Yantai. That is, if the engineers follow the plan: The announcement Thursday in state media led to Japanese and South Korean fears that the tunnel would pop up on one of their shores.
South Korea has traditionally been afraid of communists infiltrating its capitalist paradise via tunnel, especially along the border with North Korea. But now fish mongers on the island of Jeju have expressed concerns of Chinese tourists arriving by bus and dropping litter everywhere. Japan is equally frightened of the tunnel ending up on the Senkaku, or Diaoyu, islands. Rumors abound that China will use the island as a giant parking lot, despite a plan to restrict car sales.
Disney has come out and said the tunnel would infringe on several pieces of intellectual property that it owns, including the concepts of “undersea,” “under the sea” and “sea.”
But that wasn’t the only news out of China that upset the international community this week. The country has gone on a wheat-buying frenzy that could cause an imbalance in world supply. Pundits have weighed in and said the real risk was an exponential buy-up of Botox, potentially brought on by corrupt marketing practices at UK pharm firm GlaxoSmithKline. The trend could lead to a great imbalance in facial features between East and West, one hemisphere puffy and swollen, the other shriveled and just plain ugly looking.
KFC is reportedly not adding Botox to its chicken sandwiches in China, which has no doubt helped sales.
The final international incident to go down was the arrest of five Venezuela officials for the embezzlement of US$84 million from a Chinese-backed firm. The country’s new President Nicolas Maduro vowed to clamp down on corruption, bringing at least some comic relief to a relatively somber week.