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China Puffer Fish Tower Row Blows Up Online
A viewing tower built in the shape of a giant puffer fish has caused a storm of protest on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
Encased in 8,920 copper plates and built at a cost of around 70m yuan (£7m), the building on an island in Yangzhong county in the province of Jiangsu, hovers 15 storeys above ground.
The People's Daily, the Chinese government's main mouthpiece, reported that Yangzhong aimed to promote the puffer fish as the world's biggest metal construction in terms of volume.
The tower is just the latest example of what many in the world's second largest economy believe to be costly vanity projects.
"To spend so much money on something so meaningless, I really admire these 'wealthy' people," Mother988 said, with apparent heavy irony.
Even The People's Daily acknowledged that the construction had divided opinion.
"Once this giant puffer made its appearance, it caused a heated debate online," it said.
Public records show Jiangsu's local government bodies are the most indebted in the country.
Jiangsu has said its debt is manageable, but this week announced plans to control land sales, becoming the first Chinese government to do so.
A giant vase of flowers installed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to celebrate China's National Day has also prompted furious debate after a newspaper revealed it cost 570,000 yuan (£57,000).
The pot, topped with huge fake flowers and imitation peaches, is 13m high and 11m in diameter.
The state-run Beijing Youth Daily said that the display cost 8,000 yuan more than the previous year's installation.
"Who permitted spending taxpayer's money in this way?" one user of Sina Weibo wrote.
Another wrote: "570,000! That money could be put to much better use."
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to reduce government waste, introducing a ban on new government buildings and guidelines for banquets since coming to power.
Central Henan province drew controversy in 2011 when a state-backed charity tried to build an eight-storey sculpture of Song Qingling, the second wife of modern China's founding father Sun Yat Sen - but the building was scrapped half-way through.
The eastern province of Zhejiang also came under the spotlight after it modelled one of its city court houses on Capitol Hill.