China’s Pacific Construction Group just landed one of the biggest jobs in the country’s history: flattening 700 mountains for development. Yeah. 700 mountains.
The $3.52 billion project started in October, and will eventually level 500 square miles of land 50 miles from Lanzhou, the largest city of the Gansu Province in Northwest China. Quick bit of Lanzhou trivia: Last year, the World Health Organization named it the city in China with the worst air pollution. So, yeah, razing 700 nearby mountains is a logical next move.
According to the Guardian, the project “could increase the region’s gross domestic product to 43 billion dollars by 2030, and has already attracted almost 11.2 billion of corporate investment. Also, it will wipe 700 mountains off the face of the earth.
The project will also include “a new urban district almost 10 square miles in size northeast of downtown Lanzhou.” Did we mention that 700 mountains—structures created by the mysterious and achingly slow movements of lithospheric plates—will die in the process?
Pacific Construction Group, one of the largest privately owned companies in China, was founded by Yan Jiehe, a 52-year-old former teacher who the Guardian describes as a “home grown Donald Trump.” Their spokeswoman Angie Wong told the Guardian:
“Lanzhou’s environment is already really poor, it’s all desolate mountains which are extremely short of water. Our protective style of development will divert water to the area, [kill 700 mountains], and achieve reforestation and make things better than before…I think whether it’s England or America, or any other country, no one will cease development because of resource scarcity caused by geography.”