China promises ‘toilet revolution’

From the introduction of Buddhism in the first century BCE to the Communist Revolution of 1949, China has been through many transformative moments. But now there’s a movement on the horizon that could shape Chinese society in the most dramatic way yet: The toilet revolution.

China has announced a plan to invest some 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) in tourism between 2016 and 2020, a measure which will grow direct investment in the industry by 14%. The plan will especially target economically depressed areas in the north of the country that up until recently depended on heavy industry and extraction, but have been deflated by lower prices brought on by decreased demand (yes, China has a Rust Belt).

In addition to turning old mines into parks and whatnot, the money will be used to upgrade up to 100,000 toilets at tourist destinations around the country, which have previously drawn complaints from visitors.

Via Reuters:

The plan also promised a “toilet revolution”, prompted by wide-spread complaints about toilet hygiene levels at China’s tourist spots and said the country would aim to build or renovate as many as 100,000 public toilets over the period.

This “revolution” would likely target the country’s squat toilets, which, while conducive to a more natural elimination posture, are hardly a favorite among Western tourists.

Americans aren’t the only ones who like the idea of sitting down to poo; a growing fascination with the porcelain throne has spawned a number of toilet-themed restaurants where patrons perch on flushable commodes while they eat out of toilet-shaped bowls. Maybe those places should add a few squat toilets for anyone who feels nostalgic about the soon-to-be-extinct shitters.

[Reuters | Photo: Getty]