What’s in a name? A lot, if you’re a Chinese local government apparatchik. Regular readers will recall that China’s Ministry of Land and Resources has banned the construction of new golf courses since 2004. But according to the 21CN Business Herald, two are about to open in Yangzhou City. Yet in spite of covering 66 hectares, the city’s officials are claiming the new developments are not golf courses but ‘teeing grounds’. There’s nothing wrong with building these, they claim, since there are no regulations prohibiting ‘teeing grounds’. The newspaper is far from convinced, and quotes an official from the city’s tourism board happily claiming that Sun Island – which opened for it’s first tee-off this week – is a “standard golf course” and has 18 holes. Local officials believe the golf courses will boost tourism, but environmentalists are alarmed by their location in wetland parks.
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