Planet China

Going bananas

­­As cross-straits tensions with Taiwan subside, bomb shelters in the coastal province of Fujian are getting a makeover. According to the Economic Observer, officials in Fuzhou have taken the enterprising decision to use them to store bananas.

The coastal shelters were built in the sixties but are expensive to maintain. “Now that aerial bombardment is off the agenda”, they are being put to alternative use, the EO notes. One tenant – Zhong Chongyu, a banana trader – says that they offer ideal storage conditions: “The temperature hovers around 25 degrees celsius all year round; it’s perfect for a banana warehouse.”

There are at least 10 shelters in the region, so a subterranean real estate opportunity beckons. An underground bookstore is being piloted in another shelter. But using the military installations for business purposes doesn’t please everyone. An official in Fujian – the province closest to Taiwan – admitted that “commercial use of the shelters is a controversial subject”.


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