There was a fire here a few days ago.
Near Wuyi Square, a popular shopping area in downtown Changsha, a building caught fire. Smoke snaked upward and could be seen for miles, even through the haze of pollution.
The papers don’t mention the fire. It wasn’t in the news—-on television or the radio or the internet.
That’s typical in China. Anything that makes the people in power look bad cannot be written about in the news.
A few years ago, there was a horrible train accident. The government didn’t allow reporters to cover the event, fearing that news would make the ministry of transportation lose face. Local officials even went so far as to try to literally bury the evidence, piling dirt over the mangled train cars.
This is part of why corruption is so widespread. It’s much more tempting to be shady when you know you won’t get caught.
Nobody knows what started the fire.