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Office blocks sold for post-quake reconstruction
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A photo taken on July 16, 2008 shows the main building of the newly built governmental office blocks in southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu. [Photo: China Youth Daily] 

The southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu has decided to sell newly built governmental office blocks to raise money for post-quake reconstruction.

The move is expected to fill a funding gap of tens of billions of yuan for housing and infrastructure reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake, municipal government officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.

The office blocks, which cover 370,000 square meters, are located in a new development area in the southern part of the city. The buildings are part of a large governmental relocation project begun in 2004.

The relocation project will soon be halted, to be resumed when conditions permit.

In 2007, the 1.2 billion yuan project was condemned as a waste of taxpayer money amid a national crackdown on inappropriately luxurious government office buildings.

Some local residents said the action has improved the government's image.

(CRI July 17, 2008)

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