"China's Golf Obsession" - or, Japan Sues for Copyright Infringement

Because there’s just not enough “WTF, China?!” news hitting the wires this week, here’s a great photo-essay from Foreign Policy about the rash of golf courses springing up on Hainan island (they call it “China’s Hawaii”, and not without cause). The subhed says it all:

Green lawns and sand traps are now replacing ancient villages and tropical forests on Hainan Island, one of China’s most pristine spots. Necessary development, or destructive clear-cutting?

I’ll take “destructive clear-cutting” for 200, Alex. And get a load of this:

While between 100 and 300 courses are expected to be built here, the most mysterious project – and by far the most audacious – is the latest offering from Hong Kong’s Mission Hills Group, already owners of a 12-course resort in southern China’s Guangdong province. Its Hainan club, when completed, will be the world’s largest, with some 22 courses covering an area nearly 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.

Who on earth needs twenty-two golf courses in one place? WTF, China?!