Pandanus or wild pineapple is an environmentally friendly alternative to seagrass. Seagrass is an aquatic plant which grows in shallow coastal waters and provides shelter for many species of nursery fish. When this is harvested, the habitat is destroyed and the fish are endangered. Pandanus, on the other hand, is a prolific and rapidly growing weed which thrives anywhere on land, even in adverse conditions. When woven it is almost indistinguishable from seagrass.
Over the 25 years it spent negotiating to join the global trade body, China has rushed to transform itself into a modern economy, with glittering high rise cities and shopping malls crammed with Western goods.
Old court-yard style houses have been demolished to make way for high rises. And furniture firms B&Q and Ikea are doing brisk business in styling the homes of the fashion-conscious younger Chinese.
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