BEIJING – In a country of almost 1.4 billion people, life for Chinese is an unending struggle for resources. And it doesn’t get easier in death. Prices for graves are skyrocketing, driven by decades of unbridled development and scarce city land. The government’s answer to this conundrum: sea burials.
Officials across China are hard-selling the option of a watery grave by offering hefty financial incentives and planting stories in state media — but with only marginal success. Many local governments, however, have saved their strongest pitches for this week, timing them to coincide with the Qingming Festival, when families nationwide take a day off to sweep their ancestors’ graves.