inside thoughts on China and beyond

Just another day

It is nice to be home and not yet have anything to do. It allows me time to reflect. Let me begin with a reflection on some of today’s China Daily articles. A good start of the day.

A major mining company caused a pollution that killed not only 15 thousand tons of fish up to time of writing, it also killed the lifestyle for many fishermen and their families left with no source of income and heavily in debt. They are forbidden to sell the fish for at least the coming 3 years. No word is spend on the company’s responsible leaders. I assume they had secured enough guanxi (=influential connections) to continue life as normal. They may even buy some

of the fish farms for a bargain price now that fishing is not allowed and turn it into tea house recreation resorts. Probably employ the desperate farmer as parking aid, his wife as sweeper and his daughter to serve the tables and please the guests in whatever way requested. New reality as normal.

Not as normal will it be for the Smurfs now that the Chinese government has decided to promote and protect their own national cartoon industry. No more foreign cartoons allowed between 5 and 9 pm on any Chinese channel. Unspoken but well known is the hidden agenda to keep the education of their young ones in control. Foreign cartoons too often promote cruel, selfish and spoiled behavior. Truth is: I can’t disagree with that. So why do I feel unjustly treated? Because it is China? All countries in the world want and are protecting their own soil’s industry and US is the front runner in this. So what is my problem? It is the way China does it. Open. Naïve nearly. Just block it from TV. That’s asking for negative press. It’s even in China Daily. A reader commented that in the ’80’s she was fan of the Smurfs, one of the few cartoons allowed at that time. With their blue and white uniformity and small subtle differences to emphasize some personality, collectively storing their food and fighting evil, they taught her the true meaning and value of communism. A shame if that is withheld from the new Chinese yuppies, who care as much for their fellow Chinese citizens as they do for cockroaches or fish farmers. Many are the stories of the behavior – or rather misbehavior- of these nouveau riche.

While in China’s southeastern manufacturing regions over 30 strikes are head-aching the CEO’s and shutting down production for days or even weeks for a higher share in wealth and better and saver work and living conditions, more and more company kings simply move west to the still low wage – don’t care Sichuan. Or, further south: to Vietnam, where, though still troubled by a medieval infrastructure, investments need half the money and wages are peanuts.

For these yuppies, luxury villa resorts and golf courses are illegally erected in the countryside.  35% more than last year, reducing the already shrinking arable land of China even further. But then: why should they care? With green cards for the US and their only child boarding away in Canada, their future is secured. China is dreaming the same dream only to wake up one day and discover that life isn’t as normal and there’s no turning back.

So much for a good start of the day. Just another day.

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