Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for June 28th, 2011

Can China Handle Democracy?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


Jackie China is reported to have said that the people living in China cannot handle democracy and I found a guy who agreed with him. The guy’s name is Yuan Shikai and was a politician and general in the last dynasty, the Qing. He supposedly said that Chinese people at that time did not have the wisdom to practice democracy. Until coming here I would have thought that the most ignorant statement I ever heard, but now after living here and hearing my colleagues utter that same feeling, I have to wonder.

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My Forty Six Cent Hospital Visit in an Army Hospital in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


I’ve been in China for a while so I’ve been sick from time to time. One of the prices that we dirty barbarians are forced to undergo, for the privilege of living in the center of the universe, are little things like sinus infections and toxic products. As I have had the honor of living here so long and have been nothing less than an ungrateful lout, pangu the god of all that is china has been severe if not quick with his punishment. I have suffered from sinus infections, pink eye, bronchitis and probably a host of other ailments that are lying in wait till the right time and will spring forth rendering me incapable to enjoy a vacation or beautiful trip in the motherland.
Nevertheless I have had my run ins with ‘mr unhealthy’ and my trips to the local health facilities have not been seldom and the local ‘doctors’ now know me by site. Today my foray into the vaunted house of Chinese medical know how was to check that my lungs are still hanging in there, albeit by a thread.
Upon arrival at this Red Army Military Hospital , as is my custom, I forgo any conversation with the registration matron, a surly old woman with an immense head and shallow intellect and march to my place in the emergency room
Slipping through the large metal door a man who I presume to be a doctor was awakened from his snooze by my smiling puss. The ‘doctor’ quickly wiped dried spittle from the corners of his gaping maw and looked around in horror as if the homefront was under siege by those traitorous foreign elements so numerous in China.
Quickly the nimble little sprite to his side recognized me and assured the man that I came in peace, causing him to relax visibly. The she-doctor then framed me in her large spectacles and asked just what was ailing me. between my Chinese and her English it was settled upon that I needed an EKG and possibly the removal of an unnecessary limb and she soon produced a saw to get to work.
Frowning at our lack of ability to communicate, I then proceeded to sketch out my problem and timeline. I explained that after 30 days I still have phlegm ( in Chinese I believe this sounds like tang ) in my lungs and that I was concerned about this. The doctor quickly agreed and understanding my dilemma she then snatched her headphones/stethoscope, licked it for good luck and proceeded to examine every inch of my manly man body. After a protracted presence near my zipper area, she winked and announced that my health was good and asked for my registration papers to that I could be released. I explained that I had not registered but merely walked in. She then shot me a motherly smile and told me to pay up, three rmb.
Three RMB. If you convert communist cash to civilized money that visit only cost me forty six cents….
You may be thinking that the price is cheap but the quality sucked as well, but I would beg to differ. This lady actually seems to be quite capable and has my implicit trust, for what that is worth, after all, its just my health.
At the end of the day I’d like to say that I learned little on this trip into the wild world of Chinese medicine but I can’t. It was an uninspiring event in the annals of your humble author, but you’ve gotta love paying less than a dollar for a full fledged doctor’s visit…

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China’s Blue Moon Clothes Brightener Responds to Allegations of Carcinogens

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


In the daily shocker alert, a Chinese company that sells something called a clothes brightener, responded to allegations that it contained carcinogenic substances. While most companies would deny such a thing or prove otherwise, this company made this statement, “company’s products used in the fluorescent whitening agent fully comply with national regulations and technical standards issued by the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) in March 2008.” (from here)
Hmm. Ok I can see their point, but meeting Chines quality standards does not necessarily mean that it does not contain carcinogenic substances does it? After all, China just recently outlawed certain cancerous materials in certain goods and actually deemed an allowable amount of melamine – that kidney stone and child killing substance from the recurring milk scandals. As a matter of fact, some governmental agencies bemoaned the bad press on that issue by saying that melamine was not all that bad.
Thus, when I saw that this company was up to snuff, as it were, in terms of meeting standards of this place, I for one was not relieved. In addition to this, isn’t our default reaction to such news articles to just assume the worst, I mean look at the track record of this place….

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How the Communists See The People

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


Here is a quote from a governmental official in China

““We shouldn’t encourage the children of farmers to go to college.”

The official’s name is -Wang Li and he has apparently forgotten that after one of many of Mao’s great purges of intellectuals, the party was filled with ‘farmers’ or ignorant manual laborers here. While some of the party’s founding fathers ie. Mao were from affluent families, the party seems and seemed to have thinned the ranks of the educated and bright, or so I am told. Of course some of the founders were somewhat intelligent, but they surrounded themselves with the dregs of society, or so I am told.

To me this makes sense, for how could such chaos as the cultural revolution where schools were closed down for ten years and this only ended in the 70’s, occur on their watch? How could the party allow tens of millions to die in the great leap forward? The answer must be in the type of people they have chosen and still choose to lead them…

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Sexual Harrassment Lawsuit in China- Congrats with a Caveat

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


Guangzhou China had its first successful sexual harassment lawsuit so kudos for them, albeit with a caveat. The issue was that a Chinese woman was successful in bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit against a man from a Japanese company, but the man was Japanese.

The Chinese have a hatred for the Japanese that borders on the irrational, so it is no surprise that this action was taken against a Japanese man in a Japanese company. I would like to see how this would have played out if the man had been Chinese and or a member of the party…
In addition, as I work and live here, I see and hear a lot and from what I can tell this type of behavior is not uncommon here. For instance, I know of a few accounts of date rape by supervisors and before leaving her last job, my friend was told that if she had sex with her boss, he’d give her a better job. Of course this stuff can go on anywhere, but from what I have been told by the locals here, it is far from uncommon for a boss to ask for/demand sex from his underlings.

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China’s Debt Crisis

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 28, 2011


China has a bit of a debt crisis, but it’s different from that of the land of freedom and indoor plumbing. The problem, according to many, is that in China many SOE’s and banks have a debt burden and debts that will not be repaid. The reason is that for too many years, the locals have been sucking off the teat of foreign capital while spending more on mao tai and five finger shuffles than on improving product quality and R&D, thus they have not progressed.
Think about it like this. How can China who uses slave labor, this is literal, and or prison labor and or migrant workers who make only 150U$ per month when paid, how can their costs be so high- relatively speaking. Think about it, they don’t pay healthcare nor taxes, nor clean the environment, nor legal fees, so where does all the money go? Hmmm is that why there are so many naked politicians escaping to civilization?
Local govts overall debts hit $1.65 trillion

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