Mystery behind hookworms Chapter 3

On Mao Yang 毛阳
During the 5 hours in a couch rebounding up and down, we had left the coast area and went deep into the inner land shrouded by thick tropical fog. It was very humid.

We didn’t even noticed we had reached a town until the couch stopped. As we got off, we at once found ourselves on the middle of a road, as well as the middle of a market place. I looked around, and what greeted me were two lines of stout brick houses siding along the narrow road, which had been occupied by tricycles, vans, vegetable baskets and peddlers who were yelling for buyers. From the uproar, I faintly discerned the cry of a baby, the bargain shout, the of engines, and curses at times. The crowded market smelled like a mingling of poultry, motors, and mud. Peeping through the margin between the houses I only saw far-reaching rice fields behind. I suddenly understood what the word “town” means. It’s just a sect of the cross-province way through a small village. Welcome to Mao Yang!

A man in common dressing came up to us. He was not tall but seemed strong, as anyone who had long stayed in the wild. He was exactly the health-care governor Lin Shaoxiong. He recognized us at the first glance since our wearing must be strange to the town. With a friendly smile, he ushered us to the only hotel in the town by the road. Though up till now everything went well, none of us dared to relax as we still had no idea of what really was going on in this unfamiliar place.

We spent the night on a little food shop. At the table, the first round of interview began. We tried to look into the governor’s mind and discerned what might be eyewash. But he appeared very frank, showing a practical and rustic touch.

Here is a record of the interview.

Q: Could you tell about the town?

A: Yes. The town is actually a coalition of three villages with 20000 people. It locates on the inner Hainan Island.

Q: When did you set up this investigation spot?

A: in 2005, last year.

Q: Why?

A: in 2005, a journalist (confirmed as a journalist of New Jing Newspaper, Beijing-based, different from the one of AFP) covered that the neglect of the residents and the local government let hookworm harm people’s health. The report caught the attention of provincial officials. The chairman of Provincial People Representative Committee appealed to the central government for fund. And soon we got support to conduct the research.

Q: how is it going now?

A: we set up 5 spots. Here is the middle spot. We had begun the research by talking with villagers and collecting feces for assay.

Q: what’s the problem?

A: I forgot the accurate number. But indeed there exist problems.

Q: could you give a rough judgment?

A: we have to take actions.

Q: what caused the problem? What cause the spread of hookworm?

A: the outhouse. Actually villagers have no outhouses and they egest on the field so that they are likely to contract the hookworm when they walk on the soil by bare feet.

Q: they don’t have the habit of wearing shoes?

A: some don’t care this.

Q: do villagers still use feces as fertilizer?

A: No, they now use the chemical fertilizer and it won’t hold hookworm larvae.

Q: could they get support if they are going to build new outhouses?

A: yes. 200 RMB each from the country finance. But it needs 800 totally. Some still don’t wish to build one.

Q: how do the tablets work? They don’t cost much, do they?

A: indeed. But though they are cheap, villagers still are not willing to take them since nobody actually understand the disease is a harm.

Q: how is the health-care condition here?

A: (silent for a while) I feel sorry for this. Tomorrow you may see a real village clinic.

Q: finally I would like to know whether Wanning has hookworm outbreak.

A: No, there isn’t.

Then we exposed the report to him. He immediately affirmed it fabricated the location. This aroused a question: why had the both news agencies mistaken the location? Was the authority still covering up the outbreak in Wanning?

But after all, we had up till then confirmed the situation. There did exist the ignorance of this disease. But at least the government has taken the action. What remained are these: how serious was this disease in the village? How much work had the government really done? How much were the villagers aware of the problem and how difficult was it for them to build outhouses and change the ill sanitation habit? All were to be solved in the field research tomorrow.

The infinite corridor!
Kidding~, just the little hotel we spent a sleepless night.


Mystery behind hookworms Chapter 2

1st encounter

After a 2-hour flight we reached Haikou city where The Provincial Public Health Department settled. At the moment we stepped into the headquarter none of us 8 group members had any idea of what was going to happen next, in that except the several names in the reports we read we knew nothing else, including the official attitude, the specific locations of epidemic areas and the detailed situations there. We didn’t know where we should go, when we might be going, what else we might need——we have to first act then react.

Fortunately, the governor surnamed Hong was quite a kind person smiling friendly to us and showed no disfavor. Discreetly checking our introduction letter, he nodded and instantly gave a call to the chief of health department. Hearing our plan, Wen Feng, the chief, ardently told the current situation concerned hookworm in a frank manner.

Government in action

In 1986, a functionary named Lin Shaoxiong has conducted a survey that covered the whole province, which demonstrated 94.7% of residents had been infected by kinds of parasites, an amazing result topped the nation. But not until 2005 had parasite ever been a focus because paludism, a deadly disease, was the main deal. However, in 2005, a reporter wrote an article featuring hookworm’s lurking damage and the report got attention from senior officials who later ordered the local government to solve the problem. That’s how a new project aimed at supervising and controlling hookworm started in 2005. The project leader was exactly Lin Shaoxiong who was then a provincial officer. For his strong field experience, Lin led the project and set 5 experimental spots, the east, south, north, west, and middle, scattered all over the Hainan island.

Lin Shaoxiong, who was the most qualified person to clear all the mystery, was now staying in the middle spot, a small town called Mao Yang which is hidden in hinterland encircled by mountains and tropical jungles.

Wen’s narration stopped here, curiously gazing at us. The 8 of us had the same idea across our mind. We had found our destination tonight.

To be continued……

Mystery behind hookworms Chapter 1

A Risk, An Investigation

What’s the reality hidden behind the sensational story featured on newspaper? Which one should we believe, the national authority or World Health Organization? No matter what they write and say, as we have decided to find the truth, we can just rely on our own senses and first-hand data collected from the frontline to determine. That’s how the 7-day field research came into being, the base of the whole Eradicate Hookworm Action (EHA).

What heard from foreign media

Hookworm infection is intimately related to poverty. Hookworm is an intestinal parasite whose larvae live in the soil, and pass directly through the skin. Simply walking barefoot on contaminated soil can get infected. Once the larvae get in, they migrate to the intestines, where they sucked their victims’ blood. The results are anemia and malnutrition that “stunt physical development and affects cognitive and intellectual development”, according to Peter Hotez at George Washington University. Because the worms lay eggs that come out in the human feces, they can impel a vicious cycle in areas where feces are disposed randomly on soil. Unfortunately, China is the case.

A survey by WHO indicated 78 million rural dwellers in China are suffering from hookworm. The disease “dramatically” affected farmers’ health condition and local economy. It’s a warm bed of poverty.

However, the cure is relatively simple since a tablet called praziquantel costs only $0.07 as a treatment. But the next step is complicated. Farmers usually feel only slight symptoms after infection as the chronic consumption is uneasy to notice, and the government would never heed the disease when its agenda is filled by economic matters. The immature NGOs in China can’t help, either. That’s where the problem lies.


Suffering and poverty as forgotten parasite sucks blood of China's farmers

Who to believe?

But the domestic version is different. An official of sanitation department in Hainan Province, where the disease is rampant accordingly, denied the hookworm has ever been a problem. The situation of the ignorance of hookworm was covered by AFP (Beijing) as well by New Jing Daily, a Beijing-based newspaper. The two reports were present individually on March and May, 2005. Baesd on the content, we reckoned the domestic journalist was inspired by the AFP to cover the incident.

After discussion, our EHA group listed several disputable points in the both reports, which roughly keep the same points and facts . Under vaccine rule, children have to take inoculation in local clinics at certain age. Also, the tablets mentioned for curing are far from rare, and the average earning of Hainan residents (about $1000/year) can indeed afford them. Is the local government really so ignorant that it is not even able to guarantee the basic health condition?

Marching to Hainan

Has anyone covered up the fact? Has anyone exaggerated? All these could be illustrated only after an investigation in person. But in China, interfering in such things would certainly receive no approval but a cold refusal, due to the control-all authority that innately disputes “meddling in”. Therefore, to reduce the pressure we might meet——after all, we are just kids——we asked the school Communist League for help and got an introduction letter so that we may conduct the research by the name of “Social Practice”. On 28th, Nov, the 8-person team set off.


China: Reality shows forbidden

Seen on Global Voice as well(here)

No one would forget how popular Super Girl was on 2005. As a talent-search reality competition, it created a miracle both in economy and culture impact. Besides over 400 millions viewers watching the final episode, varied fans clubs founded across China and a revenue of 9 figures high in total, it was even extolled to the height of Democratic Expression because the winner was voted by short messages from viewers. Following this hallmark, more than 200 reality shows then emerged.

But on the 21st of September, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the head of all TV stations, gave such programs a blitz. It promulgated a strict rule aiming at regulating reality shows, criticizing some of them as so vulgar that they hurt the reputation of media. From the 3 main points of the decree, those who are familiar with Chinese TV ecosystem would find deeper relish. The decree itself also came to be a controversy in an unusual way.

Part 1; reality shows will be expelled out of golden time (19:30 to 22:30)
After 1st, October, 2007, from 19:30 to 22:30, no satellite television stations of provincial level or superior should hold such selective shows (talen-search competitions) that have multitude participation.
Actually, because of fund limitation, the hot shows were mainly organized by provincial TV stations. Therefore, the rule substantially sweeps such shows out of screen during golden time.

Part 2; strict and detailed control on duration; also, no live show is allowed.
For any TV station, such shows should not be broadcasted more than once every year, with the duration being no more than two months, content being less than ten episodes, and each episode being shorter than 90 mins. No live show should be allowed except the final episode, while it has to keep a delay of at least 1 minute.

Part 3; finally, a constraint on content aiming to resist the vulgarity.
Emcee lines as well as judges' critiques, contestants' or fans' short speeches, and introductions should be cut back a lot, with a total duration being no longer than 20% of the whole program. In singing competition, domestic songs should take up more than 75% of all.
Don't make any stunt or purposively express seditious or sensational words; don't bruit rumors about contestants.
Hosts should not flatter, flirt with or dig at each other.

Just before the decree was announced, the administration had halted a program of Chongqing TV station called The First Heart Temptation (第一次心动), for the cause named Ring-gate Case. On one episode of the live show, two judges furiously condemned each other because of a stunt by a constant. The situation was out of control then, which was seriously criticized by administration as a trick, vulgar and shameless, of capturing eyeballs.

This series of actions clearly demonstrates central administration’s disapproval of such shows. It has now turned into a practical regulation. To this relentless restraints and narrow rules, again, netizens expressed their opinions;

Some people doubted its validity. The following anonymous comments are from Netease.com, signed by their locations:

Shenzhen:This really made me dumbfounded. I think it would seem right only if we are not allowed to get on internet.
Changsha, Hunan:Governmental actions!!! Government just did what they fancy.I think this kind of talent-search show is quite good. It must have affected ratings of China central television and therefore they made such a regulation.Alas.When could mass media really be mass???

However, except for a paucity of objections like above, this time, most of netizens came to stand with government. They demonstrate their strong support.
Kunming, YunnanI very much appreciate the uncompromising measures taken by states administration. In order to pander to some people’s lower taste, a few entertainment programs have long been terribly shoddy

Qingdao, Shandong:Strongly support it!!!! Resolutely stand with it!!!Such vulgar and baneful stuff should have been eradicated long before!!!!Look what children have now become!!!Look how meretricious our community has now been!!!
In a poll on MSN.com, more than 86% people approve of the measure. Rengjian Zhendao in Netease has a typical critique that shows voices of many people:

The administration has finally done something good to public! That's wonderful!Yang'er won't show up again, Lotus Sister will be gone! Those tomboys vanish.Mean stuff that misdirect young people to drop study and indulge them in pipe dreams of overnight fame will be less!! Those that drive a sane person mad will be less either!(Annotation: Yang'er is the judge in a talent-search show, Lotus Sister will be introduced below, tomboys are allusions to Super Girl)

To understand this grumble you might have to know the landscape of Chinese television. Many people condemn the increasing entertainments programs are getting more and more low-quality, glutted by blatant and pretentious people. The Lotus Sister might be the most famous one. She is a “celebrity” famous for her coquettish postures with body curved in S shape and irredeemable self-love, though her boorish visage shocks everyone that see her pictures. Though audience tagged her “nauseating” and “disgusting”, she still frequently appears on screen since TV stations use her as a stunt.

Some people furthermore comment that certain televisions and talent-search shows have nothing but gaudy sensationalization:
节目制作者一切向“钱”看,只要能赚钱,想方设法制造噱头,同性恋、选手堕胎、家庭丑闻,不少节目越来越低俗。齐鲁晚报  张莹
Programmers did everything for money and only for money. They tried all methods to make stunts, such as homosexual, contestants' abortion, and family scandals, which make the shows more vulgar.
By Qi Ru Evening Post Zhang Ying

Cheng Yunfa (陈云发) criticized some shows as “pollution”:
Some TV stations disregarded public interest and hunted for money on self-seeking.…… They polluted our society's spirit. They have only themselves to blame.

These programs' misguidance of youngsters is another public focus. A student in secondary school spent 200 thousand Yuan to join in Super Girl. A boy in Guang Xi stole money to send short message voting for his idol, and even committed robbery for this crazy cause.

Liu Haoping (刘浩平) appealed in United Morning Post:
Is the temptation created by TV media to find talents or to misguide youngsters? Where do they lead young people to? TV media should certainly be blamed on as creating such a fanatic morbide phenomenon in society.

Obviously, TV stations and talent-search shows have been targets of public criticism. That is why public choose to stand firmly with government on this issue. Under the surge of protests and official interdictionthe, the vulgar shows are likely to retreat . However, we still need more thinking on interminable problems facing Chinese mass media:

Why do talent-shows finally have to become farces and stunts? How should we treat them; do we simply need a relentless interdiction? Can we make high-quality and charming reality shows again? Or are we really going to amuse ourselves to death?


Sex and Children

“Oh, dear me!” that’s what Ms. Wang yelled out when she found several R film DVD in her 14 year-old son’s room. What’s inside is bare sex. She looked up the DVD package and soon tracked to a supermarket nearby. It was in Qingdao, Shandong.

How difficult is it to get this R DVD? Very simple. Journalist followed Ms. Wang and soon discovered in Section of Children Book and Video a whole shelf of such DVDs, straightforwardly put there and any child can approach. On the cover there printed ribaldries like “rapture” and “temptation” and pictures of sex on which was noted “reality exposition”.

“The wrong thing in wrong place” should be put on these DVDs. The police soon came and took over the total 300 ill DVDs.

I don’t know how many curious boys and girls have picked up one or two of the DVDs. But I am clear they could be put anywhere but children section. The excuse supermarket manager gave was a quite a fun. He said, “We don’t care what it is inside, they are legally stoked in by legal suppliers.” In a few words he kicked away all duties and pretended to be blind. I now see how the tragedy one month ago that a 16-year-old boy raping his retardate cousin has happened. He was stimulated by such DVDs. Though it happened in Guangzhou, I think if we just put these DVDs in front of millions of children and meanwhile give no proper education we will soon have more rapists. Could adults really take duties?

Murderers: 13-year-old girls

It’s not a stunt. It’s not a chance-medley. It’s a well-planned murder and the murderers are two 13-year-old girls who kidnapped and killed a 4-year-old boy.

It happened on 2nd, Oct in a village of Fujian that Ms. Wang found her 4-year-old boy not back on dinner time after going out with two neighbor girls. Soon the two girls, both 13-year-old grade school students, were back and told that the boy had been taken away by a microbus. After a while vice squad came and felt the girls’ narration suspicious. A 30-minute “interrogation” later, they confessed.

They told that they saw on TV many people who kidnap can easily get a whole suitcase of cash. Enticing by that, they came up with a plan to imitate the method, trying to make 60 thousand yuan and share it to buy new clothes and snacks. They thought, and they did. Before they managed to take a boy they had failed twice. On the third time, they successfully coaxed a 4-year-old boy by candies and took him onto a hill. Because the hungry boy cried out for dinner, they were in such a panic that one of the girls clutched the boy’s throat to muzzle him. Soon he was choked.

That might be the most shocking news during the 7-day National holidays. I heard in 2005 two boys in England killed another 2 year-old boy relentlessly. I haven’t expected that in Communist China we could meet the same thing. Some thought the TV should be blamed as it is now glutted by violence and sex. Indeed, we need to protect children from this vulgar stuff until they can judge the right and wrong. But don’t you think education should have been the most firm firewall? After 3 years staying in grade school couldn’t they tell that kidnap is wrong. Who should be blamed? What have they learnt there?

Sometime we forgot to tell a teenager killing is wrong. We thought we don’t need. But animalism in human nature is far from being eradicated. It might erupt someday if stimulated by hatred or tempted by money. It’s notable that in the case the two girls are exactly pursuing money for a very naive dream by a very insidious plot though they hadn’t planned to kill. But in that situation when they gave a wrong first shot they found no way back. Could education really extinguish the evil on cradle?

I feel lucky not in the City of God. China should not be alike.


China: Has Crazy English gone crazy?

Crazy English is a private education agency in which the founder Li Yang advocates a new method to study English; namely, to shout out antiquated English phrases and seize every chance to approach an English speaker for a conversation, all for sweeping the shyness away. Learners should scream deafening English out with all their strength. It has study centers all over China, and is so well-known that millions of English learners have taken its courses in less than a decade since its inception.

However, a picture recently posted on Li Yang’s blog has become a rather controversial topic, receiving everything from condemnation, sarcasm, and even support. The strong reaction in the blogsphere and media have made the story unavoidable.
The picture posted on 4th, September shows that 3000 students kneeled down to their Crazy English teachers. It was taken at an open ceremony of the second Crazy English Training Base in Bao Tou, Inner Mongolia . They are all students in a local high school.
Numbers of furious netizens soon condemned this not an education, but a brainwashing of servility and spinelessness, because in China, kneeling down has historically been a symbol of being slavish to power.

Blogger Tong Wandou(铜豌豆) questioned:
Though worship on bent knees showed an upmost courtesy, it represents kingship that emphasized more on inequality among people, rather than mutual respect in accordance with modern society.

Xu Xiaoping(徐小平), the teacher of New Oriental, another agency that helps students crack Toefl and SAT, shed a hail of criticism on Li Yang:
The incident that Li Yang accepted the kneeling of students will have to be remarkable news in education field this year. It signs how seriously the core value has been lost in Chinese education. Li Yang yet showed open appreciation to the shocking bent knees. It demonstrates nothing but that he doesn’t know what education really means at all.

Moreover, some compared Li Yang to a would-be hierarch of evil cult (邪教):
笔者知道,越是神化了自己,李阳的疯狂英语会更加的红火。说到底,这是一种奴化人性的教育,是一种迷惑人的教育。这与民间的装神弄鬼来骗钱的把戏,没有本质上的区别。我不是英语老师,但我知道,学习英语却不必疯狂。难道美国人、英国人学习自己的语言也要通过疯狂的方式?笔者看武侠小说,那些邪教门派总是通过下跪等方式神化自己,以达到统率的目的。而李阳的某种方式却与之挺像。难道李阳也走火入魔了?谁来拯救他? ——海峡都市报 王军荣
Li Yang enshrined himself to prosper Crazy English, a bewitching education, which has nothing different from a deceitful trick. I am not an English teacher, but I know we don't have to be crazy to study English. Are American and English mad when studying their mother tongue?In swordsmen fictions, I see those cult (illegal group) leaders always summon giaours to kneel down in order to enshrine themselves and get the regime. Li Yang did quite the same. Is Li Yang insane as well? Who come to save him? By Wang Junrong on Strait Metropolitan Daily

Li Yang’s post received over 270000 clicks and 500 comments in just several days. Obviously, these comments are out of Li Yang’s expectation. But he refused to concede, and in his post on 8th, September, he insisted on his position:
Here, I would have to declare my point; firstly, it was I that suggested students kneeling down to teachers for thanksgiving; secondly, I think this is a common but significant kneel!
He stated what happened that day; he firstly suggested learners bowing down for an appreciation to the teachers, but soon changed to advising them kneeling instead because of the limited space. Students took his proposal, and then did that voluntarily.

In interviews, Li Yang agued that this behavior means deep introspection because we often forget to appreciate those who helped us much, and compared it to that German prime minister kneeled in Poland . He meanwhile criticized Xu Xiaoping’s writing style as like those in Culture revolution, when people maligned and blackened one another.

But most netizens didn't drop their criticisms. Zhang Junyi (张军昱) rebuked in his blog;

Surely nothing is wrong with thanksgiving. However, to apply such a method almost abandoned nowadays is itself an emotional outrage of thanksgiving.
Xu Xunlei doubted Li Yang misunderstands the meaning of education:

教育的核心价值是“立人 ”,如今却是“跪人”。把下跪磕头等同于尊师重教,这根本就不值一驳。教育的奴性与奴性的教育,在反复戕害孩子的心灵。
The essence of education is to foster one’s integrity and independence, not to press one to kneel down. To equal such a behavior to respect of teachers is worth no rebuke.
And some netizens furthermore argued that the students were obliged down because of that oppressing atmosphere built by Li Yang, like in a Nazi congregation.

Though Li Yang is under waves of reprehensions, many still stand with him. In Li Yang’s blog, a fans of Crazy English named Wang Zhijie (王志杰) left a comment:
Those who achieve have to taste great solitary!

No one can definitely tell whether Chinese are too sensitive with the past servile age, or it’s just a stunt by BSP Sina.com, or even a trick by Li Yang to catch eyeballs in an unusual way. All in all, in this cross swords of either side, Li Yang, the protagonist under focus, might be the most resolute man clinging to his point. That’s how he summarized the whole thing:
李阳回应:“下跪的照片是真的,我已经习以为常了,学生下跪是对老师的尊重。过几天我还要去成都讲课,相信可以让成都最好中学的全体学生下跪。” 9月10日< 新快报>
The picture is real, and I have been used to this ( kneeling ). It shows the respect to teachers. A couple of days later I am going to have class in Cheng Du, and I believe, I can make the best students there kneel down as well.


China: Senior sues would-be Samaritan

At around 9:00 am on November 20, 2006 in the eastern city of Nanjing, a Ms. Xu, now 65, was knocked down while trying to board a bus. Peng Yu, a 26-year-old man, as he got off at the station, saw Ms. Xu lying on the ground with her left collarbone fractured.

This much is known; a lack of witness leaves what happened next embroiled in controversy. According to Peng, he helped elderly Ms. Xu up and took her to the hospital. Soon after, Ms. Xu's family arrived. Peng's good deed worthy of praise? Not this time. According to Peng, however, when Xu heard that treatment would figure into the tens of thousands, Ms. Xu immediately blurted out at him: ‘it was YOU who knocked me down!'

According to the Xus, as it was Peng Yu who knocked her down and then took her to the hospital for treatment, it is he who must take responsibility. So then Ms. Xu sued the young man for 136,419.30 yuan, including medical expenses and compensation for emotional suffering.
On September 7, at the 4th session of the case, the district court finally released its verdict: Peng Yu, partially liable for the accident, would pay 45, 876.36 yuan (US$6,076) to Ms Xu.
The court's sentence was based on the following analysis:

As the first passenger off the bus, it was most likely Peng who slammed into Ms. Xu. And according to “common sense”, if Peng had not been the one who collided with Ms. Xu, it is reasonable to assume that instead of sending the old woman to hospital, even giving her 200 yuan, he would have caught the real troublemaker. As Peng's actions run contrary to common sense, it was ruled that Peng Yu held responsibility for Ms. Xu's injury.

Emphasis: the court based its judgment entirely on “common sense”. In the absence of sustainable facts or any witnesses, a fire was immediately lit on the blogsphere, with many netizens and bloggers protesting the ruling, most of them inclined to see Peng Yu as innocent, and lamenting what impact this immensely-discussed incident would have for society when future roadside or traffic injuries occur. Would you risk lending a hand?

On his Sina blog, Shi Hanbing (时寒冰) growled for the loss of justice:
This is an absolute betrayal of the law! It outrages and desecrates the law! We demand judges give sentences according to fact, and based on the law; yet this verdict was built entirely upon guesswork and deduction. You call this a judgment? This is nothing other than the perverse sort of imagination one sees in fiction.

The writer went on examining its negative effect on public morality:
An old woman stumbled, and someone helped her. But the judge was able to see from this that “his behavior was obviously contrary to common sense”. I doubt how dark our society is in the judge's mind, how malicious we are!Let me tell you, our goodness gets nothing less than buried by judgments as stupid and weak as this one!
With as big as the controversy has gotten, the fear now is that if you're ever, say, hit by a bus, is anyone going to help pull you off the street? The Bullog bloggers responded by creating a campaign, calling on netizens to ‘Give Integrity One More Chance

An anonymous netizen in Baidu (百度) even raised the case to the level of charity affair:
而且这个案子毁了我国多年的对公益事业的努力, 一个案子毁了雷锋一生的成果
The case destroyed our effort committed to public charity, also ruined the lifetime fruit of Lei Feng (雷锋).
Most people considered it from the point of law and legal issue, and ridiculed the judge's sole reliance on deduction.

‘Clouds low in turning back' (回首白云低) at Xici Hutong argues:
The judge applied the deduction in a wrong way. He should reconstruct the scene, the positions of Peng Xu and the witness, the location of defendant when the accuser slipped up, even the posture of Peng when he got off……,rather than the reaction taken afterwards. This put the cart before the horse, also vexed people for its anti-value logic.

In this wave of fury and condemnation, still some people appealed public to be temperate, such as Southern Metropolis Daily editor Lu Yaqian, discussed here on Jiang Xia 85's MSN Live Spaces blog:
What if Peng really did that? It's not impossible that he did. The community is revoltngi against social degeneration, but the consequence of this is actually that a justice covers over the truth, with morality being carried out only to tread all over itself. True tragedy only begins when we lose our faith in the social system.

No matter what the result of the 2nd appeal will be, this case is destined to be remembered in the field of law study in China. Just one more thing that bears mention: the report that depicts how Peng Yu behaved when he heard the judgment:
Peng Yu remained silent, eyes moist with tears. After a long while, he muttered: “I just want to go somewhere where justice can to be found.”


DAY9:government says No to Internet control

Last week, Luoyang (used to be the capital for over one thousand years) government made out a notification: all actions to investigate identities of internet users should be forbidden, irrelevant departments have no right to get information from net companies.

This is the first time that a local government puts forward a promise to protect privacy and speech freedom in internet. Though some still doubted its sincerity, most net users welcomed the notification.

Luoyang government has been a pioneer among its peers. The mayor himself often went online for public perspectives, and problems reflected on internet could often get a quick solution. He appointed specific faculty to answer questions from netizens and set up online office.

Luoyang, a city of thousands of years


Bob say: houses buring in fire-where is tomorrow?

I agreed most of citizens in Shenzhen: we approve the action to dismantle illegal construction, but criticized the brutal way of doing it.

To light a fire then burn everything down is first a dangerous action that may imperil some residents carelessly left, especially those kids. Also, it brought unredeemable hurt to those residents when seeing their homelands forced out of existence.

But I concern most about where the residents could go after the destruction. At night, I heard that most of them had nowhere to go, and had to make up another canopy with remains, having another night on the relic. Where is their future? Do we have measures to settle them down? If we just expelled them out, they could be city vagrants. It will produce another negative effect to our public security. None of them wish to be villains. But what can else they do if they were treated in injustice? We have to improve our art in city management!

DAY8:houses buring in fire-where is tomorrow?

domestic influence: 2.5 controversy rank: 2.5 genre: urban,social key word: fire

240 uniformed service men marched to several shanties, expelled about 70 residents out, then lit a fire that soon engulfed all the houses. Most residents could do nothing but stared at the burning houses silently.

This is not a live report form frontline of war, it's just an action launched by authority in Shenzhen to dismantle the illegal constructions. These house were called ‘village in city’, a notable atmosphere in many China city. In urbanization, some residents can't afford the surging price of housing, and therefore built some houses themselves in margin of city. Actually, they were just sheds supported by bamboo sticks and covered by iron sheets.

Recently, municipal authority launched a campaign to beautify the city, and these illegal houses were the first targets. To accelerate the process, they thought such an idea to burn down the shanties in a fire. During the whole process, some residents rushed into burning houses for their properties left. Some children brought up in there watched the whole destruction of former homeland and could do nothing.


DAY7;Bus fare under hot discussion

social influence:3 controversy:3.5 key word: game action

Short news:
The bus fare in Shenzhen is still in hot discussion. Under the complaint of Shenzhenese for the high fare, the government finally opened a new conversation with delegates of crowd and transportation enterprises.

Now they are bargaining on the six projects selected out for final choice and a solution, though several terms still in dispute, is expected to reach soon. The various media are giving a lot of concern of the issue. No matter what the result finally out would be, many approve its meaning and progress in civilian participation of public affair, in another word, democracy.


Bob say: hospital now battlefield

Yes, this is a 100 percent hospital in Shenzhen. Compared to the one in news above, this is exactly what battlefield. Right, battlefield, that’s the term for a lot of hospitals in china. The tension between patients and doctors reach a new record.

Doctor, a respectable career used to be called white angel, has now fallen to notorious. The reason, again, is rooted in corruption companied with reform. It’s mainly produced in the part of medicine. Those can be bought for 1 yuan sometimes sell more 20 yuan, the illegal profit fetched by doctors and factories. Bribe is enough to make a career no more glorious.

We never forget the Bill Impossible in china. It happened in 2005 that a patient was finally dead but with a bill of more than 800 thousand dollars. The bill is like a mess that it showed the patient took the same test one day for 54 times, accepted one ton of transfusion for merely one month..

So sometimes we say that we will no longer be able to afford a cold, not mentioning a fever.
If those in poverty should have their life in danger as well, how can we really erect social justice? That’s why we are making a new reform now, the medical co-operation system and it begins to work. I hope we will finally have our life well guaranteed!

DAY6:Hospital now battlefield

Social influence: 3 controversy rank: 2 genre: social, medical key word: tension

27, Aug, scream for help echoed around ER of Fuxin hospital in Tsingtao province. People heard the call rushed to there, found two nurses cringing at the corner, blood coursing down from forehead. Beside them, two young men were still brandishing chairs on hands, one even hitting a nurse on head with it. The violent image shocked all, and soon doctors and police came to stop the two men.

All this started with a lapse in injection. In the afternoon, a young woman took his mother, about 40 years old, to the ER for inflammation on arm. A nurse gave her an injection, but made a little mistake. The patient felt ached on arm and scolded the nurse though she apologized for the mistake.

The nurse endured patients’ curse without a word, which may further incited their fury. They finally took out the phone and called friends to settle this. The nurses initially took it a bluff, but little did one think that minutes later two young men really came and fling into ER, then gave a punch on the nurses, later even with a wooden chair.

The brutal action soon made all faculties exceptionally angry. They mobbed the four people and called the police. Later, they were arrested.


DAY5:Seek to be one, Shenzhen and Hongkong

domestic influence: 3.5 controversy rank: 2 genre: ecnomic, region key word: metropolis

This is no longer a fantasy. Shenzhen and Hong Kong, two cities separated by a river, might combine to form a world-class metropolis that holds a population of over 20 million, with economic power NO.3 in the world, only after New York and Tokyo.

That’s what Henry Tang, Chief Secretary for Administration put forward in a recent conference with officials form Shenzhen. Actually, the incorporation had been launched a few years ago and is now under construction.

Last month, Western Passage, a new bridge connected Hong Kong and Shenzhen was open to traffic as the sixth pass between the two cities. President of China, Hu Jingtao, held the ceremony.

Years ago, another pass, Huang Gang customs had been made 24-hour available. When in holidays, number of people passed Luo Hu Customs would surge to over 300000/per day. Hong Kong citizens ran north for investment and entertainment, for price in Shenzhen is much lower, property with a better potential in growth, and service by no means inferior. Also, since the Easy-trip project open to more than 40 mainland cities, a large number of mainlanders have traveled south to Hong Kong, the paradise of shopping. Under Free-trip, you longer have to make a tour there via any agency but to sign up in public security station instead. It made things easier and brought prosperity to Hong Kong. Last year, merely by credit card, mainland tourists have consumed over 7 billion yuan (about 700 million dollars). The new Disney also attracted more people there.

This is a reciprocal situation. Though difference in economic, society, and ideology still hurdles the progress, a brilliant vista is greeting Chinese.


Bob say: A scandal out of charity

The news made a touch of irony. At first we all concerned its controversy on charity issue, but after further fact was revealed, all rebuke are now directed to the vice president’s family. Even though he is just a junior official, public still locked eyes on his family.

I think it’s rooted in today china’s tense, more or less, between public and authority. Authority’s reputation was blurred by several misconducts, therefore losing public’s credit. In this case, obviously, we can see the dereliction of duty in local government. Committed by enterprisers, they just casually picked donated objects, sent forms, recollected, finally got the money delivered, perhaps in some red-carpet ceremony. Our familiar mode. They emphasized on propaganda effects, but kept little heart to run it, to fulfill it.

If asked why, I attributed it to lack of supervision form public. Not we don’t wish to, but have no path to. We need public’s eye on men of charge. Like that I promised to get daily news posted, I dared not quit halfway because you are looking (at least some). Under more than one billion eyes, no one dares play fire. But the problem is, we need path.

Maybe optimistic, I always believe that it’s just a problem of our system administration, not much related to politics or moral. In a health social environment, we initiatively performed well. But we don’t have much time, or we’ll be surpassed soon by some neighbors.

DAY4: A scandal out of charity

domestic influence: 3 controversy rank: 4 genre: moral,social key word: discredit

No thanks, no letter in reply, no phone call, even a message, that’s what 19 female enterprisers in Hubei province received after donating financial aid to 22 needy students for college.

On 12, August, the donators alleged a refusal to give 5 of them further assistance and expressed their chill. “I feel sorry that they have forgotten what thanksgiving is.”

One year ago, 19 female enterprisers committed the City Labor Union (government agency) to find needy students eager for donation for college education. They did so purely for charity. But their kindness got no reply, which made them feel depressed. That’s why they withdraw the fund.

Their behavior triggered a debate around china, focusing on whether a charity should require a reply, no matter in any form. Some even doubted their motive.

However, under journalists’ investigation, another fact hit all people. One of the college students was found to be daughter of a vice president in local government. In any measure they can not be called needy. In interview, her family told that they just received an application form from the local Labor Union in 2006, a division of City Union. They filled the form, and then the money was sent to them. No further censor at all.

Journalists moved on to check the form, and amazingly found the family alleged that parents had been out of work with a pay below 500 yuan per month, no house. Actually their salary is above 1000. More ridiculously, the form was certified by government agency.


Bob say:angel or demon

No matter what Rothey’s motive is, the incident edified Chinese: we should judge someone not by his color, race or nationality, all those entrenched impression, but by facts. There could be angels, as well as demons. In international affair, we’d better rub our eyes clear; after all, human is complicated.

Fury form many Chinese are understandable, as it’s just like swallowing a bulk of garbage others discard. But we may separate the good deeds form evil. His charity should not be canceled totally. For evils, let law speak.

DAY3:Rothey: angel or demon?

social influence: 2 controversy: 3 key word: bi-face

Rothey, a blond America, was a man of mark in Wuhan, China. Though a foreigner, He was famous for his civic-minded behavior to make a cleaner and better Wuhan. A scene concerning Rothey branded into a lot of natives’ mind: a wasted can lied on sidewalk, no passing Chinese ever giving a look. But Rothey strode up, bent down, picked it up with hands.

Also, he launched many activities of collecting garbage and charity affair. Many native touched by his dedication and altruism joined him. He was even featured in a program of CCTV, highly appraised as an ideal of international citizen. He had married with a Chinese calligrapher.

But last month, he was suddenly disclosed by someone as wanted on red notice. After investigation, people found him extremely alike to one crime, from Utah, charged for felonies as visa fraud and money laundering, now wanted by Interpol.

Under query, Rothey first denied, but soon admitted that he is exactly that person. But he insisted on his innocence. Not long later, several prepared TV programs for him were withdrawn. Many Chinese sighed: we took a trash as precious!

Bob say: Price fixing of noodle, we ready for a market?

What’s wrong? We have to hammer the surging price down with official order? The target, ridiculously, is merely a bowl of noodle. Dose it mean that we have to prescribe how many noodle should be in a bowl?

I am afraid it indirectly reflects that local authority has been out of today, their thought staying at the age before 1980, clinging to single and imperative administration method. A single paper solved nothing, but when reinforced by military force, it is called an order. But a market is not used to such a rude way. It also tells a fact: we are still short of brains that really understand regulations of economy. Even central government was scratching head for the surging price and inflation, are local government ready for a new age? Industrialization upon a weak base is likely to collapse. I don’t wish to see that!

DAY2:Price fixing of noodle, we ready for a market?

social influence: 2.5
key word: bowl/noodle

Lanzhou (lanchow), northern city of China, a population of over 3 million. Lanzhou noodle, famous in China.

In the morning of 3, July, all noodle-shop owners received an official decree. They gazed at the paper, astonished.

“All noodle contained in large bowls should sold under 2.5 yuan, in smaller bowls sold 0.2 yuan less.”

That’s what on the paper, as seriously as a Hue and Cry. The news soon spread to all over China, thus lit a mass of arguments, debate, critics.

Some frowned to it as a return of controlled economy, the hands of government even approaching to a small bowl of noodle. Local Price Bureau was soon under reproach from scholars and netizens. But authority refused to concede, “Noodle plays an important role in our daily life, we have duty to make it affordable.”

Lanzhou citizens, under focus, also divided into two groups. A cook grumbled their profit had been repressed to almost none. And more people protested governments’ interference into free market with administration policy, some even tagged this a drawback in progress to market-economy. However, a considerable number of native stood with authority, saying they could not afford such an expensive life without control.

What happened? Is China, a novice, ready to embrace a free market?

---------noodle case, well-known, still under hot discussion.

Bob say: Made-in-China, where to go?

I have to say Zhang’s death is a tragedy, also a warning to our industry. But of course, I never mean that his death can compensate his fault. I understand American’s anxiety when learning that toys might harm children. We had gone through such crisis when bad baby milk killed 13 innocent babies! When food cannot be trusted, everyone is under insecurity.

And I would like to discuss the plight of made-in-China in another point, though I am just a Chinese student not knowing much.

I found our industry has gone a little bit off the original intention that China could gain advanced technology with cheap labor and land in exchange. But it’s a pity major manufactures today are still doing products assemble, install, and far from what really values. The famous Barbie Tale in China just tells our plight. And now the side effect has emerged.

Once on my way to Guangzhou, I found hundreds of factories along the highway, fuming and rumbling, the whole rural area shrouded in milk-white fog. I know China could not go long this way, contamination and high environmental cost would drain our land. In a community of Shenzhen, the city I live, over ten residents got leukemia or cancer, just because they were near a chemistry factory. That’s our pay, the pay for being world-factory. I know it is a must, a process, but I worry that we cannot hold too long. Not mentioning those workers working in poor condition, hardly inhaling fresh air on weekends. Could humanity, right, and citizenship really be built under a harsh surrounding? Right, the huge trade surplus, but who benefit? Not those spend 16 hours sweating before machines, their sweat and murmur show no joy. Oh, dear, China has so long a way to go.

Well, in any case, we, at least I believe, we should never drop our duty to assure products safety. And surely we are able to make that if we determine.

I just hope we Chinese and American could both hear another perspective form another country. After all, one world, one dream. ^_^


DAY1: Made-in-China, where to go?

social influence: 3.5
key word: sacrifice
In the morning of 11, August, Zhang strode into one of his factories, greeting warmly to workers as usual, then inspected the product lines. He hovered for a while before driving his jeep away. In the last call he made, Zhang inquired about if the wages were assigned. One hour later, Zhang was found hang in the storage. Suicide. No message left. Though shocked, everyone was clear what had driven him down the cliff.

On 2, august, a recall of toys with lead contamination might electrify American. Over 750 thousand toys were on the list of Mattel Inc.’s action. Meanwhile, Mattel revealed the name, Leda, the manufacture of Zhang’s in China that made all the products. This extinguished Zhang’s last hope to revive his career as all the order forms would soon be withdrawn and his credit was broken. Even worse, government banned Leda’s exportation. It straightly sentenced Zhang to death. A losing of more 30 million dollars struck him, leaving his work impossible to maintain.

Some in the factory attributed the accident to the paint supplier’s ignorance, leaving out testing to rush before deadline. Up to now, several principles of paint plant are wanted. .

In Zhang’s funeral a few days later, many sub-ordinates and workers attended, some even wailing for Zhang’s departure. According to them, Zhang treated his workers well, never default salaries, and accommodated workers well. Even on the morning of his suicide, he still managed to collect 60 thousand dollars for salary. At the age sweatshops prevalent, his kindness and rarity received commends.

Actually, some experts entitled his death “sacrifice”, a signal of manufacture’s decline in Guangdong province, the major exporting section of China. Thousands of factories, millions of workmen were now put upon a volcano. It first erupted during March when toothpaste, pet food were admonished, then the recall this time made matter worse. And the inevitable next is coming violently- a series of measure China government take to impel enterprises to move upriver of industry line, from manufacture trade to core technology. But the vista is in uncertainty; those not able to climb out would sink. Forever.