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.