Skip

China's great divide
September 14, 2004 10:29 AM   Subscribe

In China's newly wealthy cities, a research boom is starting. In parts of the countryside, the rivers are black and too toxic to touch.
posted by Tlogmer (14 comments total)

 
Those are twinned articles from today's NYTimes (reg. not required). The first one's long; check out the 'interactive' feature (the interactivity consists of play and pause buttons) for a good summation.

The Washington Post's Section on rural China.

A white paper from the People's Daily.
posted by Tlogmer at 10:36 AM on September 14, 2004


Very, very sad.

Ironic that a shift from the obvious political and personal liberty pitfalls of communism to the obvious cultural, personal liberty, and health pitfalls of unregulated capitalism would occur. Afterall, why exchange one set of problems for a similar set of problems?

So much for a balanced approach, but if you argue for such you're accused of being a luddite (the accusation is correct, the spirit is not) or a socialist/communist. China has an amazing opportunity to do things well and get ahead of the "curve", avoiding many of the pitfalls "developed" countries find themselves in, in terms of environment, social structure, health, education, etc. Instead they may not distinguish themselves at all.
posted by juiceCake at 11:23 AM on September 14, 2004


And by exporting our manufacturing to China, we're also exporting our pollution to them. Not only is it not a level playing field in terms of working conditions and pay, it's not a level playing field on environmental grounds either. What good are the west's air and water quality standards if manufacturers are free to relocate their facilities to countries that place no value on human life? That we allow companies to do business in America while escaping our standards of human decency simply creates a race for the bottom: the most short-sighted country willing to endure the greatest human costs reaps the rewards.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:36 AM on September 14, 2004


the rivers are black and too toxic to touch

now imagine trying to live in it, like the biaji.
(the world's rarest river dolphin with a wild population of perhaps as few as 150)
posted by milovoo at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2004


You have to admire the fact that they are not afraid to go after their white collar criminals... um, with a vengeance.
posted by psmealey at 12:41 PM on September 14, 2004


the magnatude of apathy in many 'modernizing' countries toward the environment is just astounding...

thanks for the very sad but much needed reminder.
posted by moonbird at 2:40 PM on September 14, 2004


I'm not so certain about blaming the "modernizing" countries for following the exact steps that "modernized" countries took to achieve that modernization in the first place. Being, as we all are, in a roommate sort of situation perhaps the ones that are already there should chip in big time.
posted by magullo at 3:38 PM on September 14, 2004


Obviously this is all Bush's fault.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 PM on September 14, 2004


I'm not so certain about blaming the "modernizing" countries for following the exact steps that "modernized" countries took to achieve that modernization in the first place. Being, as we all are, in a roommate sort of situation perhaps the ones that are already there should chip in big time.

Do they get a 'violent revolution' quota as well? We got a couple, and now we're all modern and stuff.
posted by delmoi at 10:08 PM on September 14, 2004


all they gotta do is create some government programs, throw some money into them, and they'll be just fine, i mean, they are an up and coming democracy right?
posted by Satapher at 1:17 AM on September 15, 2004


I don't get why people say so often that China is the next big superpower, and that their economy will overtake xxx by xxx, etc. Obviously it's a very big country and their leaders have lots of ambition for their future. But to go from the present to "the Chinese economy is world-beating" - I don't get that. So some guy is sitting in some building in Beijing acting all Silicon Valley ca. 1997. So?
posted by shoos at 2:10 AM on September 15, 2004


But at least I can get cheap stuff at Target.
posted by Dick Paris at 3:09 AM on September 15, 2004


Do they get a 'violent revolution' quota as well? We got a couple, and now we're all modern and stuff.

Actually, my point is that it is in everyone's best interest that these modernizing countries do not do so the same way the previous did. I am not saying they should be allowed to pollute or revolt, but rather that we should help them big time to figure out sustainable alternatives. Our way is not sustainable, but they have every right to demand better living standards.
posted by magullo at 3:24 AM on September 15, 2004




« Older The pen is mightier than the lock.   |   Man says he was paid $150 for each chip laid Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post