Tag Archives: society

“Occupy China”? No Thank You

First big question to throw you: In case China does get “occupied”… what will you do to the 99% of 1.3 billion?

Like it or not, reality sets in: the current “system” is pretty much the only “thing” out there that will keep 1.3 billion tummies full. That’s a little bit of harsh reality for ya.

China does have a myriad of social issues (the political ones, of course, are those that everyone understands). Here’s just a sprinkling:

  • Farting coal mine bosses in First Class. By that I mean folks who get rich — literally overnight. The Chinese term bao fa hu (暴發戶) are what I’m after. These guys suddenly get a million or even a billion overnight. They spend it all on luxury goods reserved for the rich and the noble, but unlike the real noble folks, they don’t have the manners that the nobles “come equipped with” by default. Such as — not farting in First Class. I don’t think Gaddhafi died “just because” he farted in an interview with Larry King, but that was one heck of a disgusting move by the dead dictator.
  • Farting coal mine bosses in First Class miles — removed from the poor. There are the newly-rich fart machines, and then, there are also the disadvantaged. China’s in this pretty disillusioning state right now where the richer are increasingly richer, but the poorer are also much less well-off than before. The gap between the rich and poor is so big now that it’s spilt on over into the streets. Beggars now roam the Beijing CBD (all too often controlled by criminal organizations), and there’s no more real “harmony” between the farmers and the urbanites: If an urbanite happened to “do something bad” to a farmer, the entire village of all those farmers out there would basically kill the invading urbanite with every last rake, knife, fork, whatever they can find.
  • A pretty skanky Labour Contract Law. I have to say, Deng Xiaoping was a hero for getting rid of lifetime employment with guarantees. Now you have to work to get paid. No more with Wen Jiabao, who OKed the Labour Contract Law — a legal invention that grants you your job for life after you finish the first year without a hitch. This bill has shifted this nation into reverse gear, like it or not. Actually, there’s one thing I’m hoping for that would land you “eternality” once you’re here for a year: my Chinese visa. (It’s easier on me, a Swiss citizen with a PRC wife…)
  • Regional discrimination. The He’nanese are the crooks; all Shanghainese are racist; and the northeast houses the nation’s collection of thugs. Or supposedly, that’s the case. Regional racism is alive and well. If you’re a non-Shanghainese, “shopping territory” for you is by default Nanjing East Road; the “real” Shanghainese (who according to folks in Shanghai are the “only people who aren’t poor) go to Huaihai Middle Road instead. The He’nanese take the blame for every last criminal act, it seems (like the Italians and the Balkans to the Swiss); and the northeasterners are infamous for being people that will ring up a gang to exterminate you upon the slightest offence. If you wanted 31 countries instead of 31 provinces in a country, then keep up this kind of regional racism. Otherwise, dump it.
  • More high speed trains than professional educators. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with Chinese HSR (copied from the West, except for the homegrown CRH380A and CRH380AL trainsets), but the PRC just isn’t spending much cash on making the population more educated. The result is a population of academic robots — folks who swot stuff for tests and then forget them the moment they graduate. As a Swiss, I have outdone my PRC equivalents when it comes to Q&A sessions in class. The Swiss questions what the lecturer has said; not a sound comes from the PRC student population. And I thought the Japanese were robotic already.
  • A moral blank. No longer striving for revolutionary communism, yet always a little suspicious about Confucius and even more so about the West, China’s a moral blank these days. It seems like having a first mistress isn’t enough: successful people are supposed to have second or more mistresses. A man “does his thing” to his (former) lover, then divorces her or fails to marry her, and lets the woman suffer. Kids born in the 1990s openly damn their parents on the Web, and those born in the 2000s read cartoons which would have been banned only a decade ago. Progress? Not really. Most of these cartoons are all about people-turned-poo-machines. Progress?
  • An increasingly nervous Peking. Add the income gap, regional discrimination, poor education, moral blanks, and all that together, and couple it with an “unharmonious” world (the “US imperialists” so-called have already nixed Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and most recently Gaddhafi), and you can see why the folks in the capital are more than a tad shaking in their boots. With a major change of guards at the topmost echelons in a year’s time, if “stuff happens” in this final year, it’ll just completely wipe China off the map. China has a fifth of the world’s population. How do you like 1.3 billion homeless beggars?

So yeah, we do have a fair bit of issues, but this is probably not the time to rock the boat like that. So here’s the upshot: “Occupy China”? No, thank you. We can’t be confident that we’ll deal with all the issues this very second, and solving them inside our own cocoon will probably take a little time, but the last thing we need is foreign “occupation”.

The PRC and its people run on a very different chipset from the US variant. We don’t have a Second Amendment because we’ve been all about peace and harmony — Confucius said it millennia before there was even the idea of communism. The Chinese aren’t folks who are in favour of creating a tempest in a teapot when there could be a more peaceful, stress-free alternative.

Oh, and if you want the Chinese to continue shopping overseas, pouring millions and millions of dollars (or yuan) upon those of you based outside the PRC — don’t toy with those who give you the money. It’s not nice, and it probably won’t work out great, either. And for those of you more money-oriented: having the PRC as the 51st State of the US probably won’t work great, either. (Just do the maths…)