China’s one-child policy still breeds dissent – http://pulse.me/s/haqkM
Category Archives: China
Pollution is a hot topic among HKies because it is worst than your average polluting city. Much of the resentment is directed at China and it is HK’s (mis)fortune to be located south of Motherland and so bear the brunt of pollution when the wind changes direction.
Every blue sky day is cause for admiration as such days are far and few in between. One is resigned to accept such state in order to live in HK. The Chinese must have it worst. Just see this infographic from WSJ.com, showing the air quality over Beijing and Tianjin on 3rd Jan and 14th Jan.
Socialism in practise is difficult to find in this day and age. However a village in rural China – Nanjie – is attempting to defy commercialism by staying true to the socialist principles. Everyone in the village works for the good of the village. Irrespective of the work they do, everyone is paid the same. Villagers get only a portion of their pay as the balance goes towards housing, medical and food rations. Housing is provided by the village but no one gets to choose where they live, it is assigned by the village administrators. Furnishing are identical while house size is dependent on number of occupants. All occupants have to adhere to the 10 rules of a good citizen… I couldn’t remember it all but one of the rules require that the house is kept spotlessly clean. Housing Monitors visit homes (unannounced) to check that all the 10 rules are kept. If a villager is caught violating any of the 10 rules, they will be given demerit points, which will reduce the amount of food rations they get.
Though the socialist concept is good and maybe even noble, it seems that the villagers are treated like robots without minds of their own. There are laid down rules, which everyone must follow in order for the concept to work. Here’s a short documentary from AlJazeera, which reported that sadly Nanjie is not immuned to the scourge of commercialism – corruption – the village is unable to be self-sufficient despite the hardwork of its villagers.
It surprises many people to know that I have not visited China despite residing in HK. There was never an urgency to visit but the real reason is that my Putonghua is confined to 5 words, enough to explain that I don’t speak Mandarin! The current job has so far allowed me to put-off the visit to China as I am ably assisted by a colleague who speaks the language… that is until now. She is blessed with a ‘bun in the oven’ and the doctor has advised against any strenuous travelling and therefore that responsibility falls on me.
As my first visit, I thought it best to start with Guangzhou (GZ) where my Cantonese is passable and probably enough to get me out of trouble. China would only grant a single entry visa for the first-time visitor. GZ is accessible from HK either by train or bus. Train is probably the quickest way, requiring 1 and 3/4 hours and cost HK$190 each way. These Intercity trains depart from HungHom station and arrives in GZ East station. While in HK, the train travels on railway lines parellel to the MTR.
HK and China are separated by a small river. As soon as the train passed into China, I noticed soldiers in green, standing at attention along the railway tracks as-if to remind that we are now in China. Progress in China is evident in the new railway lines being built and the high rise buildings lining the railway lines. I was in awe.
Arriving in GZ East station, I am immediately dwarfed by several modern commercial buildings that reached into the sky. In fact the station is surrounded by tall buildings and if not for the chaotic traffic with pedestrian crossing everywhere except at the designated crossing, vehicles swerving to avoid these pedestrians and stopping at will to pickup and let-off train passengers, it almost seemed like HK.
I have written several times about fakes in China, but this article surprised me. Beware of fake atm machines, which were so real that a few people were duped by it. Here’s a You Tube video showing how fake eggs are made, courtesy of this article.
China being the World’s factory is able to produce goods that consumers want and in the interest of variety and choice, it also produces knock-offs. To get around the tricky bit about IP, the names are (uninterestingly and unimaginatively) similar sounding to the original product. Though lacking in innovation or creativity, no one can accuse the Chinese of being slow to react and capitalise on consumer demand. Case in point, before the Apple iPad was released worldwide, the iPed manufactured in Shenzhen, was already being sold in China. It is about 1/3 the price of the real deal and according to reviews “was not bad”. Of cause it cost 1/3 the price, the iPed manufacturers did not have to spend on advertising and with such similar sounding name, it is easy for consumers to be misled.
Some friends were discussing why the Chinese could not be innovative like the Japanese and invent things, instead of being second-rate copy cats. A friend suggested that perhaps it has to do with China being communist, whose leaders do little to encourage difference/change. Instead everyone is expected to follow the status-quo and perhaps its unsurprising that most will think and behave similarly. Another friend says it has to do with the (stereotypical) Chinese inherent nature of greed for prosperity, which motivates them to do most things for money. The short-cut way is to capitalise on a well-known product, to ‘steal’ another’s IP (another stereotypical opinion of Chinese is that they lack ethics as this contradicts with their greed). These are the generalised observation of China by people outside of China. As with any kind of generalisation, it is not always true and may not even be reflective of the majority, but it appears that China does not enjoy good reputation.
Top 10 Knock-off according to Time
According to Al Jazeera, China experimented with a town in China, which was exempted from the “One-Child” Policy. The idea was to confirm whether this Policy or the lack of it, would influence population growth. Some 30 years after the policy was introduced, this experiment concluded that even without the policy, population growth was lower than the national average. This policy which has led to lopsided gender demographics where boys outnumber girls, was not necessary. The harm appears to have outweighed any benefits.