Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milk'n Melamine: Unpalatable truths in China's food safety

I found this article from Asia Time Online where the author Kent Ewing report some news from the New Zealand Herald, which are quite interesting in the light of the recent trial of Tian Wenhua, the ex-boss of Sanlu (one of the company found guilty of adding melanine to the milk).

Indeed last month (I think...) Tian Wenhua was jugded on a big show case trial and reportedly pleaded guilty to the "charges of producing and selling fake products and endangering public safety and could be sentenced to death". However, a spokeperson from the New Zealand branch (Fonterra) of the milk company reported that Tian Wenhua never said anything the like.
Now who's saying the truth? Along Tian Wenhua, 3 other top executives were also charged and 17 other random people. In total the China Daily report that over 40 000 people are being investigated... Who said big show? Maybe the Fonterra's spokeperson just tried a public relation move in order to save the Kiwi branch's face. Yet this whole situation is peculiarly similar to what Julia Strauss describe; the public accusation and mass denunciation sessions where random people were found guilty of the horrible crime of being a "rightist opportunist", and the accused were blamed of everyone's problem...
But 60 years have passed since the "golden age" of the CCP, as Julia Strauss wrote, and technology now allow people to comunicate and exchange their ideas. The CCP has to play carefully with its public media apparatus on the one hand, and discrete arrests on the other hand. As Kent Ewing reported, last month some of the victim's families tried to reach Beijing to voice their discontent, but they were quietly arrested on the way... The big shows from the CCP aren't finished yet!