09 August 2008

Chinese Puzzle

First off, let me say that I am a huge fan of Asian culture. (I respect all cultures, but really admire Asian cultures). I think highly of the culture and histories of Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, etc.

But I want to ask a question:

How is it that China can demonstrate its competence so amazingly with its opening ceremonies to this year's summer Olympics games (last night, pictured), and not be able to do something relatively easy like clean up the Yangtze river to prevent the extinction of the rare baiji dolphin, or oversee the production of pet food to prevent poisons from getting into it, or prevent toys from being made with poisonous lead, or build schools that will not crumple during an earthquake, or coexist with people who are different from they?

I understand the basic tenet of communism is the state is all and the people serve the state. I agree with the (mercifully restrained) NBC commentators who said the trophy for best opening ceremony could now be retired because, really, how could you top the Chinese?

But I don't understand pollution, or poisoning, or shoddy construction of schools, or killing people just because they are different. Can someone please explain this to me?

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