My tears streamed…

This in response to a story in the Toronto Star (September 13, 2007) which filled me with horror and outrage!

( for the full story go here: )

It’s not like I don’t know what we’re dealing with when it comes to China — a tyrannical Communist Party government with a strangle-hold grip on all aspects of civic life, and a titanic and corrupt bureaucracy to administer its policies.

Yet, China wants to appeal to the world as a stable and investment-worthy developing country, so appearances are everything, and, when something goes wrong, saving face is the name of the game.

I’ve heard the stories of poisoned cat food and tooth paste, of lead-contaminated toys, of huge concrete bridges built with no re-bar, that collapse like crumbling tofu, of children used as slave labour, of senior citizens being beaten by police for opening their mouths in protest, and of Tibetans being shot in the back while trying to flee the country, …

And, speaking of Tibet, I’ve heard the amazing stories of the world’s highest railway running through that occupied country, and a highway up the side of Mount Everest for the glory that will be the Beijing Olympics. Yes, appearances are everything!

After all these, I find the psyche of the Chinese government is distilled here, in this anecdotal story. This is a horrific story of a young woman who, because of a legal technicality (she conceived before she was married) was grabbed by government planning officials, had her about-to-be-born (she was in her ninth months) daughter murdered while she still carried her, and then had the corpse ripped from her womb, leaving her forever unable to conceive, destroying all her hopes for a family, and, I must assume, wreaking emotional and psychological havoc on her life and her husband’s.

My tears streamed as I read this!

‘One official yelled at her: “Who said you could have this baby?”’ What!? What kind of Orwellean nightmare is this?

And then followed the legal proceedings, with officials denying, covering up, hiding evidence and generally lying to save face.

Saving face is what it’s all about. Like a lot of dysfunctional families, it’s all about outward appearances. The government of China places human rights and, indeed, human life far down on its list of priorities… well below upholding the appearance of conformity, uniformity and solidarity. Saving face? Their face is covered in muck!

I think this “developing country” still has a hell of a lot of developing to do… and it’s got nothing to do with industry.

I can’t wait for the Beijing Olympics; I’ll bet they will look great.

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