Tuesday, 4 September 2007

China in the Newspaper

Coming back from our holidays in China, I found a pile of unread newspapers. I was curious to find out what these papers would have told the Dutch reader about the country where we had been travelling. Here is the result.

1 China produces dangerous articles of low quality

The most important stories were about toys containing poison and the responsible owner who committed suicide. The quality of exports must be improved, says the government.

2 Basic Human Rights are still not guaranteed in China

Anomymous blogging is forbidden. One of the scarce opportunities of free speech is now blocked. Protest movements are repressed in the wake of the Olympic games. Slave labour exists in China. The Communist Party accepts no open criticism.

3 Corruption is a serious problem in China

Death penalty me be an effective answer to this problem, according to the government.

4 Chinese must learn to behave in a civilised way

Spitting is forbidden in Beijjing now.

5 Environmental pollution is a major problem

This problem is attracting attention because of the Olympics.

6 China's infrastructure has major weaknesses

Bridges are collapsing. Even during the building process (Fenghuang).

Nice selection! What does it show? The news seems to be a strange combination of the official news in the Chinese press - for example the stories about corruption, about civilised behaviour - and the themes that the West wishes to see, like human rights. In combination it gives a strange picture...

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