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China and stuff

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Liriodelagua, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Liriodelagua Gems: 4/31
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    Today I read in a local newspaper that over a hundred tons of carcinogenic substances were spilt in the river Songhua, in China. A chemical factory exploded, the article says, on November 13th, and only days later this information was made public. Now this mass of benzene is approaching the major city in northern China, Harbin, and it's 80km long. It is thought that it'll take 40 hours to pass through the city. Two companies are involved, one private (as far as I know) and the other controled by the state.
    So, basically, that's the story. I can't believe that this kind of news don't spread faster. I forgot to mention that this river passes through Russia also, and so they should worry about it too. Does the goverment in China have far too much power? How can they silence this information so easily? They have to shut like 1000 million mouths! Besides, I can't find anything on this on the internet (google, bah). Maybe they don't agree on some human rights? What are we doing in Cuba then? I know, I went too far. But it is so little what we know of China, that it scares me. They're becoming the major potence in the world and we know nothing about it ("we" refers to common people like me).
    This is the end of my babbling. Thanks for reading. No links cause they're in spanish. So try to find your own.
     
  2. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    Hmmm, are they going to try and clean it up before it contaminates the city's water supply (if, in fact, the river is the city's water supply?).


    And 1000 million = 1 billion.
     
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  4. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    A rhetorical question, I assume.
     
  5. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    You only ever read about bad things that happen in China, never good things. Typical biased reporting.
     
  6. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    @ Tassadar - You pretty much only ever hear about the bad things that happen regardless of what country you are talking about, that is the nature of news reporting.

    Actually, a lot of the articles that I read about China are quite favourable - but they mostly have to do with business and economic growth.
     
  7. Winterine Gems: 6/31
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    Economic growth at what cost to consumers? The reports we get in the news here (Australia) say some pretty scary things about their quality control (or lack thereof) among other things. I'd have to agree with Liriodelagua and say that it scares me too.
     
  8. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Really? Interesting - we see quite the opposite here, just a few hours flight away from Aussie. Not in the 6-o'clock news or what ever, but more in... other newsy things. Like JSBB, most of the things I've read/watched about China resently have been very favourable.
     
  9. Undertaker Gems: 27/31
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    The gov has absolute power and no one can do nothing about it. NO ONE.
     
  10. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    Hmm, the article did not specifically say whether or not the government was trying to clean it up, just trying to stop people from getting near it.

    Running away from the problem doesn't help it...
     
  11. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    The Chinese government scares the hell out of me :) The negative things you hear about the Chinese government are, well, very negative (Falan Gong, anyone?), and far more important than whatever positive things you hear (unless we have people here who value business improvements and such over human rights).

    Oh, woohoo! Their economy is rocking, Hmm, and how are they using this new wealth? Well, just go look at their military spending...

    (To be fair, I read an article recently about how quality of life in China has improved (ie: people don't have to go around on bicycles anymore but can instead conjest the streets with cars) - still, the Chinese government sucks)
     
  12. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    You try running a country with a billion people.

    China has always been portrayed as the bad guys in Western media - no human rights, poor conditions, communism, rah rah rah. A bit rich I think, looking at the track record of countries like Japan, England and USA.
     
  13. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, the thing is, generally with an increase in wealth you will find that the living standards increases. With an increase in living standards, as a general rule of thumb, human rights and the likes follows shortly behind.

    To try and explain myself a bit better... A growing economy - well, I hope I don't need to explain how that leads to better living standards. But you will find once the living standards of the average person has increased, education will follow suit as well. Infact, this sometimes comes before the living standards increase, and itself is the factor that breaks the poverty cycle.

    Once education increase, people become a lot more aware of the circimstances they are living in and will generally put pressure on those in charge to increase their rights. That's why many dictators over time have banned education. Look back even to one of the revolutions in China. The Emporer who took power (can't remember who) had all scholars and other learned people killed off. Wonder why?

    Of course, that is making a lot of assumptions...
     
  14. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Well yes - the economy getting better can achieve human rights - assuming that the Chinese government gives into pressure and doesn't follow the example of a certain Emperor :) Seeing what they're doing now makes me leary of them allowing any groups going 'Yay! Let's be free!' stay alive for very long.

    Tassadar: Er, so? With those things you listed there's good reason for them to be portrayed as the 'bad guys' - it seems to be portraying them as they're acting really - and just because other nations with crappy records have moved on and improved doesn't mean we should be applauding one that hasn't gotten that far yet.

    (Well, the USA has maybe regressed a bit :p )
     
  15. Sir Fink Gems: 13/31
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    To play Devil's advocate a bit: imagine if China had been completely open about the benzine spill (they were initially saying the water plant was shut down for routine maintenance).

    Panic in the streets, looting, rioting, who knows what?

    And is Democracy in China a good thing? Is a free, open, transparent government a good thing in such a huge country? 1.3 billion people excersing their rights. Is that good? Maybe, but it might also be a nightmare.

    From a purely pragmatic point of view: perhaps keeping 1.3 billion enslaved on low wages, forcing them to work 12 hours a day in factories producing cheep goods for the West, perhaps these are good things.

    We need benzine. Do you want a benzine plant in your backyard? You probably use benzine nearly everyday of your life in one way or another. Isn't it better to have such a dangerous manufacturing facility be located on the other side of the world?

    Again, I'm playing Devil's advocate here but I just think folks need to think a bit about the consequences when they start advocating global capitalism and democracy.
     
  16. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I'm inclined to agree with the devil's advocates on this here board. China has its problems with human rights abuses, no question. However, so do many other countries, including several who are the allies of the U.S. -- in fact, as has been mentioned so often on these boards, the U.S. is presently being scrutinized for their treatment of suspected enemies in their war on terror.

    I would hazard that for the average law abiding citizen, life in China is not as horrible as some make it out. As another point, they are going through the same growing pains in their efforts to modernize as every other country has had to go through during their period of modernization.

    Heaven knows, even here in Canada, we just had a huge train spill of oil and other nasty substances about 2 hours from where I live. Doesn't necessarily mean that the whole Canadian system is evil and corrupt, though some parts certainly are. I feel it only fair to give China the benefit of the doubt.
     
  17. Liriodelagua Gems: 4/31
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    Undertaker's comment makes me laugh. I'm not sure if he's serious or not, tho.
    And as for you, mr. Sir Fink, I 'd love to see an honest response from the goverment, for once. I don't think it would cause a riot; my stereotype is that they 're all very disciplined people (that martial arts training pays off). Maybe it could cause demonstrations against this company? The closing, and following trial? Imprisonment of the directors? I don't know how it works over there. But it could be one "good end" of the story. It's likely that those workers you mentioned will be convicted, like it happened in that other industrial disaster (check out Taluntain's link).
    What intrigued me was that no media covered this incident. It's something very hard to imagine. Hence I said what a firm grip they must have.
    Oh, and now that I think of it... it's grim, but don't you think wars in the future will cause issues like this? I mean, water will be precious because of these incidents and people would make queues for water and they will live in vaults and yes I've played Fallout for too long. We'd better plan ahead.
     
  18. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    Sir Fink's on the money. You've got such a massive population to deal with, you need to make sure everyone gets a loaf of bread (or bowl of rice) first and foremost. Cheap labour is still labour, much better than mass unemployment. At the same time, you've got to expand the economy to raise overall living standards. The government's doing a bloody good job. It's pragmatic, and gets things done.
     
  19. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Edit: My ranting doesn't have much to do with this incident - I kinda don't mind their handling of it, though covering it up for so long was ridiculous. They seem to be doing things about the problem. Then again - that's just from scanning Tal's article. It doesn't look like everyone's going to die anyway :)

    Okay, but I really don't see how violently suppressing/massacring people of pacifist religions and totally destroying freedom is helping deal with their problems (unless you want to pretend it's a good thing for population control - but if they wanted that they could just let the benzine kill everyone...). It's all very well and good for the Chinese government to deal with the problems that they face - but they could do it equally well without oppressing the population. To deliver rice and boost the economy you really don't need to murder protesters and ban even the slightest hint of dissent.

    And why do you suppose I would agree with the idea that the US government and its allies are any good? Anyone who pulls crap like this I'm against. China is just one (rather large) problem - there are plenty of others. That 'everyone' does it doesn't make it any less of a bad thing.

    For the law abiding citizen - life could be quite well for all I know. I just think that the laws suck and aren't actually benefiting the people generally.
     
  20. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Hardly an inspiring defense. That's the sort of thing Cheney would say with regard to the torturing of prisoners.
     
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