People Living in Underground Wells in Beijing Kicked Out

Beijing's underground dwellers kicked out of their wells

Some old couples and migrant workers living in underground “wells” for years to save money in Beijing became a hot topic recently in China. After media reports, officials rushed to seal such wells with concrete…

From NetEase:

Beijing Law Enforcement Personnel Seal Up Wells; “Well Dwellers” Moving Out

On 2013 December 4th, near the south gate of Lidu Square in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, this reporter discovered while visiting the many wells in this area that in these less than 3 square meter simple and crude spaces lived some people who go out during the days to eke a living but return down into these wells at night to live. Among them are not only car washers in the prime years of their lives but also the elderly living alone making a living by sorting through trash. On the morning of 2013 December 6th, this reporter came to these wells where people live but there were already law enforcement personnel starting to seal the entrances [manholes] to such wells with cement, removing the things within such wells, with one law enforcement officer claiming that at around 5 in the morning here, [he] saw some well dwellers carrying valuables already leaving. CFP Legal Evening News China News

The wells had been used as homes by some migrant workers

The entrance to this heating power well is about 3 meters deep to the bottom.

The wells had been used as homes by some migrant workers

Photo is inside the well, as Quan Youzhi tidies up her bedding and tells of her own life experience to this reporter.

The wells had been used as homes by some migrant workers

Photo is of old lady Quan Youzhi’s dwelling down the well.

The wells had been used as homes by some migrant workers

Photo is of the food items and seasonings placed on top of a stone.

Beijing government officials the wells up with concrete

On the morning of December 6th, at multiple heating wells located near the south gate of Lidu Square in Chaoyang district, hotel staff cleared out the things from within the wells and used cement to seal up the manholes.

Beijing government officials the wells up with concrete

Beijing government officials have  taken "well" residents from their homes

Beijing government officials have  taken "well" residents from their homes

Beijing government officials have  taken "well" residents from their homes

Beijing government officials the wells up with concrete

Beijing government officials have  taken "well" residents from their homes

Beijing government officials have  taken "well" residents from their homes

About 50 meters to the west of the old couple’s well was another well covered with a piece of cardboard with the word “hot” written on it. Removing the manhole cover, an acrid odor assaulted the nostrils, and just as this reporter was about to enter to investigate, this reporter was stopped by a middle-aged man. He is the “owner” of this well, Mr Wang. He said he is 53 years old this year, from Huairou village, and has lived in the well for 20 years. He has three children at home, his two daughters currently in high school, and the son is in middle school. Photo is the cardboard and plastic sheeting covering the old couple’s manhole cover.

The beijing migrant workers

Photo is of the late night, as two scavengers return to their homes in the wells in the dim light of the night.

Comments from NetEase:

youlanjife [网易浙江省嘉兴市网友]:

Presumably because they don’t have a homeland [motherland/country].

视线缺了焦点 [网易上海市手机网友]:

Uh-oh, the chengguan will now come to collect money [protection money].

最爱黄果兰 [网易辽宁省鞍山市手机网友]:

Living in our Heavenly Kingdom is wholeheartedly not easy. Eating too well, living too well. Hehe

网易广东省中山市网友 [MacoChina]: (responding to above)

If your own abilities and other various aspects are not suited for living in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities, why do you insist on squeezing into such places, and then whining about not having housing to live in and how housing prices are too high?

网易江苏省无锡市网友 [西部马仔NO1]:

The rise of a great nation! An aircraft carrier setting out! The Olympic Games blooming! Chang’e [lunar orbiter] flying to the Moon! High-speed rail runs unimpeded! And the ordinary common people descend into wells….

网易山东省济南市网友 ip:123.233.*.*: (responding to above)

And people serve the “smog” [the original Chinese is a pun on “serving the people”]

网易河北省唐山市手机网友 ip:106.117.*.*:

This is current situation [of the country/society]

网易浙江省温州市网友(60.181.*.*):

You can see many homeless people living under the bridge and in the places such as sewers in American films, just like in Batman. Except there is no chengguan [city management personnel, harassing them]

网易广西南宁市网友 [令狐臭]: (responding to above)

They have armed police dealing with these things [instead], and whoever resists the law gets their heads shot. Did you think there would be such humane law enforcements like some beautiful female chengguan patiently persuading them [to leave/obey the law] or chengguan surrounding and watching street vendors?

网易浙江省杭州市手机网友 ip:211.140.*.*: (responding to above)

The humanization of law enforcement is a sign of progress, but the corresponding problems helping the homeless should also keep apace. You can’t just have a beautiful female chengguan trick people out in order to seal the manhole covers. How is the beautiful female chengguan supposed to live afterward? Just let the innocent beautiful female chengguan take the blame?

网易山东省东营市网友 ip:222.174.*.*:

Don’t seal the wells! What’s wrong with letting them live in them?! Why not just all harmoniously live together putting people first?

网易山东省青岛市手机网友 ip:112.224.*.*:

The National Development and Reform Commission Macroeconomic Research Institute Social Development Institute Director Yang Yiyong said the index of the revival of the Chinese nation in 2012 was 0.653. This shows that the Chinese nation has achieved 65.3% of its mission of revival.

talankas131 [网易河北省石家庄市网友]:

Actually, [these people] have homes in their hometowns~

网易北京市网友 ip:111.206.*.*:

I cried, I want to sing a song. “I love you China, I love you, China… I’m going to sacrifice my beautiful youth to you, my mother, my motherland….

网易宁夏银川市网友 ip:221.199.*.*:

The old lady struggles to climb out of the well by herself, but the circle of well-dressed people crowding around the manhole stand there holding mobile phones taking photos, with not a single person going forward to help her up. I don’t know if these people who are exposing this [to the greater public as media] really care about the people living at the bottom of society or are just increasing attention for themselves. The truly effective thing to do here is to help.

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  • Stefan Xu

    SOFA! hehe :)

    • mr.wiener

      I’m sorry but the authorities have decided to evict you from the sofa and seal it up with concrete.
      Have a socially harmonious day.

      • Stefan Xu

        Then I move.

        • TheSOP

          you are so compliant, you’ll do well in China ;p

          • Stefan Xu

            Yes, why not? I’m very obedient.

          • TheSOP

            You say that as if its a good thing….

          • Stefan Xu

            I see it as a good thing. I obey and respect elders, authorities, the boss, teachers, etc. everyone that is above me. Like in Confucianism. Disobedience just creates conflicts.

          • TheSOP

            haha ur such a facetious smart ass! that disharmonious you know!

          • Dr Sun

            Tell you what Sop after the latest in a increasing number of mass shootings and killings in Colorado,the USA generally, lets you explain about the harmonious society that you live in !!

          • TheSOP

            wow Sun thats stupid enough to warrant wumao, congrats!

          • Dr Sun

            LOL SOP gets the red neck/ tea party asshole prize, try to do better SOP, drink some coffee eat some ginseng maybe….maybe two neurons will connect.

          • TheSOP

            Really? Look at your comment and then say that again… to the mirror.

          • Dr Sun

            no need to “guest ” lol

          • David

            Dr. are you under the impression people are running around shooting other people all over the U.S. all the time? Most people go their whole lives without seeing anybody shot. The only time I saw it I was in war and not in the U.S. (and I have lived in some bad neighborhoods). Any shootings are a tragedy I don’t think we need to use them to score points here.

          • Dr Sun

            David I’m under no impression.
            I was working in the ER of DGH as the victims of Columbine were brought in. we moved to Taos, but after our house, car and my wife was shot at by drive by gangbangers, we moved to China.
            Since being here my colleagues in DGH have treated the victims of the Aurora cinema mass killings last year and now the Jefferson school killings. In that whole time here in my town in China there was/ has been been no mass shootings/ killings, no drive by’s

            The point I was making is some on here like to bitch up China while pretending the USA is the model we should all emulate, I suggest thats not the case.

          • David

            I will whole heatedly agree that the causes of violence in the U.S. is a major problem and need to be addressed. I believe all those mass shootings were done by people who had a history of psychological problems (no surprise, and in the case of the Aurora cinema shooter, he was under the care of a doctor at the time). When I was a paramedic I also saw the results of accidents or mayhem everyday (never had to see the actual event happen) for the short time I did it after college (before joining the military) but I understood it was the nature of the profession. I did not think it represent what most people experienced everyday (or even every year). That being said, of course people get shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, poisoned, strangled, drowned and other assorted murders, manslaughters, accidents etc. . . everyday SOMEWHERE in most big cities and occasionally in even small towns (although the suburb of 50,000 my house is in has been about 25 years without a murder, knock on wood). I am sure you remember that the day of the Sandyhook shooting a man went into a school in China and stabbed 22 people. a horrible things probably only overshadowed by 22 getting shot. However, every discussion can not start with the disclaimer “because I am pointing out something I noticed in China does not mean I think we are perfect in the U.S., there we complain about ourselves every day on thousands of websites (our favorite occupation). We are all human and we screw up, now can we talk about the article Fauna or Kai spent so much time translating for us”, otherwise we would not have very many discussions. No disrespect whatsoever toward you meant.

          • Germandude

            Well, if that’s the case, you’d made a great Nazi I assume.

          • Stefan Xu

            Why is it so many down-votes for that comment? It’s not offensive or wrong, it’s just a different viewpoint.

          • mr.wiener

            Stefan…I few things you should not say about yourself if you want to be popular.
            1. The amount of times you have made love to a woman and descriptions of the seminal discharge or lack thereof.
            2. A willingness to tow the line of some govt without questioning it.
            3. Saying something dum-arsed and then following it up with “I was only kidding”.
            4. A preference for women who look below the age of consent.[not sure if that was you but i put that one in anyway].
            I hope this clears a few things up for you.

          • Germandude

            The amount of times you have made love to a woman and descriptions of the seminal discharge or lack thereof..

            Well, to be fair, if you post a video of that, you at least give people a chance to vote on your popularity. Just saying…

          • Stefan Xu

            1. ok, I won’t do it again. But I thought we had free speech and could be open about everything.

            2./3. ok, Sorry. I’ve stopped and I don’t do it anymore. I’m not going to troll anymore.

            4. I do not have a preference of girls who look like children. or below age of consent I like girls my age which is adult age.

          • Germandude

            I am surprised you have to ask that. Weren’t you coming from a top-notch university of a country where freedom of speech and personal freedom is omnipresent?

            It’s not a different viewpoint, it’s simply ignorance.

          • Stefan Xu

            I like freedom of speech and I haven’t said that I don’t like it. I like personal freedom but it doesn’t have to mean not obeying your parents at least, or your teacher or boss? This is very normal in East Asia but they still have free speech and personal freedom in Japan and South Korea.

          • Germandude

            I see it as a good thing. I obey and respect elders, authorities, the boss, teachers, etc. everyone that is above me. Like in Confucianism. Disobedience just creates conflicts.

            “Everyone that is above me”

            Only dead fish swim with the stream.

          • Stefan Xu

            I think that’s about another question about individuality and taking risks or being on the safe side.

          • Germandude

            Good luck in China then. What Europe really doesn’t need is more slimy entitled wokers that don’t perform.

          • Stefan Xu

            I’m not an under performer. When I have worked before work really hard, harder than people around me. I perform well too. I don’t have any requirements for salary and I don’t mind working 12 hours a day if I must.

            Sometimes like to take risks to gain something and I like to suggest how to do things to my co-workers and to the boss but in the end it’s the boss that makes the decisions. If my boss gives me an assignment I’ll do it without hesitations.

            My goal is to become a boss or manager in China since I have the leadership and can think outside the box that most Chinese lack.

          • Germandude

            Thanks for editing your post that I quoted and thus, making my point appearing to be invalid.

          • Stefan Xu

            I didn’t edit my post. See for yourself, it’s still there.

          • Germandude

            Apologies. Disqus screwed me over and lead me to another of your comments. Shame on me to blame an innocent boy. I mean it.

          • Stefan Xu

            no probs :)

  • wes707

    That’s sad. One wonders what brought her to Beijing. I would rather stay in the countryside since Beijing is a bit of a hellhole.

    • Stefan Xu

      Money brought her to Beijing.

      • mr.wiener

        Live large down in the well. I suspected as much.

      • wes707

        I would presume she has a life story.

  • Cameron

    Wishful thinking. The thing it’s easy to forget is that this chaotic, polluted dysfunctional society still represents progress for China in terms of the last couple of centuries. Western democracies also have an elite of 1% or 2% of the population driving flash cars and owning several properties. We also have homeless and people living on food stamps – which we accept as the price of our preferred system – capitalism. A few big winners, quite a lot of big losers, with the majority working their asses off to avoid falling in with the losers, while entertaining pie in the sky aspirations of joining the elite. Why should China be any different?

    • Dax

      But we don’t call ourselves socialists or communists.

      • David

        But the government you support does..

        • Dax

          Which government do i support that calls itself socialist?

          • David

            After re-reading the comment (and following it up past 100 other comments) I realize I misunderstood your comment. It sounded like you were talking about China but I can now see you were not.

          • Dax

            Ah, that makes sense then. Cheers.

    • wes707

      Why do you think Apple has $150 billion in cash and the Walton descendants (Walmart) together possess another $150 billion? Where are all those products made? Manufacturing in China allowed profit margins to leap to extreme levels because of extremely low labor cost and lack of regulatory and compliance fees. In this dynamic, Western business owners and the Chinese contract manufacturers won. Western workers lost. Never in history has this dynamic existed where the majority of consumer goods are made on the other side of the planet. This dynamic also enable the vast majority of the riches for the one percent. If Western people want to improve the fate of their fellow citizens, we need to be much more conscious of who we support.

      You shouldn’t speak of “Western democracies” as primarily represented by the US. I would say German, Netherland, Sweden, Denmark, etc. have functioning democracies and are fairly meritocratic. The US and other Western democracies for all their faults still allow individuals of all races to succeed whether they’re born in the country or not, from rich or poor backgrounds:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philipp_R%C3%B6sler
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jen-Hsun_Huang
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Khan_(educator)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Lee_(politician)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Chu
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jindal
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergey_Brin
      There are thousands of examples and you know that.

      China is different because hardly any political and cultural plurality exists. Chinese people have often told me that they truly only trust 血液关系 (blood relations). In fact, much of East Asia has similar view common blood. This undoubtedly makes nepotism one of the main driving factors of their wealth disparity; not to mention it conflicts with an objective view of history. Western democracies let people from all over the world come to seek better educations and livelihoods. Has this ever happened in any other civilization? Certainly not in East Asia. You should give democracy credit where it’s due.

    • wes707

      Why do you think Apple has $150 billion in cash and the Walton descendants (Walmart) together possess another $150 billion? Where are all those products made? Manufacturing in China allowed profit margins to leap to extreme levels because of extremely low labor cost and lack of regulatory and compliance fees. In this dynamic, Western business owners and the Chinese contract manufacturers won. Western workers lost. Never in history has this dynamic existed where the majority of consumer goods are made on the other side of the planet. This dynamic also enable the vast majority of the riches for the one percent. If Western people want to improve the fate of their fellow citizens, we need to be much more conscious of who we support.

      You shouldn’t speak of “Western democracies” as primarily represented by the US. I would say Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, etc. have functioning democracies and are fairly meritocratic. The US and other Western democracies for all their faults still allow individuals of all races to succeed whether they’re born in the country or not, from rich or poor backgrounds.

      China is different because hardly any political and cultural plurality exists. Chinese people have often told me that they truly only trust 血液关系 (blood relations). In fact, much of East Asia has similar view common blood. This undoubtedly makes nepotism one of the main driving factors of their wealth disparity; not to mention it conflicts with an objective view of history. Western democracies let people from all over the world come to seek better educations and livelihoods. As a result, there’s a diversity of opinion in the cultural narrative as opposed to uniformity in China. Has this ever happened in any other civilization? Certainly not in East Asia. You should give democracy credit where it’s due.

    • David

      I think you have a very skewed view of life in the West. Most people are not scraping by, some people are. I would not call poor people big losers. Most work hard and are doing OK compared to the rest of the world. Of course we have homeless people in the west, Many of which have mental problems and/or drug addiction and refuse help. Even the average poor person in the rest is provided the essentials (shelter, food, education for their children, some medical care for emergencies). Many may not be happy but most are not dying, the way poor in Africa, Latin America or Asia are. At least this is how I have seen it.

      • Jobjed

        Perhaps when you view life in China, you should take into account that a mere 30 years ago, Chinese lived at Sub-Saharan African levels. They’ve come this far already but haven’t gotten around to solving every problem in society in 30 years and now you’re upset with them; unrealistic goals, much?

        They’ve accomplished all this in 30 years; think how many years the US had to develop into a high-income, high-HDI superpower. Then, allocate the exact same amount of time to China before you start judging them. If you want to make comparisons between two countries, then you should make sure they both have had the same time to develop.

        • don mario

          and why have they only developed since 30 years ago? try asking yourself that…

          because the other 30 years were spent sending the country backwards! its their own damn fault they didn’t develop any earlier, it is not an excuse for still being so behind. in chiangs time they had already started industry.

          • grand

            incorrect. the west looted the entire world, including china, for resources. china was invaded, looted, and descended into chaos since 1850s. by 1949, china was one of the poorest in the world with no industry to speak of. life expectancy was 36 and 80% of the population was illiterate.

          • nqk123

            when your nation was strong and powerful, did your nation not conquered and looted other nations around you. it is your own nation’s fault for not modernizing. you criminalized the west and yet not acknowledging your nation’s criminal acts. do you not watch your own produced periodic/war dramas?

          • David

            Germany has only been a unified country since the 1880’s, Italy had a literacy rate of about 14% even in the 1920s (50 years after they became a unified country and mandatory elementary education was made law). China was no more looted than Korea was, less than Brazil was. From the 10th to the end of the 18th century China was the wealthiest and probably the most powerful country in the world.

        • nqk123

          I have to disagree with your argument. if both nations was developing at the same, US nor any western nation wouldn’t have given favorable trade deals to China. Investments in China would be close to zero. I have to remind you that China speedy development was mostly thank to foreign investments and technologies.

          • David Bowie

            Not true nqk123. People invest in China because it’s a good deal. Labor’s cheap next to what’s at home. And China’s speedy development is due to it finally using its resources efficiently.

          • nqk123

            we arguing over a hypothetical situation: if US and China start developing at the same time. which is prior to US labor cost explored and more business are primarily focus at home. the speedy advancement of current China is hugely due to foreign investment and favorable trade deals (which was due to corps lobbying government to relax on foreign investment rules).

          • David Bowie

            I’m not arguing that FDI hasn’t contributed to economic growth in China. I’m saying that your assertion that if China weren’t developing faster than the US then FDI would be zero is patently false. Growth is a consequence of FDI, not the other way around.

            I’m an economist. I know trade theory.

          • nqk123

            FDI at 0 is my exaggeration to make a point. without FDI and foreign techs it will take China much much longer to get to where they are. If you read Jobjed: he asked to make a comparison if US and China start developing at the same time whether or not if US can achieve China current status within 30 years. I disagreed with him. current China has been taken a free ride from the west and US technologies development. without the west and US, current China development will not be possible within 30 years.

          • David Bowie

            My issue was with causality – it’s FDI resulting in growth, not growth resulting in FDI. I also disagree with jobjed, but I don’t think that China’s taking “a free ride from the west.” The entirety of the 90’s was about investment for China, and it was pretty amazing how much that spurred their economy. Some people actually think they’re over invested now – infrastructure that’s not that useful, roads that never get used, etc – which may be a future problem. But their own efforts at investment also spurred a lot of growth.

          • nqk123

            I have mix feeling about that? I have to disagree about China not taking a free ride though. capitalism, modern business practice, manufacturing techniques, modern techs, etc (in my opinion: these are some of the important drivers of growth) came from the west and US. China has not develop anything significant (don’t know about future though). Everything (I think) are results of western research/tests/theory. China simply pick workable ideas from the west and applied to their own. I think that pretty much is a free ride.

          • David

            I don’t think anybody considers China’s position a free ride, but to ignore the help the west gave with FDI and give them credit on all the good things that have resulted then say they are a “developing economy” to excuse the bad is also a false premise.

          • 二奶头发

            China boasts 5000 years of history. The US was only formed in 1776.

            How much time does china need to develop?

          • David

            Yes David but all that western investment and technology (not to mention the technology available for stealing which does not have to be developed from scratch like it was in the west) increases the speed of development of China (and other countries like South Korea and Japan in the post war years and today Indonesia).

          • TheSOP

            Spot on, these 50 cent types have total amnesia about the amount of foreign capital and technology that made the rise of China possible in the first place.

        • Archie

          China has had 5000 years to develop. And has been around far longer than the USA.

          • Jobjed

            And you should do well to remember that.

        • David

          Upset? Judging? I don’t think you actually understand this conversation. The judging (and taunting and name calling) came from the person who started the thread, I merely called him on his BS.

          Also, to address your imaginary point. The CCP does not denounce Mao’s methods to its people. They still worship him (and use his image to legitimize their own power), so to start counting China’s development from the time he died is a false premise. The West developed the way they are as a leading economy/society, naturally, with nobody to study or show the way. Nobody tried to “upgrade” their society from a command position. When you look at economies like Brazil or Eastern Europe, they modernized (well, mostly) much quicker because they were concerned with their people first and their position as a world shaking superpower second. I they had been less worried about their own positions of power and more concerned with their people they might have avoided many of the mistakes that Mao made and that hurt the Soviet Union.

          • Jobjed

            No one cares about Mao in the urban areas, but in the rural areas, some still cling onto the ‘Mao legacy’ like North Koreans cling to the ‘Kim Jong-Il legacy’. Mao is not the tool the CCP uses to legitimise their rule; the Chinese people’s mentality is.

            As long as the Chinese masses can only think about making money and as long as the CCP facilitates their desire to make money, then the CCP will remain in power since everyone is too busy making money to care about staging a revolt.

          • TheSOP

            the CCP will remain in power since they run over people who protest their rule with tanks and their PLA lackeys are willing to kill Chinese people to protect their master. Moron.

          • Jobjed

            Hey, Son of Poop, last time I saw the ‘tank man’ footage, the 35 tonne tank stopped for the lone protester. The driver did not steamroll the anarchist dumbass trying to block the tank. Now you go crawl back into your hole and engage in more group masturbation sessions with the rest of your netuyou and pinoy lackeys.

          • David

            fair enough

          • Kai

            I’m not sure why you consider what Cameron said to be “BS” or “a very skewed view of life in the West.” All he said was that there are large wealth gaps in the West as well, that it is a society characterized by a tiny elite with a majority of people dreaming of becoming part of that elite. This is true in the West and in China. He didn’t say people are “dying” and he wasn’t comparing the poor people in the West to other people in the world, much less saying the poor in the West are in the exact same situation as the poor in China; he was just using “big losers” in juxtaposition to “big winners”, within the same society. I feel you ended up straw-manning his comment and it’s unfair to call it “BS” now.

            Re-read Cameron’s comment and reconsider what his point is versus what you may have assumed it to be. All he’s saying is that inequality in China is probably not something to be surprised about when it is so prevalent in even developed Western societies. He’s cynical about attitudes in China shifting, which is what My Vagina Says said. This suggest Cameron believes people in China buy are buying into “pie in the sky aspirations of joining the elite” instead of questioning the growing inequalities.

            For the record, I’m not as cynical as he is to say “wishful thinking” but I don’t think his point is unfounded, much less BS.

            Next, with regards to your response to @jobjed:disqus

            I think Jobjed used the wrong argument here, suggesting China needs the same “time” as other countries to “develop”. While most people should understand his point when they think about it honestly, people will retort with how China has had so much time (5000 years, etc.) and whatever. The point isn’t so much about time, but about historical conditions.

            A person in an enclosed room without wind or distractions could probably build a house of cards within X amount of time. A person without one and with many distractions would probably take more time, or have any progress they’ve made interrupted or set back.

            Just as you would likely have grown up to be a very different person today if you were born in China instead of say the United States, so has the historical circumstances of each country shaped what they are like today. There is no honest way of making a fair comparison because on systems this large, there are way too many confounding factors that dictate why things have turned out the way they are.

            The same rule that dictates that China should give credit to foreign countries for aspects of their progress dictates that China should give credit to foreign countries for aspects of their troubles. No country exists and developes in a truly closed system, not even North Korea.

            I’m not sure if the second part of your comment responds to all to what Jobjed said or if you’re just expressing your own thoughts about China’s priorities. I’m sympathetic to the argument that China could devote more of its limited resources towards improving the lives of its people but all countries multitask. Could mainland Chinese society be more developed if the government had spent less of its resources doing things you consider to be chasing after being a “world shaking superpower”? Maybe, but is it so hard to imagine why China might want to be a “world shaking superpower”? I don’t think so, not given its history and how that has shaped its fears and insecurities.

          • David

            Remember my comments were in response to his comment about how bad things were in the west. I do not think it is a valid premise to compare the elite in China (who enjoy legal, social and politcal advantage that goes hand in hand with their economic affluence) with rich people in most western countries (I won’t say all but certainly not the U.S.). In China, justice is a manifestation of politics. While poor people have a higher conviction rate than rich people it is not that much different.

            The poverty level in the U.S. is 16% (a little less for whites and rural dwellers, a little more for Blacks and urban dwellers, also slightly higher for individuals and slightly lower for families). There is a large and vibrant middle class in the U.S. and most western countries (maybe less vibrant then 5 years ago) and this is where most people are. While being poor anywhere sucks, the social programs available in most western countries (even more so in Europe than in the U.S.) ensure that those who are poor may struggle but few are simply dying.

            This is why the idea of a 1% elite is silly. People making $500,000/ year are considered the elite (top 1% earners) but those making $400,000/year or $250,000/year or $75,000 year are not. Although all those incomes allow you to buy a home and do a decent job of educating your children.

          • Kai

            That’s just it, I don’t see Cameron’s comment as describing “how bad things were in the West”. I saw it as drawing a parrallel in terms of inevitable wealth disparity in society and society’s ultimate acceptance of wealth disparity. I’m open to you explaining how my read of his comment is inaccurate relative to yours.

            I don’t see how any of your arguments in this comment for how things are better across society overall in the US relative to China refutes the point of Cameron’s comment. He’s not comparing the elite in either countries. That’s not his premise. His point is not to say the situational specifics of the elite or poor in either country are the same as each other. He’s saying the spectrum itself of there being elites and poor is the same. The phenomenon is the same, not the particulars. That’s his point, supported by a premise of articulating the existence of wealth disparity in the West.

            I think you’re interpreting him as describing how bad things are in the West and trying to say “but…” and finding differences when he’s actually making a larger cynical point about how much disparity society will tolerate in response to what My Vagina Says said. Consider what the latter said and how Cameron is responding to him. That should help you understand he’s not really taking a dig at the West and “comparing the elite in China with rich people in most Western countries”.

          • David

            fair enough.

        • Can’t remember my username

          “They’ve accomplished all this in 30 years”

          And imagine how much more would have been accomplished, in China, if prior to those 30 years, the Chinese Communist Party hadn’t cut the place of from the rest of the world, toyed with Maoism, oppressed the people, murdered millions and hadn’t killed or thrown any academic or entrepreneur that disagreed with the CCP in jail or work camps?

          • Kai

            True, but what do you want them to do about that? How much regret over the past should China exhibit for people to be satisfied? Isn’t it kinda like how much regret Japan should exhibit for its past for the Chinese to be satisfied? Not a single society in this world has not had moments of history that has either set them back or resulted in stagnation that, if avoided, would result in a “better” society today.

            History is what it is. I understand people are upset that not enough Chinese people seem to be embarrassed enough by their historical failures like Mao’s rule, but at what point does it cross over into just wanting to embarrass people?

          • Zappa Frank

            it’s not that we want Chinese people feel embarrassed, but we do not understand if they are aware or not of their past.. do they hide it because we are foreigners or do they really don’t know what happened? Do they have any feeling about it?
            Besides, china did in 30 years what for western countries took 100, is true, but it’s not the same. First china developed with western money, and it’s undeniable because western companies opened there factories.. second china developed using western know-how, china itself did not invent anything, third china coming out while other nation were developed got partners to sell goods at low prices.. It’s not the same been a first or last

          • Kai

            Let’s say we can be certain that some people simply want to embarrass the chinese while others simply aren’t sure if the Chinese people they are talking to are aware of the past. Let’s say we can be certain that many Chinese people are aware of the past and many aren’t.

            I think most people who press Chinese people on regrettable, embarrassing, and thus sensitive aspects of past Chinese history can understand and empathize with why bringing up such topics might make some people defensive. Therefore, I can only hope they broach such subjects with tact and sincerity. Unfortunately, I know that is hardly always the case.

            I wonder if you realize how potentially offensive the second half of your comment sounds. To say China developed with Western money is as true as saying China developed despite a protracted history of Western imperialism. Both statements are technically true, but they’ll often offend someone if they aren’t said together. In other words, whatever you say should be measured and qualified.

            China developed with Western money as well as its own. It developed with foreign know-how, as well as its own labors. China hasn’t invented much lately but it certainly hasn’t invented nothing and there’s no reason why it won’t invent things in the future. Etc. etc. etc.

            If the basis of conversation with Chinese people is to tell them over and over again that China developed because of the West, you as a Westerner are basically seen as heaping praise upon yourself and belittling the Chinese. Isn’t that easy to mistake as wanting to embarrass the Chinese?

            China and the Chinese could’ve remained closed off like North Korea but give them credit for not walking down that path. China recognized it needed help and while it hasn’t always been gracious for the help it has received, neither have those who have benefited from China.

            What’s offensive is the suggestion that the West has altruistically helped China and China owes everything it is to the West. It’s not remotely true and intelligent people know that, so they need to check if their speech mistakenly impresses that impression on the Chinese. The Chinese, for their part, have their own dumbassery, but their dumbassery doesn’t justify dumbassery from Westerners who fashion themselves more intelligent and enlightened than the Chinese.

          • Germandude

            I think Zappa Frank was simply not clear enough and through that, could be understood as “over the top”. However, there is not much wrong within his statements.

            If you remember the times before the 90s, you know very well that China was the factory for all those 2nd class dispensable goods. “Made in China” was the rubbish you found on the “Everything for $1” table. It was highly poisoned, full of production mistakes and pretty much garbage all in all. Yet, there was a market for it.

            Now, with the opening up of China, China is dictating the rules of business in its own country. Fair enough, and nothing really wrong with that. In fact, it’s clever, since the Chinese understood western company’s short-sighted profit-addiction and offered contracts that are anything but fair. (Still, I am on the fair enough side and don’t really hold that against Chinese. However, don’t come up with unfair/unmorally or sth like that).

            Where it gets disgusting and in fact, where it’s getting dangerous, is technology theft. Yes, it’s called theft for a reason and the way China handles this is not just two-faced, it’s shit-faced. While the government officially doesn’t encourage its citizens to spy on foreign companies (be it in China or abroad), it simply let go and goes as far as hiring people that have stolen technology abroad to make them come back to China and so, without the jurisdiction of foreign countries.

            What people are criticizing, and I count Zappa Frank and myself into it (I assume Zappa Frank’s comment showed what he meant with his comment) is that China in no way could have landed on the moon, build a stealth fighter that, surprisingly looks like the American one, as well as produced genetically altered corn.

            And so here we are, moaning that
            1. it is easier for China to pull itself up by copying and stealing from developed nations
            2. represents a strong country when it comes to claims, while representing a weak country anytime its asked to pay
            3. China would’ve never developed as fast without the technology transfer (what am I talking about? It’s theft)
            4. China is still, despite its potential, copying the mistakes of the west eventhough it knows better (pollution best example)
            5. the Chinese government is still repressing its people
            6. the Chinese people are brainwashed when it comes to “Love China” and willingly stand behind a government that….well you know

            China however is still far behind and sits in the same ship that the rest of the world is driving (the world is the ship). However, the really dangerous times come when either China decides that it has to take control and will show force (Diayou islands in bigger scale), or if the rest of the world decides that China is not a good captain. Considering China’s success in promoting the “Chinese Dream” to the rest of the world, I must assume the passengers of the ship will sooner or later decide that China has to pay for its ticket.

            Let’s just all hope that all governments involved are not going the path of playing the song of war.

          • Kai

            I understand English isn’t Zappa Frank’s first language and I thought I was careful not to interpret his comments as being exactly what he’s thinking. That’s why I said things like:

            I can only hope they broach such subjects with tact and sincerity.

            I wonder if you realize how potentially offensive the second half of your comment sounds.

            In other words, whatever you say should be measured and qualified.

            So if I gave the impression that I was taking Zappa literally, I apologize. I understand he’s trying to communicate a point but I’m trying to say how people express themselves (including limitations in their ability to express themselves) influences how they may be interpreted. This is reasonable, right?

            I see China’s manufacturing as similar to what went on with Japan, Taiwan, and Korea and what goes on with pretty much any third-world developing country engaged in export manufacturing. Whatever harm involved is on everyone involved in the trade.

            As for technology theft, I also see it as similar to what has happened in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea as well as other developing countries. I completely empathize with how frustrating and unfair it is. At the same time, I don’t think it is uniquely inherent to any culture or people. It’s a product of the circumstances. If people can get away with it, there will be people who do it.

            I think your last paragraph was unfinished so I’m not sure what you meant to say there. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think my comments in reply to what Zappa Frank wrote are irrelevant or that I can be blamed for not knowing more exactly what Zappa Frank may have intended to be referring to. I want to say my comments should be valid and stand on their own.

          • Germandude

            I finished the last paragraph, I accidently hit the Post-button and edited it afterwards. Sorry about that ;-) I know it must be confusing.

            My problem with your comment was

            I wonder if you realize how potentially offensive the second half of your comment sounds.

            Zappa Frank’s comment was potentially offensive. Well if so, then so be it. Just because the truth hurts it shall remain unmentioned?
            Now again, money wise, I don’t feel a problem because the west invested and got a good ROI. Technology transfers in much smaller sizes than the one with China, have resulted in numerous wars before.

          • Kai

            I think this is a question of inflection. You interpreted that remark of mine as me criticizing ZF for being offensive when in fact I intended to say ask him if he understands how the things he said there could be interpreted as offensive.

            Does that help you understand my comment better? I know English isn’t your first language either (I’m not trying to offend, just trying to acknowledge that what we say may not accurately represent what we are thinking due to different familiarity in and use of a language).

            I’m not saying a truth should remain unmentioned because it is potentially offensive. I am saying there are many ways to communicate a truth WITHOUT being potentially offensive. I then gave some examples.

            If that’s taken care of, I’ll now respond to the part of your comment that you edited back in:

            There is technology transfer and there is technology theft. The difference is whether there was mutual consent. Both exists with regards to the IP situation in China. That said, I understand your gripe so please don’t misunderstand me as defending IP theft. Im just being realistic about it.

            I think in many ways, China isn’t copying the mistakes of the West despite knowing better, it is because they know what is more important to them. As I responded to Zappa Frank, China is in many ways choosing to pollute because it feels the benefits outweigh the costs. All this means is that they have a different value than the West currently does with regards to economic development and environment. When you say someone “knows better”, you are assuming they have the same values and are thus intentionally doing something against their own values. This isn’t really true. Most of the time, they have different values and thus they are doing what they think best. Do you understand what I mean here?

            China has to be influenced into valuing environmental protection more than economic development if the West wants China to pollute less. But this is like a well-fed man admonishing a starving man for not using his fork and knife and instead eating with his hands. The well-fed man cares about the appearance of civility while the starving man just wants food in his belly, NOW.

            I think a lot of Chinese people are capable of brainless nationalism. I think that’s true of a lot of people everywhere though so I’m not horribly scared of it. One reason is because there is far more evidence of the vast majority of Chinese people giving more shit about mundane matters of daily life than nationalism. I discount the vocal nationalism I see against this backdrop of reality. It doesn’t mean the vocal nationalism doesn’t disturb me just like it disturbs me anywhere else, it just means it isn’t a lens I tend to look at Chinese society through.

            Therefore, I can pretty much identify with all the moaning expats and foreigners stereotypically exhibit when it comes to China, especially on English China sites like cS. I just don’t put much stock in it. There’s more misleading vividness and generalization than rational thinking. There’s more ethnocentric judgement than sincere observation. Some people are worse than others. This is all normal.

            China will throw its weight around as it grows stronger. Pretty much no country has refrained from doing this. For those who feel their interests aren’t in alignment with the Chinese, China can thus be scary and an “enemy”. I get all this. I just think if people could be more rational and observant, it’ll help the situation rather than make it worse. A lot of Chinese people aren’t rational and observant, and that’s on them, just like the irrational and unobservant Westerners have their own guilt. One doesn’t justify the other.

            I’m pretty sure you understand what I’m saying and largely agree. Where we differ is what topics invoke what kind of baseline emotional response in us.

          • Germandude

            I understand what you mean and I largely agree.
            However, where we seem to have a huge difference in understanding seems to be in definitions on how to determine “what’s right” and “what’s wrong” and how we understand Chinese culture (or the differences from Chinese culture and “Western” culture)
            Here:

            When you say someone “knows better”, you are assuming they have the same values and are thus intentionally doing something against their own values. This isn’t really true. Most of the time, they have different values and thus they are doing what they think best. Do you understand what I mean here?

            If you are trying to tell me that there is a single Chinese person that steals technology from another country or knowledge from a company while not knowing that what they are doing is wrong, then I’d be surprised about your blindness. As if any technology theft isn’t recognized by Chinese. They just word it so that it sounds a bit nicer.
            And while Chinese pretend to go the path of “what’s wrong with that”, the other way around, they know exactly when another country/a foreigner is crossing their definition line (which surprisingly matches the “West”‘s line in every detail).
            Ever tried to take a picture close to a military building in China?

          • Kai

            At first, I had no idea how you interepted this:

            If you are trying to tell me that there is a single Chinese person that steals technology from another country or knowledge from a company while not knowing that what they are doing is wrong, then I’d be surprised about your blindness.

            …from what I wrote.

            Then I realized you were most likely carrying over the IP theft context from the previous paragraph.

            The part of my comment you quoted was actually in response to this comment of yours:

            4. China is still, despite its potential, copying the mistakes of the west eventhough it knows better (pollution best example)

            I thought using your wording:

            I think in many ways, China isn’t copying the mistakes of the West despite knowing better,

            …would’ve conveyed that I was moving onto responding to another part of your comment, where you used those words, referring to the topic (pollution) you were referring to with those words.

            My comment therefore was about China’s seeming prioritization of economic development over environmental protection and whether or not it is accurate to say “even though it knows better”. “Better” is a value judgement. China can fully understand the costs of pollution but still think it is “better” to value development over the environment. Why? Because it assigns a greater value to development than the environment whereas a Westerner might assign greater value to the environment than development.

          • Zappa Frank

            of course it’s not something I say in such straight way to embarrass Chinese people. Personally I’ve never talked about Mao or Chinese history with Chinese people, because I don’t know what do they know and do not want hurt their feelings (very susceptible). But what am I supposed to say than when they keep on talking about the “invasion” of foreigners, how they did steal “something”, and so on? Is it normal to keep on complaining with foreigners about facts of more than 100years ago and do not care about some bigger tragedies happened more recently?
            About the second half.. I’ve never said west helped china for free, i’m just saying that while Chinese can be proud of such fast develop still they should not get cocky like seems they do pointing always that in the industrial revolution in west took more time and (maybe) polluted more.. because they are just walking a path already done by someone else, and this is always easier than to create a path from nothing. Even for polluting they justification that west polluted is absurd, because now we know a lot more than before, and for sure now we know how dangerous pollution is..
            What to say about the inventions? Chinese claim to have invented EVERYTHING, I was told one time that even pizza in truth is Chinese, just Marco Polo manage to steal it and reproduce it in Italy.. so with this cocky attitude foreigners should not reply because it’s unfair? It doesn’t seem to me that Chinese people care a lot about other people’s feeling when they talk.

          • Kai

            I don’t think it is hard to understand why Chinese people would talk about the effects of foreign imperialism with foreigners since it has figured so prominently into where China is today. China went from being a rightfully impressive empire to being the bitch of so many industrialized outsiders. That sort of history is going to be remembered and shape their self-conception, just as a history of slavery and racist inequality has shaped the self-conception of African-Americans. Just because there are other “tragedies” that are closer to the present doesn’t diminish their feelings to history that has profoundly shaped them and their current nation.

            In the situation you described, I’d entertain them and see if there was an opportunity for the conversation to develop beyond complaints about past foreign imperialism. It’d be an opportunity to share what I know about foreign imperialism and history. I wouldn’t see it as a topic I’d prefer to change to something that is more recent and that is more about something negative about the Chinese.

            The idea for me would be to listen and contribute where I could, building up a trust that I can be conversed with, that I know things about the very topic they may not even know themselves, and that they can have their say without me dictating what they should think. Done well, people will drop their guard and become more open and even self-effacing. That’s when the converation might go towards topics I’d be curious about. To get, you first give.

            About the second half, I didn’t say you said the west helped China for free. I said what you said could give people the impression that you’re saying that.

            For example, there’s a difference between:

            a) China’s development has been helped by the West, such as foreign investment and technology.

            b) “First china developed with western money, and it’s undeniable because western companies opened there factories.. second china developed using western know-how, china itself did not invent anything,”

            When you say something like b), the immediate reactions a Chinese person will have is “wait, we opened our own factories too and China has invented plenty of things too”. See how that goes down the wrong path? See how that can easily become an argument?

            i’m just saying that while Chinese can be proud of such fast develop still they should not get cocky like seems they do pointing always that in the industrial revolution in west took more time and (maybe) polluted more..

            I don’t think many Chinese people get cocky in the way you describe. Many more Chinese people know they are playing catch-up and being able to catch-up in some ways in 30 years is good but they still know they are “behind”.

            I can’t think of any Chinese people who is cocky about the Industrial Revolution taking more time in the West. I think you might be misunderstanding comments like Jobjed’s. He’s saying China’s progress in the past 30 years are legitimately impressive given the challenges China has faced. He’s not saying the West should be embarrassed by their Industrial Revolution spanning a longer time frame. That’s nonsensical. Chinese people aren’t so stupid as to mistake catching up fast as being more impressive than doing something first.

            Likewise, I haven’t run across Chinese people who are cocky about the pollution involved in other countries’ industrialization. They aren’t saying China is better because developed nations were more polluting in the past, they’re saying it is a bit hypocritical and unfair to be too critical of China’s pollution as a result of industrialization when the criticizing countries polluted their way to the top themselves. They’re not being cocky; they’re being indignant. They know pollution is important but they feel development is, for the moment, even more important. They think it is easy for developed countries to point and criticize when they are already developed.

            Do you understand? When Chinese people bring up how the West polluted to, it is in defense of their pollution as a difficult to avoid byproduct of industrialization and economic development. It is not “cockiness”.

            Yes, the Chinese know that humanity knows more about the dangers of pollution now than before. But it’s hard to tell a hungry person to eat slowly because it’ll result in less waste and damage to their stomach. China is ultimately calculating the the benefits of faster industrialization and economic development outweigh the harm of pollution. Whether they are correct or not is hard to say. We’ll know in the future. But you should understand that this is a question of subjective priorities, not objective knowledge and wisdom.

            A more polluting way of industrialization has its pros and cons just like a less polluting way of industrialization has pros and cons. And sometimes people just have to learn for themselves, refusing to listen to the advice of those who have experience. It’s not hard to understand.

            Chinese do not really claim to have invented everything. That’s an exaggeration on your part. You shouldn’t take the stupid comments of some people and broaden it too much. Tons of people around the world believe in falsehoolds, such as Christopher Columbus discovering the Americas. The Marco Polo pizza thing reminds me of this gem:

            If I were Italian, I’d probably be annoyed by the pizza thing, but I’m not telling you to not reply. I’m suggesting there are effective and ineffective ways of replying. I’d probably say Marco Polo certainly shared a lot about China with Europe but you’re pretty certain the Italian pizza evolved separately from the fried onion cake. There’s no harm in expressing skepticism and suggesting everyone probably needs to do more research into any matter for more information.

            Just because some Chinese people don’t care about other people’s feelings when they talk doesn’t mean we should behave like them. If we think we are better, it should show in our actions. If we stop caring about how they feel when we talk, then aren’t we just as bad as they are?

            I agree that it is easier to follow in other people’s footsteps. I just don’t think Chinese people are saying otherwise. It’s easier to modernize when there are other countries with modern technology to copy and learn from, but it is still an accomplishment to make progress with such a large and populace country like China. I don’t think being generous in recognizing that hurts anyone.

          • TheSOP

            How much regret? what regret have they really shown besides token measures like Mao being 70% good 30% bad? Well a good start would even be allowing open discussion of the events, you cant even put China’s historical revisionism on the same plane as Japan’s. China is off the charts for historical revisionism.

        • lasolitaria

          Bullshit. You are trying to get a favorable conclusion for China (that China is more capable than America because it managed to develop at a much faster rate) from a hypothetical situation that actually makes no sense and then you want to have us believe that conclusion is somehow relevant in the real world. I refuse to be duped into a discussion in such ridiculous terms.

          That said, I find your whole premise very curious. The Chinese love to go on and on about how old China is. However, that is actually a disadvantage in a discussion about development (cause if we admit China is as old as the Chinese claim then the ugly question “then how come it has developed so little?” inevitably shows up). So now you imply exactly the opposite: that China is nothing beyond the country it is now and thus has had less time than the US to develop. I wonder how many Chinese chauvinists hold both these two conflicting ideas to be true: that China is better because it’s older than every other nation in the world and that China is better because it’s a six decade old underdog that is outrunning its older, more developed, more powerful competitors.

      • 二奶头发

        The key word in your statement is “refuse help.”. The west offers help through government social programs. There are food banks and shelters in the west (and more programs like that). What does China offer its homeless or mental ill? With a huge population as china has I’d be curious to see what kind of social programs china has. I’m sure China can afford social programs… they just send a probe to the moon last week.

        • 白色纯棉小裤裤

          Most homeless people in the City have a home in the country. What the government does to “help” them is to send them back to where they are from by force.

          And sending a probe to the moon costs less than you think. The first two phases of chang’e program cost 2.3 billion yuan or $378.67 million usd. That’s not even enough to build a website for a social program. — the obama care website cost $678 million.

          • 二奶头发

            I would like to see their home in the country. I’m sure is very lavish.

            So from your comment you don’t know of social programs in china. Where is the local food bank?

            Plus you make spending 378million US like a trip to KFC to purchase a bucket meal. it doesn’t take much to build a social program. You don’t even need a website to do it. last time i checked homeless people aren’t often online.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Lavish or not, as long as they have a 农村户口, they always have a home in the country.

            There is 救助站 which provide food and shelter for homeless people, But many of them don’t want to go there because they would be sent back to the country.

            378 million for a trip to the moon is not alot considering someone would spend 678 million to buy a crappy website which could be built by several CS undergraduate students.

          • David

            and the probe got to the moon, the website doesn’t work.

    • don mario

      i dont think this is about a political system. this is more about culture.. chinese people choose to live this way, in extremely rough conditions in beijing or shanghai while they have their real home back in their hometown. they call it ant people or something like that.

    • wes707

      Why do you think Apple has $150 billion in cash and the Walton descendants (Walmart) together possess another $150 billion? Where are all those products made? Manufacturing in China allowed profit margins to leap to extreme levels because of extremely low labor cost and lack of regulatory and compliance fees. In this dynamic, Western business owners, Chinese contract manufacturers and the CPC (the middleman) won. Western workers lost and China’s environment lost. Never in history has this dynamic existed where the majority of consumer goods are made on the other side of the planet. It also enable the vast majority of the riches for the one percent. If Western people want to improve the fate of their fellow citizens, we need to be much more conscious of who we support.

      (@CHINASMACK – if you censor that, then that’s pathetic; there were two other paragraphs but got censored three times. Have you been in China too long?)

    • lasolitaria

      I live in a 3rd world country and the life of the “losers” here is beyond your most dreaded nightmares. I know, many people love to believe in “The Collapse of Capitalism” and
      “The End of America” but the truth is the poor still do better in
      America than in 3rd world countries. In fact, you could live way better as a homeless beggar in the US (provided that you don’t waste the money on drugs, like so many American beggars do) than as a member of the “extremely poor” odd-job working class here (and they have no food stamps to go by). A comparison between America and China in terms of living standards is not fair to either of them.

  • At least they didn’t do it with the people still inside

    • Irvin

      Yes, burials are illegal in china, alive or dead.

  • Lulu

    China have a lot of ghost cities with beautiful houses – why not ship these homeless people there – support them with drop ins for the first year (food, medical, teachers), until the community establish?

    • David

      Why does China have so many ghost cities?

      • Irvin

        Same reason as the Ice Age migration, people moved because the animals are no longer there, namely the cheng guan and the government officials.

    • Repatriated

      LOL. People would TOTALLY be quitting their jobs to take advantage of that…

  • mr.wiener

    She is no longer a well woman…..
    Don’t get up,I’ll smack myself in the face.

  • fabulous

    This is a good comment. The ghost cities comment; not so much.
    I’m interested to see how this comment is received.

  • grand

    poverty exists in every country. why blame others and the government? the chinese government has done a magnificent job managing the economy, pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. it certainly is more competent than governments in Europe and the US. chinasmack loves to post comments from Netease which is a well-known sites for disgruntled and incompetent losers venting their angers and blaming their personal problems on everybody else but themselves. the support for chinese government is very high among chinese, over 86% in fact, are happy with the direction the country is going, according polls conducted by US survey firms Gallop and Pew.

    it’s a joke that so many people living on food stamp in the US. the government is spending the money they don’t have and is making the US the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world. sooner or later the US will have a massive crisis that will make 2007 crisis seem like a walk in the park.

    Europe is doing the same thing where so many people in many countries are on disability pension and claiming government benefit when in fact they are perfectly healthy. you think this scheme can go on forever?

    • David

      I think you do not actually understand the actions/accomplishments of the governments you are commenting on. I find it difficult to understand how else you could come to the conclusions you are writing.. Or could it be you have a particular agenda here? It is not surprising that I do not recognize your “nom de plume”. .

      • grand

        how absurd. the data and facts are there for all to see. managing a country of over 1 billion and accomplishing an average gdp growth of 10% per annum for the past 30 years is very impressive, to say the least. or you have any info that point to the contrary?

        • David

          I am not sure this is what you call managing. GDP growth in China on average has been very impressive (of course 1989 and 1990 were not great) but starting in 2008 (when the world economic problems got bad) it has started to slow, hitting 7.8% last year and probably about the same this year (still very good by world standards of course). However, GDP growth is only one way to measure success of an economy (and a country) but hardly the only or even the most important. Since this is not one of my economics classes I will refrain from paragraphs of reasons and assume you know that already. Your comment was that the Chinese government is more competent then those in Europe and the U.S. (then went on to mock them). In the last 30 years the Chinese government used its country as an environmental shithole, its people as cheap labor and the corruption of its laws as a way to allow foreign businesses (and Chinese elite) to make money here simply to increase its GDP. That is only one example of what is wrong with your comment but to each his own. Maybe you think this is good.

          • grand

            how ignorant. there are costs to rapid industrialization. you have to feed the population first, then worry about pollution. you talk as if china is the only country ever faced with pollution problems. in fact, most countries suffered pollution problems when developing. research found that china’s current pollution level is no worse than 70s japan. you think china’s air pollution is bad? London was a well-known smog city. in 1952, 12,000 people died of air pollution within a period of two months. china has a population of 1.3 billion. in the early 1980 china had no private ownership of cars and there were less than 10000 cars in the entire country, now china is the largest auto market in the world. of course pollution is inevitably a problem.

            as china’s economy upgrades, it’s environment will improve with the wider use of renewable and clean energy. it already is paying more attention to the environment and plans to spend hundreds of billions on the environment and related industries. the situation will get better.

          • David

            Now you go from saying they are doing a great job to predicting they WILL do a great job, I can not imagine what actions in their past has given you that belief. It is not just a matter of polluting now and cleaning up later. The environmental problems in China are on a different level than anywhere else in the world (to compare it to Japan, even in the 70s is crazy) . Chinese people are living with those problems. It is not an improvement if you feed people and then poison them. As China’s economy grows the pollution will simply get worse. As its standard of living increases the amount of resources needed increases. That is how it works. This is only one of China’s huge problems that it government ignores while profiting as much as it can. their infrastructure is of such substandard condition that most buildings don’t last 20 years. Even the nice government ones that they spend so much money on have to have so much maintenance and repair on them it is crazy. Everyday I see 5 year old buildings with pieces falling off. Again, that is only one problem of the government among many. Shall we talk about corruption on an institutional level that is unrivaled anywhere in the world? How about we talk about human rights? Crime that is out of control and both under investigated and under reported? Wealth inequality of a third world country? How about this, even the broken and crappy system they have is not sustainable? However, I suspect none of that means anything to you. This conversation is a waste. The Chinese people are pretty wonderful, I have Chinese people as friends and every one of them knows they and getting screwed royal by their government.

          • grand

            you have comprehension problem? lol. as i said, the government is doing a good job and has been doing a good job. so typical, you can’t refute the data and facts i laid out and now resulting to empty and meaningless self-made rhetoric.

            sure the chinese government has a corruption problem but they are actively combating it. and it is getting more transparent than 10 years ago. i can’t help but laugh at your ridiculous claim that the chinese government is the most corrupt when even your western produced corruption index clearly says it is far from that. the US, the self-labeled clean government, is in fact very corrupt. what do you call “campaign contributions”. are these not corruption? politicians serves the corporation and the interests of the minority. that is not corruption by your book right?

            “The environmental problems in China are on a different level than anywhere else in the world (to compare it to Japan, even in the 70s is crazy)” you willfully ignore the fact that pollution is a side-effect of rapid industrialization. when industrializing your beloved west was also, borrowing a word from you, a “shithole”. research clearly indicated that china’s pollution level is no more severe than japan in the 70s. but i guess you just going to mentally block that out again. lol!

            as you claim china has a crime problem. even more ridiculous and contrary to the facts. even other foreign expats disagree with you and stated china is a safe place to live.

          • David

            “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” I have gone from believing you wanted a real discussion to knowing you simply want to write the party line. Good luck, I hope they take care of you.

          • Kai

            Both of you made unreasonable exaggerated, dismissive, inflammatory, comments refusing to acknowledge each other’s points, or the points to the extent they are reasonable.

          • David

            Sometimes that happens. Especially when your sick it is not always easy to be reasonable.

          • Kai

            I understand losing patience and getting frustrated in a discussion. I just think both of you had valid points that could easily be reconciled with each other, but neither opted to be the bigger man and give the credit where it was due in order to actually move the argument along. Instead of trying to establish reasonable consensus, I felt readers were polarized into incomplete and unfair positions.

          • don mario

            tow the line! heres 50 cent for u.

          • grand

            hehe, that’s so weak. why don’t you lay out some facts to refute me?

          • don mario

            so you can reply and earn another 50 cent? i see what you did there..

          • don mario

            and they do shit like BUILD endless amounts of buildings to raise their gdp, yea thats some real impressive growth there.

          • TheSOP

            Yea they grew so much that now all their cities are borderline uninhabitable from pollution >< he's a 50 cent moron.

        • TheSOP

          Toxic air, toxic food, toxic water. Congrats you are doing great!

      • grand

        how was i wrong? an average of 10% gdp growth per year over the last 30 years is spectacular, to say the least. average life expectancy has risen from 36 years to 76 today. 80% of the population were illiterate. now the literacy rate is 95.1%. and youth literacy rate is 99%. data and facts don’t lie.

        • nqk123

          gdp is around 7.5% and declining. literary rate are from urban cities. most data collected in China are from urban cities which is a huge different from the rural areas

    • Jobjed

      Because the negatives are much more interesting to read. It’s called ‘misleading vividness’ where people focus disproportionately on the negatives and refuses to recognise the positives. It’s also hard to get people to swallow their ego and admit they’re wrong or and thus we have a perpetual cycle of cynicism and confirmation bias towards negative incidents.

      • don mario

        i don’t think so. there is another article on china smack from very recently, discussing the positive benefits of smog!

        but seriously, most people with a bone to pick with china are probably the ones who have lived there long enough to find out the the negatives outweigh the positives to the point that it makes living there a problem.

        • TheSOP

          This is a good point, people who are most ignorant of China really dont understand the system and its problems and its inherent xenophobia. Those of us who become well acquainted with China will have a much more jaded view.

          • Jobjed

            “Well acquainted”

            *cough*bullshit*cough*

          • TheSOP

            My 2 cents for you 50 Centers; fk off and stay out of the west, you dont have emotional or intellectual capability to understand us, while we can easily deconstruct your pathetic existence.

      • grand

        so right!

    • nqk123

      what you failed to see: 1) environment issues (cancers, birth defect, and numerous health issue is on the rise in China 2) 10% growth (heavily relied on western import) are shrinking. 3) education: only a small group are tested (not every child get to go to school, specifically poor children). 4) unhappiness in China is huge (86% is in 2008, declining yearly). 5) if you don’t like the west or US then move to china. don’t come back when you need those programs

      • grand

        1) china is becoming more environmental conscious.2) export is only 20% of china’s economic growth. sure it’s important but not as important as you claimed. and china is becoming a the biggest consumer market in the world. for example, it is the largest auto market in the world and a lot of other things. 3) wrong. china’s education is very standardized and even poor children go to schools. 4) don’t know much about that not gonna comment. 5) i don’t live in the west lol.

        • nqk123

          1) people are more conscious, but nothing has been done yet. i’m seeing very sick next generation 2) China is still very reliance on export, short-term though 3) wrong again, rural education is in a very bad shape (drop out rate is high). I hope there will be more helps for them. most kids from the rural areas have no chance against kids from urban cities 4) more people are unhappy specifically due to air quality not being handle. 5) my bad

          • TheSOP

            He sees only the government numbers so that is what he will come bark about to foreigners. We see the pollution, the negative eternalities that will continue for generations with prolonged negative effects of GDP into the future, but nuance is the strong point of the wumaodang.

        • TheSOP

          Oh China is becoming more “environmental conscious”? Thats nice they are still conscious, with all the smog you’d think they’d be unconscious~!

    • TheSOP

      Dont feed the wumao

    • Kai

      Why lead off with such exaggerated statements? China has certainly done a lot to alleviate poverty but given the amount of obvious economic problems and inefficiencies in China, why would you even use the adjective “magnificent”? If the governments of Europe and the US weren’t at least somewhat competent, could they have the fairly stable societies they have where most people live fairly comfortable lives relative to so many less developed and fortunate societies in the world?

      I agree with you that cS seems to post a lot of comments from NetEase; I’ve criticized as much myself before. Frankly though, every web portal community can be accused of certain leanings. I’d say NetEase is reliably less overrun by wumao machine-generated comments though, but yeah, lots of diaosi on NetEase.

      Whatever the problems the US faces doesn’t very much change the fact that China faces a lot of problems itself. I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up. I’m guessing it is because you feel My Vagina Says is hypocritically criticizing China? But what exactly gives you the impression he thinks everything is sunshine and rainbows in the US or Europe.

      I think you need to have more evidence that someone is being a self-righteous hypocrite before you start bringing up problems of their own home countries. I don’t think My Vagina Says quite reached that point (but hey, I haven’t read cS comments in like over a week so I may have missed his other comments?)

    • lasolitaria

      “the chinese government has done a magnificent job managing the economy, pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty”

      WTF?

  • grand

    sure, everybody wants free lunch. but everyone should know that there is no free lunch. instead of government handout, improve the country and the economy so that people can find better jobs to improve living standard is the right path. what the government should do is to improve education, upgrade its industries and create better paying jobs. this is the only way to help the poor. giving away free lunch is only good for creating more debt and more dependence.
    I

    • don mario

      so what are party members living large on then if its not a government handout?

  • Irvin

    Feed them? why? and convert perfectly good food into shit?

    Some people are just that: machines that coverts food into shit.

    • mr.wiener

      I think the milk of your human kindness has curdled.
      “If [the poor] would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. “( Ebenezer Scrooge)

      • David

        I just showed that movie to my students last week.

  • nqk123

    nothing shock me anymore, whether is China or some other nations.

  • David Bowie

    The sewers here remind me a lot of the caves in Granada. Sure, you’re living in a cave, but it’s free, you get to be in Granada, and if you’re young and poor – a struggling artist, maybe – it’s a great deal.

    You can only tell these wells are an issue in China because of the age of the people living in them. If you’re 65 and living in a well, you’re not doing it because you want to.

    • David

      A cave in Granada does not sound that awful.

  • Repatriated

    The whole issue was probably brought up to the police because someone had a better well than another person…so they argued over premium wells…so now nobody gets a free room.

    Personally, I can’t understand why the “officials” would care if someone lived in the wells. It’s not like they are hurting anyone.

  • vonskippy

    When the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out – the well dwellers will be humanity’s last best hope.

  • Hdpetersson

    Well, it’s sad that people have to resort to living in a well because they are not well taken care of. This may well be the first sign of a new China. Having been kicked out, I hope they are well. All’s well that ends well. Well, cheers, I must be off.

  • TheSOP

    better if it had been you

  • David

    yes. Although I would not think that would fool a satellite.

  • David

    Actually the ghost towns in America were not built like that. They were not built by the government at all. They are the result of boom towns popping up while an area is experiencing rush of people moving in to take advantage of (for instance) a newly discovered resource or strategic location. A town might develop where a new coal or gold mine is discovered. OR in an are that is strategically placed near a river for transportation. However, if the gold/coal runs out or a highway bypasses the river and jobs/opportunities are no longer being offered to people, they move out. So ghost towns are a result of the shifting of natural economic forces. But I understand what you mean now. Thank you. I think the program that Canada sponsors, that you describe sounds great

  • David

    What a stupid, ignorant and ridiculous comment.

  • nqk123

    you can’t read English?

  • David

    I do not know about Taiwan but Chosan you know both Korea and Japan have strong familiar ties/obligations. People take care of each other. This is not always the best solution but it keeps the social teapot from boiling over.

  • David

    The article does not say any of the boys were gay. It was a stupid college fraternity hazing prank gone wrong, the boy fell, while blindfolded and hit his head on a rock. Where does the gang banging come from? Did you actually read the article?

  • Harold Janson

    Quick everyone, cry and scream about how everyone should be able to afford to live where wherever they want to, regardless of economic realities. Because going home is totally not an option or whatever.

  • Gerhana

    thats kinda amazing actually. Like post apocalyptic world, living in a vault. Looks very Sci Fi like, comfortable too. But what surprises me, how can they breathe all that ammonia? its dangerous

  • 二奶头发

    is chinasmack going to translate the story of the german guy who was stabbed to death at a shanghai hotpot restaurant?

    Also update the beijing waiguoren story. He and his dad are being deported now.

    • Dr Sun

      the illegal and his dads deportation I reported days ago, on that thread.

      As for the stabbing of this German who got stabbed for fucking a married woman, there’s not much “china smacking” going on about that inside China as he got his just desserts, for dipping his bread in another mans soup.

      • Cauffiel

        Wow, judgmental much?

        • Dr Sun

          nope, try reading the news, it will help you, before you post.

    • KamikaziPilot

      So if Germandude stops posting here I guess we all know what’s happened to him, haha, I couldn’t resist.

      • Germandude

        Thanks. I am still alive. Chances are low that I ever get stabbed in a hot pot restaurant with another man’s wife/girlfriend.

        First of all, I am happily married and second, I hate hot pot. Besides, I don’t have a visa for PuDong…

        • Cauffiel

          DId you just out yourself as a hot pot hater? >:-(

          • Germandude

            It’s fun with friends as it is a good way for socializing. Taste wise, it sucks. There is a lot of Chinese food I like, hot pot not so much.

          • mr.wiener

            Pork knuckles man, that shit is the best.

          • Germandude

            Pretty good, I agree.

          • Zappa Frank

            glad to find someone else that do not like hot pot.. I personally have tried many times to eat it, but really, there’s no way…especially Chongqing hot pot.

          • Kai

            I was never a hot pot fan when I was young but I’ve come to enjoy it as I grew older. Depending on the hot pot place, it either depends on taste of the soup stock (Little Sheep) or your own competency in mixing up a tasty condiment to go with everything you boil and then stuff in your mouth (Dollar Shop)

          • Germandude

            Yeah, but still…If you ask me, I take Teppanyaki or a “usual” Chinese restaurant over the hot pot place 9 times out of 10. The one time I take it, I do it when I know the people I am going out with are hot pot fans and I give them a treat.

        • KamikaziPilot

          Whew, glad to see you’re still alive and ticking. Actually based on your posts I’ve read, I was pretty sure it wasn’t you. You don’t seem the type to be in that situation. I also dislike hotpot, besides disliking the taste, it’s a very inconvenient meal to eat, if that makes any sense.

    • Kai

      Fauna was talking about this a few days ago but I think ended up not doing it because she felt it wasn’t big enough. Most of the chatter was on local Shanghai discussion forums like KDS and Liba (which she used to have no problems translating from years ago).

      One of the funnier netizen comments was asking girls not to cheat on their Shandong husbands (the husband who stabbed the German guy was from Shandong). A lot of the discussions devolved into the usual Shanghainese vs. waidiren, as well discussions about fidelity and and foreign-worship bashing.

      • 二奶头发

        Yesterday CCTV did a 25 minute news story about the beijing waiguoren with the motorcycle. They talked about visas and gave examples of legal and illegal work situations. Very interesting.

  • Germandude

    CONGRATULATIONS! You just won the “Month’s stupidest post award”.

    Don’t burst your ego on that though. Since eattot is gone, you won it without competition.

  • Dr Sun

    whatever floats your boat. this kind of shit contest has a long history worldwide.

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