Saturday, April 11, 2009

NYT on Chinese graft

The New York Times has an interesting article on graft in China and its deleterious effect:
Such a wide-ranging cover-up might seem unusual in the Internet age, but it remains disturbingly common here. From mine disasters to chemical spills, the 2003 SARS epidemic to the past year’s scandal over tainted milk powder, Chinese bureaucrats habitually hide safety lapses for fear of being held accountable by the ruling Communist Party or exposing their own illicit ties to companies involved.

Under China’s authoritarian system, superiors reward subordinates for strict compliance with targets set from above, like reducing mine disasters. Should one occur, the incentive to hide it is often stronger than the reward for handling it well. A disaster on a bureaucrat’s watch is almost surely a blot on his career. A scandal buried quietly, under truckloads of dirt, may never be discovered.

China’s lack of a free press, independent trade unions, citizen watchdog groups and other checks on official power makes cover-ups more possible, even though the Internet now makes it harder to suppress information completely.
From a K-blog perspective this is interesting, because Korea's less thoughtful critics (that's my circumlocutory way of saying "Korea bashers") hold up China as a better place for foreign capital to go, what with wild things like the Lone Star debacle happening.


  1. Anyone who thinks China's a better place to do business has never done business in China. If I had to immigrate, I would pick Korea without a second thought.

    Korea started its path to economic development under a right-wing dictatorship while China modified its form of socialism. Korea's transformation to democracy will carry it forward while China will stall. In the world, there are no large, developed nations that are not democratic. Non-democratic countries with high GDPs all fall into at least one of the following categories: a) city-state: b) off-shore banking center; or c) petro-state. Doesn't mean there are no black swans. Korea, however, is following proven models of success while the CCP is trying to figure out how to modernize China without losing control. It isn't possible to achieve full economic development without transparency and Korea's democratic institutions and relatively free press give it greater transparency than China.

  2. who gives a fuck about your opinion, given that it is based on fuck all? Why don't you try emigrating to Canada, where all the other boring dicks live?
    teach English to kids in Asia for a few years and you're a fucking expert smearing your shit all over the Internet for years to come.
    let me guess, to old to procreate?

  3. Emily, I'd really rather you didn't directly insult the other commenters.

    I've known Sonagi for several years, though not IRL, and she seems like a knowledgeable, contemplative, pensive, and perceptive person.

    She hasn't just been in Asia "for a few years" and she certainly isn't "smearing [her] shit all over the Internet." She has lived considerably longer than that in both Korea and China where she worked hard to become functional in the language and understand the culture. She brings balance and perspective to most discussions but she doesn't play cheerleader either.

    And she's not too old to procreate, as far as I'm aware, though none of us has a self-winding biological watch.

  4. IOW, I give a fuck about her opinion.

  5. Kushibo,
    please disregard the above comment, a particular guy in the office was playing prank again.

    You're a top guy Dave but making me look like a bitch is NOT funny.
    If you do it again I am considering posting your full identity on the Internet together with you history of being banned at the Marmot's Hole.

    Now that would be funny.

  6. emily, maybe you should email off-blog and explain this a little bit.

  7. Kushibo, I won't divulge any more information than I have already because I have a real life relationship with Dave ( who I love and think is a great guy, and he knows that :) ) that I will not jeopardize for the sake of a possibly internet fling with a republican-voting lesbian tran-sexual K-blog whore for whom I can't find the email address of. if you want to establish private dialog with me send me an email, i input it to log in to this blog so you must be privvy to it. otherwise post your email address somewhere. I would like to keep my own private

  8. Who the hell is Dave? Is that supposed to be someone I know or someone who thinks they know me?

    As for the rest of what you wrote, again, you do not know what you think you know, so please dispense with the attempt at inside personal information (and this is like the third time I'm writing this this morning). Please try to stay on topic.

    And actually, I am not privvy to your email address because your Blogger profile is set to private or something. Even though you're commenting on my blog, Blogger doesn't provide me with any information that others don't see.

    I get this message if I click on your username: "The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile."


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