Thursday, 26 September 2013

China: good news bad news

I'm occasionally taken to task for being "too positive" on China.  Oh well.  I do know the downsides of the place; but also its upsides.  As Walt Whitman might have said of China: "... very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes".
The bad news on China remains the bad news: corruption that is not simply endemic, but ubiquitous -- everyone is on the take. Pollution is horrible.  There are crazy clampdowns on free speech: vide the Plan 9, I wrote about.
But the thing is that all these are pretty well covered in the media.  Everyone knows that many a thing is crook in China.
Less known are the positive things that are happening.  That's why occasionally I do trend a touch upside-ish about our "motherland".
And so does Chandran Nair.  He writes a good piece in the South China Morning Post,  "Distorted view overlooks its many positive achievements" [pdf]
1.  Pollution: government aims for 20% renewable energy by 2020
2.  Multicultural: 55 ethnic groups of 100 million
3.  Clamp downs on corruption: attempts by Xi Jinping to tackle it (on this I'm, like, hmmmmm.... Seen this before, not much change on this one)
4.  Tibet: Nair highlights the developments in the last 50 years. Which, for naysayers, is another case of "what have the Romans done for us".