Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Does a Government React to Problems ?

Generations of British children could sympathise with the impulse to riot over school dinners. But the Chinese teenagers who rampaged through their cafeteria this week were protesting at the rocketing prices of meals rather than the quality of the food.

While British students took to the streets to demonstrate against rising tuition fees, those at a school in Guizhou trashed the dinner hall after learning that the cost of dishes had gone up by an average of 0.5 yuan.

The south-western province is one of the poorest in China, with more than 5.5 million people living in poverty – 15% of the country's total, according to the state news agency Xinhua.(1)

There's been some doom mongering again over China and their inflation. I don't share it. Yes, in many ways it's an odious society - especially when it comes to challenging CCP state power. But, for now, China recognizes when it has problems and attempts to do something about them. More and more Western governments seem locked in the ideological box of slashing wages and raising taxes on their working class. And in this case, there's a good chance American school children who rioted would be sent off to court, or similarly punished without a recognition of underlying issues.

China's response, at least officially:

"The prices have returned to their original levels. The operations of both the cafeteria and the school have returned to normal," a local official told the Global Times. "Those students are mostly from poor families and they will be not be held legally responsible."

1'Chinese pupils trash dinner hall in protest at cost of meals' - UK Guardian

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