Scandals hint at reality behind China's 'miracle'

Written by  //  July 5, 2007  //  China, Economy, Public Policy  //  No comments

By Howard W. French

 

July 5, 2007
SHANGHAI: This has been the season of scandal in China, from the revelation that hundreds of people, including kidnapped children, had been held as virtual slaves to work in the primitive brick factories of Shanxi Province, to the rolling food and product safety scandal, in which toys made for export were found to be painted with lead, and toothpaste and cough medicines laced with industrial poisons.

Go back a little further and you come across a municipal finance scandal in the country’s richest city, Shanghai, in which the city’s powerful Communist Party secretary was diverting pension funds for his own use and that of his friends, who for years treated their positions in Shanghai as a license to print money.

Fast forward to recent days, when there have been allegations that the Chinese government has used its muscle to force the World Bank to delete portions of a report about the human costs of rampant pollution in this country, which the bank estimated may be killing as many as 750,000 Chinese every year. More

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