Sunday, June 17, 2007

Modern Slavery

This Chinese story about the authorities uncovering hundreds of slaves being used in brick making kilns is interesting on several levels. Firstly the scale of the abuse is shocking. Secondly the fact that the Chinese media is reporting the discovery rather than brushing it under the carpet suggests that either China is relaxing its controls on the media a little or they haven't been able to suppress the internet as yet. Thirdly that behind the economic success of the last 20 years China lies an enormous problem with corruption, everyone was of course aware that corruption was a problem but if the police can be bribed to turn a blind eye to the disappearance of over 500 young people, the abductions only appear to have come to light because the parents of the victims posted a petition on the internet, then the brazenness of corruption is breathtaking.

Is the rise of China overblown when away from the metropolises the country has barely made any political progress for centuries?


riddler said...

about China's future - an interesting visual here which illustrates how China's population is/will be aging, just like the West, mainly due to Mao's one child per family policy. It will be interesting (if I'm still around!) to see how they deal with it. I don't know what sort of NHS/pension liabilities they will have - I suspect not as extensive as the UK.

riddler said...

ooops, can't get it to hyperlink - still you get the idea!

Ross F said...

Interesting link, thanks.

Most of the countries that are experiencing aging populations are those that have already become rich, so China is basically it's own guinea pig. A lot of people put the volatility that emerges from the Arab world down to their very young populations, if that is the case China will at least be stable in the future.