Saturday, March 6, 2010

China - takin' care of the peeps

This Guardian article appeared yesterday in the Taipei Times.

I have to say - seriously? Really? I would think that Kishore could do better, being the dean at a Singaporean school of public policy and career foreign service officer/UN representative and all.

A few choice quotes below - and I followed them with quips from Brendan, my wonderfully witty fiance, because his one-liners are often better than mine.

"The key to understanding Asian approaches is their pragmatism. Asians constantly adapt and change."

"Really? I'd hope that that's true of all people. Oh, those crazy non-adapting white people!"

At a recent workshop that we co-chaired in Singapore, the inevitable question was raised: can Asians lead in meeting global challenges? The responses from the Chinese and Indian participants were striking. They argued that by taking care of more than two billion people – and taking care of them well – both China and India were already making a major contribution to global stability and order.

"Well, you could argue that China is taking care of its people better than it has in any other time in recent history."

and my personal favorite -

"China takes care of its rich people well. Like all Communist societies."

So, uh, Kishore. Yeah. About that. What the hell are you smoking?! India does the best job it can of taking care of its people - I've been to India, I've seen the challenges the Indian government is up against, from natural disasters to a giant poo-storm (hey, my family reads this thing, sorry about the kid-friendly language) left by the British, to institutionalized corruption.

China may be developing faster and have a slightly wealthier populace but it's clearly on the wrong track. A track that was laid in 1984.

So...yeah, Kish. The Kishmeister. Kish-ore-rama. Um. Do you really believe that China is taking care of its 1+ billion people well? Really? Forserious?

If you do, then either you've drunk the Kool-Aid, or you've never been to China. Which, as a career diplomat, I find surprising.

Oh, wait. I studied International Affairs. I met tons of diplomats in training. I could have been one and chose not to (I'm too blunt, see). As such, I don't find it surprising at all.

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