Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thanking Your Party

The No.7 most searched keyword on Yahoo China today is "Henan Coal Mine Workers Rescued". 415452 searches in one day.

If you haven't heard about it, one state-owned coal mine in Henan province in Central China experienced flooding 4 days ago and 69 mine workers were trapped inside the coal pit.

Fortunately, all of them have been rescued yesterday. News reports described that the miners "want to thank the Party and the Government for their rescue effort!"



(Photo of government officials giving their welcomes to one of  the rescued mine workers. Note the huge red banner declaring the rescue action, I though it was quite funny, it's just such a show.)

I probably make a very lousy Communist since if this happened to me, the first thing I would like to do is to sue somebody's ass off (instead of thanking my Party). Then maybe write a book about it, sell the exclusive interview right to a tabloid magazine. Yes, I admit it, I am a selfish product of the ever-so decadent Capitalism.

But I really genuinely feel sorry for the mine workers in China. With all that impressive economic growth, China's coal industry is the deadliest in the world. On average, 13 people died everyday last year. I don't think this risk is appropriately compensated for, either. And it doesn't look like it's going to improve in the near future since the two most important factors, business ethics and stringent government regulation, are both missing in China. All of a sudden the toxic toothpaste and chemical laden fish look quite insignificant now compared to dying  in a coal pit.

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