Friday, October 22, 2004

How the Chinese see us

I thought it highly amusing that we should today read about a public transport strike in Brussels – from the Chinese press agency Xinhuanet.

One detects a certain smugness – if not glee – in their report as they retail how "The Belgian capital of Brussels was jammed with cars early on Friday morning", with the proletariat having to go to work by car, by bicycle or on foot, bringing chaos to the whole city.

And, with the exudations from Brussels about "human rights" in China, you can almost imagine the mask of inscrutability cracking as the Chinese hacks pounded their word processors, describing how "Local media reported that the labor union called the strike to protest the lack of communication within the Brussels public transport company, STIB, and to highlight what it calls inhumane conditions for workers."

They then complete the picture by adding that: "Belgians are currently troubled with strikes", noting that, "On Thursday, hospital workers across the country took to the streets or stayed home to demand higher pay and better working conditions. Belgian post office workers are threatening to hold a strike on Nov. 10 over their working conditions, local media reported."

Of course, nothing like that would happen in China, which is why all the good Europeans are so anxious to sell the Chinese military lots and lots of expensive, high-tech weapons - presumably produced under inhumane conditions in European sweat shops.

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