March 26th, 2003


How To Get Things Done In China

weather: sunny-ish
outside: 10°C
mood: non-chalant
Beijing Breaks Silence

Chinese authorities reveal that 797 are ill and 34 dead from a mystery virus that has caused the global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This is more than six times number it had admitted to before.

A WHO spokesman told The Straits Times that the meeting with Chinese health officials was 'extremely good'.

He said that a Guangdong official provided 'stacks of information' going back to the beginning of the outbreak in the southern province.

He added: 'The files were extremely detailed and useful. The team was able to look at information like where patients lived, and how they were treated.

*derisive snort* I was wondering how long it would take the WHO to finally learn that to get anything done in China, you "pass red envelopes under the table". The country is so heavily mummified in red tape that you get nothing done through the proper channels, the way you're supposed to. It's all about your connections, favours you do for others, favours that you get to cash in later, red envelopes and banquet dinners you host.

I have great pride in my Chinese heritage. I hang on to customs, traditions, values and philosophies of old, at times even much more so than elders more than triple my age.

But it's unlikely that I will ever speak of the modern Chinese governing power without at least partial disdain.