Thursday, April 28, 2011

China is not Tracing the Korean Path of Development

Journalist Liu Jian revealed on his mirco-blog, the top regulatory agency of product, including food, safety the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine had an exclusive farm in suburban Beijing. The 800 acres farm produce organic produce only, and is fully funded by the agency's operating budget. Agency employees and their families are allowed to pick produce from this farm. As a matter of fact, all government agencies had their own agricultural bases. No wonder why the government had been turning a blind eye to the food safety issue.

Earlier this year, the website of the cafeteria of the Agricultural Ministry bragged they use organic food only and no transgene produce at all, which contradict to the campaign launched by the Ministry to promote transgene food.

Scholars had predicted China would follow the path of South Korea. Both countries started with totalitarian regime, bitter students movement and cruel crack downs, and both on the way to prosperity. Seoul held the Olympic Game in 1988, when the country of South Korea's economy was about to take off. Beijing held it in 2004, while China's GDP almost doubled in a couple of years.

Also evident to the observation were the mass building quality issues South Koreans saw in the 1990s, including the collapse of a major bridge on the Han River, and a busy department store in Seoul. Experts attributed the problem to the poor quality control in the fast expansion of the economy take off. In China, the poor construction quality was blamed for the severe death toll of students in the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008.

However, looking closely, the two paths are not really parallel.

Both countries made breakthrough on the international market by a few major companies sponsored by the nation, such as the Samsung and Daewoo of Korea. However, China's successful companies are mostly resource producer with not much technical component.

Both country advocate against luxury life style. In Korea, the government suspended building high standard-ed building in the 1990s. In China, the government banned newspaper and advertising mentioning words such as 'luxury'.

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