Lately, you can’t read a Tom Friedman article without gagging. Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. Let me try again.
I mean that you can’t read a Tom Friedman article without having him praise China to the skies as the example America should follow. (I gather that the Saudis have fallen somewhat in his estimation. I don’t know if it was the misogyny, the homophobia or the antisemitism that did it, or maybe he took umbrage when the Saudis turned on Al Qaeda.) In any event, I thought Friedman would find this story interesting:
Wang Cuyun was attempting to prevent a demolition team from knocking down her house when she was allegedly beaten by a worker with a wooden stick and then pushed into a ditch that had been dug around the property.
A bulldozer then covered Mrs Wang with earth, burying her alive. By the time her relatives dug her up, she was dead. The incident occurred last Wednesday in Maodian village in Huangpi district.
Mrs Wang’s case is the latest in a series of cases in China that have drawn widespread public condemnation of the behaviour of rapacious property developers and the government’s failure to intervene. Last year, Tang Fuzhen, a woman in Sichuan province, climbed on to the roof of her three-storey house and set herself on fire to protest against being evicted.
With house prices rocketing across the country, developers often team up with local governments to force homeowners out of their property, according to a recent report by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), an NGO based in Hong Kong.
It is not possible to refuse an eviction in China, since the government technically owns all the land.
Chinese law also does not require developers to agree a compensation fee before they demolish a property.
“The current framework offers little protection to homeowners,” said a spokesman for CHRD.
Read the rest here.
Admittedly, the story’s not about direct government action (rather, it is about government inaction), but it does indicate a certain cavalier attitude towards life that we might not wish to emulate here. I’m sure Friedman will find some convoluted, cliche-ridden, soporific and illogical way to explain why this act of cruelty, one that seems to be part of a pattern, reflects well, rather than badly, on our primary debt holder.