[Assam] Fw: China Progress
mikemahant at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 8 08:39:15 EDT 2007
When we are on the subject:
Re: Plastic Water Bottle Recycling
06/08/2007 7:28 AM
<LOT of Plastic water bottles>
Do you know how the Chinese use them?
Just back from a week in Zhejiang Province--Beautiful all around!
Between Grain /Veg fields Hills/Tea Gardens/High-Tech new Cities/Apartment Tower blocks--there are longish patches of wetland.
How do they use these? Grow Big Fish-Healthy Fish---always swimming long distances in the restricted pool.
How is Long Distances possible?
By fooling the fish to believe that the only way is FORWARD!(Kind of Communist!!)
And how do they Fool the fish? By hanging cheap machine-made net-like plastic sheet like a Labyrinth (as you see from top). To a depth of 1.5 metre from surface.
And how do these nets keep in position? Floated on Top and loaded at Bottom.
How do you load at bottom? Waste Plastic bottles filled with sand/silt+water.
And Floated on TOP? Same water bottles (filled with Air and neck down-corked!)
Will these last in the Sun?-No Problem -10 Years--PET !
And the Fish is really Tasty!!!
Please do not read this as a comment or something--------------->
From: barua25 at hotmail.comTo: assam at assamnet.orgDate: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 22:35:09 -0500Subject: [Assam] Fw: China Progress
Courtsey Satyajit Dutta:
Subject: China Progress Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 03:15:09 +0000
Shillong Times : June 7, 2007
China revisitedWay behind, Wake up India!
By Poonam I Kaushish
It was a fantastic ten-day revisit to China. A great eye-opener in every sense of the term. Starting with the wholly unexpected feel good send-off one could have got. A lavish dinner out-of-the-blue by the Press section of the Chinese Embassy in an appropriately named restaurant called The Chinese. The surprise was all the more pleasant because one cannot expect the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs to do likewise. Namely, go out of their way to invite not just the journalist but also the family, going on a private holiday to the Dragon country. Load them with travelogues and CDs of places to visit, hotels to stay, shopping, food et al. Indeed, the inscrutable Chinamen knew how to hard sell their wares.
Airports are always a precursor of what the country is all about and, importantly, how progressive it is. To say the least, China's airports don't disappoint. Be it Beijing, Xian or Shanghai. All are huge structures of aluminium and glass with shining granite floors. Immigration is business like and fast. All with a smile. Your luggage already awaits you at all destinations. The toilets spanking clean with attendants.
In sharp contrast to India's serpentine queues and grumpy officials in cramped spaces. What to say of stinking toilets. Their duty shops stock anything and everything under the sun. International designer brands, liquor, chocolates, watches, you name it they have it. Are we really in a communist country!!! Notwithstanding the fact, that China initiated economic reforms in 1978, under then-leader Deng Xiaoping and has now blossomed into a full-fledged market economy.
Unlike their desi counterparts, all airports are over 50 kms away from the cities connected by ring roads, expressways and trains. Shanghai has two international airports. Pudong International airport boasts of the famous Maglev train ----- the only train in the world that runs on magnetic levitation. Running at a speed of 430 miles per hour. It takes only seven minutes to reach the city centre. While our polity and policy makers continue to quibble about the kis leeaye and kyun of expanding the pathetic present facilities with a recalcitrant Red Brigade playing spoilsport. Talk of true blue Communist, come to India and not go to China.
The latest buzzwords in China are infrastructure and tourism. All in preparation for the Olympics next year. Step out of any of their airports and the first thing that hits you in the face is the amazing infrastructure. We in India have still to learn how to spell that word leave alone understand its meaning. Beijing boasts of six 8-lane ring roads with mind-boggling clover leafs, four subway lines connecting city center stops and the railway station with outlying areas. By 2008, there will be nine routes in Beijing, besides buses and metered taxis. Xian, the eternal city, which in its 3100 years of development was capital of 13 dynasties has two 8-lane ring roads. Each with multiple clover leafs (and we brag about one such in Delhi) which are illuminated like showcasing a piece of art. Another is under construction to be inaugurated next year.
Shanghai, originally a seaside-fishing village is today a multi-cultural international metropolis with the largest population in China, (18.7 million with 2 million floating population) has the world's largest public transportation system handling the largest daily volume of passengers. There is a high-density road network, over five elevated roads one-on-top-of-the-other like a layered sandwich, five subways lines criss-crossing the city, buses and several big taxi companies ready to take you to everywhere. Bridges and various tunnels provide direct links across the Huangpu River and ferries offer convenient shuttle services. Don't the elevated roads spoil Shanghai's beauty? I ask the cab driver, "Spoil, how? Roads are meant to ferry people," he sagaciously replied. Arm-chair environmentalist who rave and rant about the aesthetics of Delhi, please take note.
City roads in all three metropolises too are 8-lane and sans any potholes, car destroying speed-breakers and roadblocks. Metered taxis are freely available anywhere and anytime with a wave of a hand. Talk of discipline and one gets a taste of it when caught in Beijing' peak hour traffic. It took 1 hour to traverse a distance of 200 metres. What was most frustrating was that the taxi driver refused to shift over to the bus and cycle lanes which were empty. Shocked at the suggestion, he emphatically stated, "It is not allowed". If it were Delhi, Mumbai or Jhoomretalaiya even the pavement would have been choked with cars.
Not only infrastructure. If a Best Tourism Award were to be given, China would win hands down over India, even though we have much to boast about. Despite being encumbered by a severe language problem --- hardly anyone speaks English except for the guides. Not even the taxi drivers and yet they manage to sell and how! Beijing 2008 shops have mushroomed at all tourist hot spots and shopping malls all over the country. All aggressively selling mementos and knick-knacks centered around the sports event.
Alongside, the Chinese are busy repackaging the Oriental mystique of an ancient civilization for the 21st Century to fit western perceptions and arouse interest. All monuments, temples and gardens that stand testimony to the centuries-old history and unique cultural relics are being given a makeover, whether required or not. Even a non-descript temple or garden with hardly any history to boast of has been packaged as a tourist must-visit. Replete with walkways, restaurants and shops which turn the visit into a picnic or a special treat. Take the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections. Yet acres surrounding it have been developed as a recreational and cultural centre with an amphi-theatre to host concerts etc.
All three cities are modern and fashionable complete with bubbling vitality. With towering sky-scrapers, countless hotels of all stars, razzmatazz shopping malls selling the latest fashion, top international designers and an endless stream of traffic that makes them as international as one can get. Shanghai, known as "the Oriental Paris" is a shopper's paradise. Nanjing Road is considered the "No. 1 commercial street in China". Here along its 5.5 kms, one will find over 600 shops that on average are visited by some 1.7 million people each day. All this in communist China!!!!. It is more capitalist than India can hope to be in the next 50 years.
Reflecting the increasing affluence of the local people, millions of upwardly mobile Chinese have dumped cycles and purchased cars, once a far-fetched dream for most locals. Not many are aware that China is the second largest auto market after the US and the world's fastest growing, up 25.4 per cent, from a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The bland Communist tunics have given way to jeans, colourful skirts, shorts and t-shirts. Believe it or not, women can walk the streets alone even past mid-night. Taxis and buses are available any time. For a country once infamous for corruption, there is hardly any crime and English-speaking policemen are courteous to tourist. Like India, China too faces challenges of poverty. But has "walled" its poverty by barricading it from the prying eyes of the tourist. Shanties are making way for neat building to house the poor. The only give-away is the rampant begging. Punctuality is another Chinese hallmark. Take for instance the national carrier Air China. It would take-off on dot without late-comers on board. Never mind that they held boarding passes!
India needs to take a leaf from China family planning policy introduced over 30 years ago. Wherein a married couple was allowed to have only one child. During the early 1990s, the policy evolved into a sophisticated doctrine that offered financial incentives and disincentives. Stipends, roughly 20 per cent of the annual average rural income, are now offered in exchange for couples agreeing to have one child (two are allowed if the first child is a girl and/ or disabled in rural areas). But the greatest change has been in Chinese mothers: When they choose to give birth, and how they feel about having children. According to a study, Chinese women would still have fewer than two children even if the government allowed all couples to have a second child.
As our tourist guide asserted, "initially it was very tough to adjust to this new concept, but today everyone has accepted it. In fact not a few couples choose not to have children due to the high costs of raising a child, pursuing their careers, and enjoying their lives." Even urban and migrant workers in large cities who are eligible to have a second child, (if a husband and wife are the only children in their families and remarried couples) are preferring to have only one child.
So successful has been the policy's implementation that the country is busy grappling with the problem of an aging society. That too before the country has fulfilled its industrialization. While it took Britain and some other developed countries over 80 years to transform to the aging society, China completed the transformation in about 20 years. According to an United Nations report presently elderly people account for 11 per cent of the population and by 2040 it will rise to 28 per cent i.e. 397 million, which will exceed the combined present population of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Japan. Consequently, it has resulted in a labour shortage. According to a report, by the middle of the 21st century, China is expected to lose 18-35 per cent of its labour force.
All in all, India needs to draw lessons from the rapid growth of Communist China. It showcases that communism and capitalism can co-exist provided the leadership is committed ----to the country and its people. One needs long term vision with no short-cuts. Great nations or super-powers are not built overnight but painstakingly brick-by-brick. Our polity has to quit politricking. At the present rate, it will take India at least 70 years to catch up with its Asian neighbour. Time to wake up! ----- INFA
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