China on the Move is a juggernaut which sees China using around 40% of the world’s concrete production and around 25% of its steel. The country’s infrastructure projects are jaw dropping engineering marvels. These guys are hell bent on tackling nature Head On when it comes to infrastructure and highway construction projects.
Mother Nature’s obstacles- Gorges, Canyons, Mountains are treated with little deference. Mere temporary obstacles to be conquered with a little dynamiting, boring and drilling. Nothing gets in the way of a Chinese project manager hell bent on delivering a project on time and under budget. Construction union delegates are the least of his problems.
China‘s Premier Wen Jiabao recently stated that “Inflation will be effectively suppressed when government policies take effect.” Inflation isn’t the only think they suppress- dissenting voices don’t get much of an audience in this countries onward march to showcase its newly acquired prestige on the global stage of Big Hitters.
Organized protest groups nor unions get a chance to stall the wheels of progressive motion. Nor are projects delayed by the stand over and intimidating tactics of construction unions nor well meaning and organized environmental protest groups for that matter.
Their latest achievement is the unveiling of the world’s longest sea bridge, the Jiazhou Bridge- 42.4 kilometres in length.
So with all this concrete and steel swirling about I’ve asked a valid question of this country.
Why are Chinese public toilets a throwback from the Dark Ages ?
Public conveniences in this country fall a long way short of any interpretation alluding to World’s Best Practice. They are mere open channels were stagnant urine and faeces just accumulate. There’s little in the way of that dynamic China on the Move, in the way of a flushing action in public toilets.
Privacy isn’t a consideration either, one is expected to empty one’s bowels in full view of all comers. I saw one guy squatting reading a paper, oblivious to the comings and goings of those around him.
Some sobering statistics- 19% of the planet’s 7 Billion people are Chinese and 13% of the world’s population speak Mandarin as their first language. Kevin Rudd knew his numbers when he chose which foreign language was worth learning to advance his diplomatic and political career prospects . Too bad he didn’t have a handle on his caucus numbers prior to the Julia challenge to his leadership. But having Impressive numbers is the name of the game, a fact not lost on Premier Wen Jiabao and his Politburo.
A line from a Lou Reed song The Magician- ‘I want to believe in miracles, not just belief in numbers- I need some magic to sweep me away’ has me facetiously thinking that China’s Economic Miracle could afford to redirect and apply a bit of surplus concrete and steel to her public toilets, to ‘sweep away’ the stagnant shit !
And a little privacy too- not unlike a caucus meeting !