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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China, a Haven for Fake Goods

Posted by Author on August 1, 2007

By Kim Ki-cheon, in-house columnist of Chosun Ilbo, South Korea, Aug.1,2007-

“You’ll see everything here in Shenyang is fake, except for Shenyang itself,” a South Korean executive told a Chosun Ilbo news team in Shenyang, China some time ago. He was only half joking. He showed us a designer watch that would cost millions of won in South Korea. It was a fake, of course, bought for 20 yuan (US$1=CNY7.57). So was his wallet, his belt, his shoes — all fakes. There’s no reason to pay for genuine brand name goods in China, the executive said, because even if you buy the real thing, people just assume it’s fake.

▶In China, “there is nothing that cannot be made, with the exception of man.” Fakes are overflowing the Chinese market, and many of them look fantastic.

Fake eggs recently caused a stir in Guangzhou. The white of the egg was made from industrial powder and alum, the yolk was calcium chloride. The eggshell was made from paraffin wax. If you broke the shell you could easily see that it’s fake because the white and yolk mixed together, but an unbroken one was very difficult to distinguish from a genuine egg. It was almost a work of art. But it was a little puzzling why they put so much effort into it, considering that real eggs don’t cost much.

▶In the province of Anhui in 2004, 13 babies died after they were fed with fake infant formula. Surviving babies had long lasting abnormalities, including skinny bodies and large heads, due to serious malnourishment and side effects.

Last year, nine people died at the hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou after being given intravenous injections laced with diethylene glycol, used in car anti-freeze.

▶Whang Joung-il, minister for political affairs at the Korean Embassy in China, died while being treated at a clinic in downtown Beijing on Sunday.

On Saturday evening Whang ate a sandwich from a nearby shop while working in his office at the embassy. He later experienced diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. The next morning Whang rushed to the clinic, where he suffered shortness of breath and died after receiving an injection of Ringer’s solution.

Chinese police and health authorities are reportedly investigating the solution to see if it was fake.

▶He Qinglian, a Chinese university professor, was forced into exile in the U.S. after she blew the whistle on problems with the Chinese government’s opening and reform policies. China, she once said, is a “republic of con-artists.” She lamented that in her country everybody, including public servants, corporate executives, and merchants, is bent on trying to make money at any cost. She criticized the Chinese people for their materialism. “They believe that if only they can earn enough money — at the risk of their own lives — then their family can live in affluence for generations.”

China has failed to establish a code of business ethics, including personal responsibility and corporate accountability, even though it has been years since it embraced the market economy.

China has the world’s fourth largest economy, but it also carries a heavy burden of shame.

This column was contributed by Chosun Ilbo in-house columnist Kim Ki-cheon.

Original report from Chosun Ilbo

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