China is, obviously, very much in the news now, not because of the upcoming Olympics, but due to the truly awful earthquake and the devastation and loss of life it has caused. That Olympic torch "issue" has left the headline news.
But what is China the country up to? Antony Loewenstein, writing on Amnesty International's web site Uncensor, directed to China's human rights record - what record many will say! - reflects on some of the facts relating to China's amazing growth. The question he also poses is whether with that power has there come an abuse of it.
"Amidst all the current stories about China and the Beijing Olympics, it’s easy to forget that the country has progressed extraordinarily fast in the past decade. Some facts are in order:
** 30,000: The expected number of Chinese MBA graduates in 2008. The number in 1998:
** 500: The number of coal-fired power plants China plans to build in the next decade
** 540 million: Number of mobile phone users in China, with an increase of 44 million in the past six months
** 33: The number of Chinese journalists thought to be held in prisons in 2008
** 22: The number of suicides per 100,000 people, about 50 per cent higher than the global average. Suicide is the fifth most common cause of death in China, and the first among people aged between 20 and 35
** 30: The number of different animal penises on the menu at Guolizhuang, Beijing’s ‘penis emporium’. A yak’s costs about £15, while a tiger’s (which must be pre-ordered) will set you back £3,000."
Read this thought-provoking piece here.