Hold on to your donkeys, the Chinese are coming

6 Jan

donkey kong logoSo that was 2013. In China a year of mindless xenophobia, deadly pollution and freedom crushing authoritarianism masquerading as modern nation state-ism. So no change there then. Oh, and the Middle Kingdom also managed to take food scandals to a whole new level. We had gutter waste sold as cooking oil, infected baby formula, over 16,000 dead pigs floating down Shanghai’s Huangpu river and most recently dirty pond water injected into lamb meat. Mmmmm.

So it’s goodbye to the Year of the Snake and hello to the Year of the Horse, or more appropriately the Year of the Donkey. Yup, China has kicked off 2014 as it left off … literally daring anyone to live there. This time Walmart has been recalling donkey meat from its Jinan stores because of contamination issues.

Now Walmart as I know it is the US giant that now owns UK supermarket chain Asda. The most my local Asda on the Old Kent Road would ever do to satisfy customer demand was a small Caribbean section and possibly some Polish sausages. Not so its Chinese outposts, which have obviously bent over backwards to meet that insatiable lust for donkey meat down in deepest Shandong province. That’s not all, of course. It has emerged that the donkey meat has been found to contain traces of fox DNA.

Fox disguised as donkey? It makes me ashamed to be British sometimes. The best we can do is horse masquerading as cow.

When the infant formula scandal broke in 2013 there was a sudden run on in Hong Kong for milk powder, which soon led to bare shelves and export restrictions as “locust” mainlanders gave the locals another reason to despise them. So what of 2014? If you’re a Hong Kong zookeeper or private donkey owner I’d start by building a higher fence. Then keep the TV on because in a few days I fully expect to see an alarmist public service broadcast outlining how best to protect your donkey.

At the very least, spaffing a few grand on an utterly pointless and unbelievably patronising TV ad will help our glorious leaders avoid facing the thorny topic of universal suffrage for a few more weeks.

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