Tag Archives: shenzhen

China readies army of Stephen Hawkings to take over the WORLD

15 Jan

eggChina’s insatiable desire to be number one at EVERYTHING just took a turn for the creepy after it emerged a Shenzhen firm could be gearing up to offer parents an embryo screening process – allowing them to choose their brightest heirs and ditch the thickos.

BGI is apparently mapping the genes of maths geniuses and comparing them to a sample from the general populous in a bid to work out which genetic building blocks make them so clever.

This will be done by its Cognitive Genetics (CG) division. However, the resulting info could theoretically be used by another of its divisions, which currently provides genetic screening for birth defects, to allow parents to choose the ‘smartest’ embryos.

While this might all sound quite frankly chilling to many Western parents, it’s likely to be snapped up by ever pragmatic Chinese mums and dads to-be keen to maximise their RoI when it comes to procreating.

For the government too it has already become a major area of investment for Team China – the China Development Bank has apparently signed off $1.5bn in “collaborative funds” to BGI over the next decade.

The race to be first dominates everything in Chinese life. It’s there in mainlanders who take queue jumping in shops to an art form; in scalpers who sell tickets outside of China’s hospitals so you can see a doctor before the other shit-munchers; and in impatient air travellers who’ve unbuckled and begun rifling through the overhead compartment barely seconds after the plane has landed.

But it’s most strongly manifest in the Tiger mothers who fill their children’s every waking moments with study, hobbies and other ‘self-improvement’ activities designed to get them into the best school/college/university/job.

They’ll then be on hand a year or two later to choose a husband/wife for their little one, making sure to find the best deal, the one that offers the best chance of business and financial prosperity.

It’s a never-ending, unwinnable rat race which prioritises the acquisition of wealth and status above all else and turns humanity into one seething money-grabbing mass. Fuck joie de vivre, this is living life like a shark – stop moving forward and you die.

That’s probably what was on obstetrician Zhang Shuxia’s mind when she abducted seven infants between 2011 and 2013 and sold them to traffickers in Shaanxi province.

Zhang was given a suspended life sentence by a judge at Weinan Intermediate People’s Court’s this week after being found guilty of “violating professional and social ethics”.

Yes, apparently there are officially still ethics in China, although only ones sanctioned by the Party – itself still an ungovernable black hole of corruption.

“Zhang used her position as medical personnel to fabricate reports about the infants, saying they suffered from birth defects or diseases that were hard to cure,” the court ruling said.

She then abducted and sold the babies like a real life Goblin King.

Bad things happen all over the world and greed and covetousness are part of human nature.

But when a country of 1.4 billion people accelerating out of hardship and poverty at the speed of sound develops a moral vacuum of this size and scope, it’s time to get a little bit scared.

Welcome to Shenzhen – where the pollution comes from

20 Sep

Shenzhen skylineI had the honour of a few days in Shenzhen this week. For those of you who don’t know, Shenzhen is Hong Kong’s younger brother across the border in mainland China, about an hour’s MTR ride away. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, he’s brash, dirty, full of money he doesn’t know what to do with but on the plus side has a very clean and efficient metro system. That last one was just about the city.

Shenzhen is the product of former Communist Party supreme leader Deng Xiaoping’s vision to liberalise a country brought to its knees by his boss for so many years, Mao Zedong. Deng’s idea was to set up Special Economic Zones which would act as a kind of canary down the mine and see if the Communist state could pull off the immense balancing act of maintaining its totalitarian rule while allowing capitalism to thrive. In just 30 years the small village on the Pearl River Delta grew to a city of 14 million. Yeah, you could probably say it worked.

Except, arriving in Shenzhen from Hong Kong, it definitely hasn’t. It’s provides a horrifying insight into the kind of cities dotted all over the People’s Republic – all mouth and no trousers. So bereft of any cultural history it makes Hong Kong look like Kyoto. Actually, it make Vegas look like Kyoto.

What it does have, however, is shitloads of fake stuff. From knock off iPhones to Gucci handbags, it can be a shopper’s paradise, which is ironic considering most mainland Chinese come to Hong Kong to shop for their label goods because of the lower tax there. That’s legit stuff though, this is most definitely tat with a capital T. Just don’t expect much of it to last.

Don’t go to Shenzhen either for a gourmet experience of the ‘real China’. The restaurants I ventured in – and I went to some pretty swank ones – were universally dreadful. All of them smelled very strongly of fetid antisceptic wash and stale smoke, food arrived barely warm and just not right. Maybe I am too programmed into Hong Kong’s niceties. Or perhaps I was immediately put off the place by getting embroiled in the middle of a massive anti-Japan protest as soon as I stepped of the metro.

I’ll give the Chinese something, though, they know how to run a police force. This lot made Judge Dredd look like that bender from Allo Allo. All kitted out in the latest riot gear – I would have taken a few pictures but was quite frankly terrified. So, in recap, if you want to find out why you can’t see from one side of Victoria harbour in Hong Kong to the other if the wind’s blowing the wrong way, take a trip to Shenzhen. If not, well…