Thursday, March 8

Cat Theory

In 1962, when discussing a contract responsibility system for agricultural production, Deng Xiaoping at a meeting of the Chinese Central Committee Secretariat presented some homespun wisdom from his native Sichuan province -- "Not matter whether it is a yellow cat or a black cat, whatever method works ... we should use that method." Over the years, the yellow cat became a white one, and the canonical wording of Deng's Cat Theory became "It doesn't matter if it is a white cat or a black cat, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat." Later, it was often connected to another oft-quoted Dengism: "To get rich is glorious" to provide an ideological basis for China's jettisoning of economic isolationism for market capitalism.

Today, Chinese 'lawmakers' (the 2835 deputies of the National People's Congress) introduced a bill to protect private property. Ill-defined property rights have allowed local Communist Party goons to seize small businesses, houses and farmland for lucrative real-estate and commercial deals, and anger has spread among ordinary Chinese, alarming the top leadership who have less and less control over the depredations of their rank-and-file. Introducing the bill to the rubberstamp national legislature, Wang Zhaoguo, a Politburo member said: "As the reform and opening up of the economy develop, people's living standards have improved in general and they urgently require effective protection of their own lawful property accumulated through hard work."

From top:

'Wall Street English' language coaching center in a Beijing mall.

Tots learn to ice skate at the China World Shopping Center rink, at RMB 50 (USD 7, Rs 300) per hour per child.

Interchange in NW Beijing.

Fireworks celebrating the 15th day of the New Year don't quite manage to clear the highrises anymore.

Conference room name, offices of a tech company.


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