Friday, May 19, 2006

Adultery and Guilt

Another thing the bulk of my students are sure of; Chinese people love their families and love kids more than Western people do. I don’t doubt families – on the whole – love their own kids, just as in the West. But other people’s kids? A recent scandal in Anhui Province shows the truth of that; 200 kids sickened by dodgy vaccines, and one dead – that’s according to official figures which, of course, must be treated with the proviso that they are much lower that the true figure.

Corruption and dereliction of duty among local health workers and school staff are being blamed for the death of a school pupil after receiving an inoculation. Around 200 students were also taken ill following injections in Sixian County in East China's Anhui Province.

The Beijing Times claims a deal between health providers and schools over vaccinations allowed them all to make money. The newspaper says a recent investigation by the Sixian County government found that students were paying over the odds for the injections. Instead of being charged the usual 6 yuan (72 US cents), 2,500 pupils were charged 25 yuan (US$3) for a Hepatitis A vaccine.

The schools, 19 in 17 villages, were given 1 yuan (12 US cents) commission per vaccine, the Dazhuang Township Healthcare and Epidemic Prevention Station, which sold the vaccines to the schools, kept the rest. From the deal, each school earned 2,500 yuan (US$300), and village doctors who vaccinated the students were offered a bonus. The Beijing Times also claims that some doctors were not qualified to give vaccinations, and had not received any training.

The vaccines initially came from a medicine producer in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province. Following the incident, the Sixian Public Security Bureau and the county's Drug Administration Bureau sent an investigation team to Hangzhou to check out the firm. They have not yet reported their findings. It is not yet known exactly why the students became ill after receiving the vaccinations, said Wang Zhen, a spokeswoman for the county government.

The vaccines could have been contaminated during transportation. To save costs "the vaccines were not kept cool during their journey," according to the local Drug Administration Bureau.

Also under investigation is a private medicine supplier called Zhang Peng, based in Chuzhou, Anhui Province. Some of the vaccines given to the children are thought to have been supplied by Zhang, who did not have a licence to sell medicine.

Police are looking for Zhang, who disappeared after the accident happened.

So; the kids were no more than stock to make money with, and so keen was the wish to make money the vaccines were not even kept cool. That’s the way… cheat the poor, fuck with their health, to turn a buck. There’s love for children!

I suppose it’s some small measure of light that the above came from the People’s Daily; it’s good that they even mentioned it, let alone with such detail as this. But even so, it is obvious the initial media reaction to the event was to lie, cheat, obfuscate. An AP story says this–

The number of Chinese children sickened by an unauthorized Hepatitis A vaccine that killed one child has risen to 216 from 120, and Premier Wen Jiabao has called for strenuous efforts to ensure their safety, the government said Tuesday. Village doctors gave the Hepatitis A vaccine to about 2,500 children in 19 schools in the eastern province of Anhui without official permission, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xinhua did not explain why the toll of those affected had risen so dramatically some 10 days after vaccine was administered on June 16 and 17.

Meaning, of course, that there was no real rise; the figure was much higher than 120 all along, but was revised down to make it look nicer. I have little faith that the higher figure is accurate either. The People’s Daily report began in the usual way:

Chinese Minister of Health Gao Qiang Sunday passed on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's particular attention to the eastern China vaccine accident in a telephone to the Anhui provincial government, demanding strenuous efforts to save the affected pupils.

..mentioning the crooks in power who like to see their names in print; Wen’s demand for ‘strenuous efforts’ (for fuck’s sake, as opposed to what?) being more important that the sick kids. Foul rag that the paper is, even down to its hypocritical, lying title. People’s Daily! Ha, as if the people were of any account here, as if they had any power, any choice.

But enough of this.

The next morning Tingting was up and gone early. This was good, for though I like to have a woman in my arms all night long, I like her to leave early in the morning too, leaving me the day

A day or two after this, she emailed me thus:-


I’m glad to have shared so many wonderful days with you. Since the first time we met, I’ve kept on thinking of you, waiting for your email, phone call or message. I’ve always been eager for our meetings. Thank you very much for giving me a memorable experience.

You told me I should follow my heart. I tried, I really did. But I could not bear that I lay in your arms and at the same time I made a phone call or sent messages and deceived my husband. It was a kind of insult to all three of us.

These feelings are too painful for me to bear. The night we last met, you slept deeply like a baby. I looked at you, at your face, your closed eyes, nose, mouth. Everything was clear but vague too. I realized I didn’t know the guy lying beside me at all. Maybe I knew his outside, but not his inside. And my instinct told me they were different.

That’s why I know I should stop. It is difficult for me to stop seeing you, but this is the decision I’ve made after several days' thorough thinking. Thank you for the enjoyable days and nights we spent together.

With my best wishes.


I was not wholly surprised to get this, though had not expected it quite so soon. But perhaps I should have; that night together she had called her husband from my bed, and even at that time it occurred to me the sheer naked deception of this would soon weigh heavily on her.

And though I felt I would miss her company, and more, her body, I was glad rather than otherwise to get this email. It let the relationship end while it was still hot, end with sweet thoughts of each other, end with her feeling in control, but not thinking I used her. And if we had left our relationship there, she would have thought of me, for the rest of her life, fondly.

I replied:-

My Dear Tingting,

I was expecting your letter.

When you sat on my bed talking to your husband, it seemed quite easy for you at the time. But I knew that, later, when you thought about it, you would find it more and more difficult to accept.

And I know that you are a little bit traditional – though you're not as traditional as you think you are – and that would make it hard for you to live with what you were doing.

But let me say, my Tingting, that I do not think what has happened is at all an insult. It is a private matter between you and me; and I think it is important for every person to explore themselves. You can't spend your live with only one lover, my dear.. you owe it to yourself to follow your desires sometimes. Yes, doing so is difficult, I know; but, even so, you must still live the life you want to live.

However, I do fully understand and accept your decision, and if you want to end, I won't make any fuss at all. But I do ask one thing... try not to feel guilty about what has happened. It was, as I say, a purely personal thing between you and me. And you should keep it that way – just think of it like a little holiday from your normal life. Accept it, and do not feel guilty. And certainly keep it in your heart, as your own, personal secret. Do not feel you should ever tell your husband – that will just make both of you more sad.

Tingting, I'm a little sad that you felt the guy outside and the guy inside are different. Of course, you do not know me very well yet; but really, I am not the kind of guy to lie, to cheat, to pretend. When I am with you I am just my normal self. Of course I do have a more secret, personal side – but so does everyone; and my inner self is not so different from my outer self.

Please believe that everything I said to you was true; you are a fascinating, sexy, unforgettable woman, a great lover and a great friend. I told you once that, if you were not married, you were the kind of woman I could fall in love with. I meant that. It was true. And, to tell you the truth, I had already begun to fall in love with you a little bit.

But I do not want to make your life complicated, Tingting, so I accept that you want to end what we have started. Please believe that my time with you was very important to me, very special, and I will never forget it.

I also hope we can be friends. I'd like that a lot. But of course if we meet together, just you and me, then it might be difficult for us to resist our passions. So maybe instead next time I meet up with a larger group of friends I will invite you along – if you'd like that.

But I’ll do whatever is easiest for you.. and of course we will remain friends, whatever happens. It's up to you to decide where you want to go from now on, what you want to do. I care about you a great deal, and respect you very much, and I will be guided by your wishes in all things. Please be assured that whatever you decide to do will be fine for me; I will not be angry, will never try to force our relationship somewhere you do not want it to go.

With my deepest wishes and affection,


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Anonymous said...

"really, I am not the kind of guy to lie, to cheat, to pretend" - ??? Did you seriously say that?

The reason she felt like she didn't know if she could trust you is because your letters sound very un-genuine. It sounds fake, spun, concocted. And well? Maybe that's....because it is??

Another reason you're a scumbag: You don't respect her decisions. You pretend you do, as in, you say you do, but your actions - what you write, telling her she shouldn't feel guilty, and it was ok, while she felt it was not ok - invalidate what she is feeling and thinking. I had an ex-boyfriend who did that; - the same thing - invalidated my very decision to break up. Because he was selfish and could only think of himself and his own interests.

And along similar lines, with regards to this part - "When I tried to suggest there were more ways of seeing the world than one, tried to suggest that she, as a doctor, ought perhaps have a wider, mature view, she became sulky. Not because I had suggested she was immature but because I suggested the Japanese were not, in fact, all devils." --> Uhhh do you hear how condescending you sound? Ya, she is offended because you are suggesting she is immature. Your tone, not only to her, but in all your writings, indicate you feel you know more and better than the Chinese about Chinese politics. It doesn't matter whether you do or not, but it is your attitude that you do that makes you come across, I'm sure, as a real asshole on those matters (but not unlike most Westerners) (I'm a Westerner, by the way, of ethnic Chinese background).

You always talk about how the Chinese don't "think" independently - are you so blind or naive as to assert that Westerners are better independent thinkers? Oh boy. You are as blinded by your own biases - as if your views about China, its politics, its culture is NOT at least in part driven by your own Western indoctrination. But of course you don't see that, because you are not critical of your own views. You are only critical of others'. If there's one thing that is more antithetical to free, critical thinking amongst Westerners than Chinese, it's their utter lack of humility about what they think - hubris.

Benny said...

Great post! Chinabounder, you're a genius! :P

Anonymous said...

What this white scumbag did is already a crime based on Western law!!

Anonymous said...

To the long, drawn-out, tedious drivel left by the Western, Femi-Nazi bitch leaving that asshole of a comment... Bitch! STFU, please!!