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Tainted Milk Powder and Political Reform in China

Wei Jingsheng
September 26, 2008

The tainted milk powder case in China is expanding. The list of dairy products which have problems grows longer and longer. According to reports, there is almost 8,000 tons of milk powder taken off store shelves already. Not only inside China, but the whole international society has reacted strongly to the tainted milk powder. After the developed countries of Europe and America, many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have also forbidden the import of Chinese dairy products. Although the US had always prohibited the import of Chinese dairy products, the government still warned its people that some stores which import Chinese goods may still sell Chinese dairy products illegally, and thus advise consumers to be cautious.

This tainted milk powder incidents have damaged the reputation of the Chinese goods more than any previous incident of faulty and faked products. Even WHO and UNICEF have put out statements that demand to investigate the causes thoroughly. Much criticism points to the information blockage system in China, suggesting the incident is a replay of the SARS incident a few years ago. There are even reports that the Chinese government hid the truth for several months due to Beijing Olympics, thus causing harm to more babies.

These reports sound hard to be believed. Yet, during the decades of the Chinese Communist Party's rule, this kind of hard-to-be-believed news has often proven to be true. This fact has made people not believe any official news, and cost the Chinese society to fall into a crisis of trust. Scholars and experts often use the words "trust crisis" and "confused minds", which make average folks confused. As a matter of fact, these are the things happening around us and even on us.

One may shake the little red flag to support the Chinese Communist government while thinking that one has cheated the government and everyone else as well. One may think that if one hid one's distrust of the government well, then the government would not be harmful to oneself. But the tainted milk powder would not let your baby escape. Various fakes, even poisonous food will catch you as well. Ms. He QingLian said vividly: "This is the era that I am harmful to everyone and everyone is harming me."

People may think that cheating one's conscience would avoid being harmed, but the result is that everyone becomes the victim. This kind of social system has been forcing people to cheat each other, in a way to survive. On the surface it is the tainted milk powder that harmed people, but in reality it is the dictatorship that harmed people. From the officials that blocked the information, to the social system that makes people lie, they are all the reasons to make disasters. This is the true nature of the trust crisis. This is the result of a social system that lacks mutual trust.

The SARS incident has made both the international news media and Chinese with breadth of vision to realize that the root reason responsible for disasters is the information blockage instead of the disease itself. Even some Chinese officials with breath of vision realized that. The modern medical situation could effectively control the spread of the disease. But information blockage effectively helps the spread of the disease.

The tainted milk powder incident is very similar to SARS. The truth gradually exposed has proven that tainting the milk powder intentionally is an open secret in the Chinese dairy industry. Yet, it was covered by this dictatorial system. Even when Chinese tainted pet food killed dogs and cats in America last year and thus importation was forbidden by the US government, the truth was still covered and even was labeled as "the American imperialism and Anti-China Conspiracy" in an effort to fan up extreme nationalism.

Did these "patriotic youths" ever realize that the sense of responsibility of "the American imperialism" to protect their pets far surpasses the sense of responsibility of the Chinese government to its own people? You love the Chinese Communist Party, but the Chinese Communist Party does not love you. Your children are harmed already, yet the propaganda organs of the Chinese Communist Party are still trying to dissolve this issue - it does not let you talk about the truth of the tainted milk powder, it blames the business and peasants while painting a pretty picture for the government. This is the same situation as the time of SARS.

If people take in these lies and let the criminals pass again, there will be more disasters waiting for everyone. For this reason, people with breadth of vision have been continuously calling and demanding the Chinese government to open free speech. Not even for political reforms, but just for survival of the people, we need free press. Otherwise, incidents like SARS and tainted milk powder will continue, cost the country without peace, and make the people hard to survive. Nowadays in China, it is not safe everywhere, from drinks to food, even to breathe. This kind of life should not be continued.

So we must have political reform, starting with the return of free speech to the people.

Whenever talk about political reform, many average folks think that it is an issue related to the officials. But the incidents like SARS and the tainted milk powder repeatedly educate us that this is directly associated with us. With the developing technology, the level of doing bad things have upgraded as well. Without a modern political system to manager the society, disasters could come fast and hard, to such a degree that they could not be dealt with. Political reform is not an issue that is unrelated to the average folks, for the modern social managing system is directly tied to the very survival of each of us.

A modern society must have a full modernization. A crippled modernization may not be a good thing, but an even bigger disaster.


-- 魏京生

中国的毒奶粉事件正在逐步扩ä 23;。被查出问题的奶制品名单越Ĉ 69;越长。据报道已经有将近八千× 44;奶粉被撤下了货架。不仅仅在Þ 69;内,国际社会也对毒奶粉做出É 02;强烈的反应。继欧洲和美洲的Ö 57;达国家之后,亚、非、拉的很ä 10;国家也纷纷禁止中国的奶制品Ű 27;口。美国虽然一直禁止中国的å 02;制品进口,但政府仍然警告人Ĕ 65;:一些进口中国货的商店仍有Ö 87;能非法销售中国奶制品,消费Ň 73;应该格外小心。

这次的毒奶粉事件对中国货信Ţ 65;造成的破坏,超过了以往任何Ç 68;次假冒伪劣事件。世界卫生组ń 55;和联合国儿童基金会也发出声ą 26;,要求彻底全面地调查事件的Ö 07;因。很多批评指向了中国的信ö 87;封锁制度,认为这是萨斯事件į 40;重演。甚至有报道说,中国政ò 20;为了办奥运封锁了消息,隐瞒É 02;真相,使更多的婴儿受害。

这种消息听起来使人难以置信z 90;但是在中共统治的几十年里,Ű 25;种难以置信的消息往往被证明ą 59;真实的。这就使得人民无法相Ì 49;任何官方的消息,使得社会陷Ð 37;什么都不可信的信任危机。学Ň 73;专家们经常使用信任危机、思ø 19;混乱这些名词。一般人听着有É 23;云里雾里。其实它就是发生在û 05;们身边和我们自己身上的事情z 90;

你可以摇着小红旗去支持共产Ð 26;政府,自以为骗了政府也骗了ä 23;家,自以为把对政府的不信任Ɓ 44;藏的很好,政府就不会危害到Ë 20;自己了。可是毒奶粉不会放过Ë 20;的孩子,各种掺杂使假甚至有Ĕ 02;的食品也不会放过你本人。何ę 65;涟女士说得很形象:这是一个û 05;害人人,人人害我的时代。

大家以为靠欺骗良心就可以避Ð 13;受害,结果大家都成了受害者z 90;这种不说假话不骗人就不能生é 84;的社会制度,逼迫人们互相欺Ƌ 75;。表面看是毒奶粉在害人,实ũ 36;上是专制制度在害人。从官方ÿ 11;制封锁消息,到不撒谎就不能ī 83;存的社会制度,都是造成灾难į 40;原因。这就是信任危机的实质ʌ 92;这就是缺乏相互信任的社会制ò 30;的结果。

从萨斯事件以来,不仅国外的Ō 86;论,国内的有识之士也已经认ť 82;到了:造成灾难的根本原因是Ì 49;息封锁而不是疾病本身。甚至È 13;国官方的有识之士也认识到了Ű 25;一点。现代的医疗条件可以有ă 28;的控制疾病的蔓延,但是封锁Ę 40;息就有效地帮助了疾病的蔓延z 90;

毒奶粉事件的情况十分相似。Ű 80;渐暴露出来的事实说明,掺毒å 02;粉在中国的奶制品行业是公开į 40;秘密。但被这个专制体制掩盖ı 28;。直到去年中国的宠物饲料毒ē 15;了美国的小猫小狗,被美国查ķ 05;了,事情仍然被掩盖着,而且Ű 24;被贴上了“帝国主义和反华阴ก 1;”的标签,以此来煽动极端民族 ;主义。

爱国愤青们就没有想到:美帝Þ 69;主义保护他们的小猫小狗的责Ê 19;心,远远超过了中国政府对他į 40;人民的责任心。你爱共产党,Ö 87;共产党却不爱你们这些人民。Ë 20;们的孩子已经受害了,中共的ê 59;传喉舌仍然在大事化小,小事Ô 70;了:不准谈论毒奶粉事件的真İ 56;,天天在讲政府做得多好多好ʌ 92;都是不法奸商和农民的错,政ò 20;是清白的,等等。这和萨斯时Í 05;的情况一样。

人们如果继续接受这些谎言,ń 87;续让罪犯们轻松过关,那就还Ê 50;有更多的灾难等着大家。为此Þ 69;内国外的有识之士一直在呼吁ʌ 92;要求中国政府开放言论自由。Õ 63;使不是为了政治改革,仅仅为É 02;老百姓的生存,也必须开放新ſ 95;自由。否则,萨斯和毒奶粉事Ê 14;就会层出不穷,搅得国无宁日ʌ 92;民不聊生。什么都不安全,吃į 40;、喝的,连喘口气都不安全。Ű 25;样的生活不能再继续下去了。

所以必须改革,首先是还给人Ĕ 65;言论的自由。

一谈政治改革,很多老百姓会ť 48;为那是当官的事情,和我们平Ĕ 65;百姓无关。萨斯和毒奶粉在反ã 97;地教育我们,不是无关而是太ć 77;关系了。科技发展了,干坏事į 40;水平也提高了。没有现代化的ă 19;治体制管理社会,灾难就会变ô 71;又快又狠,让人们无法应付。ă 19;治改革不是和老百姓无关的事÷ 73;。有没有现代化的社会管理体Ŀ 95;,关系到我们每一个人的生存z 90;

现代化社会必须是全面的现代Ô 70;。跛脚的现代化带来的不一定ą 59;好事,也可能是更大的灾难。

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