16 April 2004

Yuppie Politics and Dog Rights in China

On 11 April, Erik Eckholm reported in the New York Times on political progress in China measured by Yardsticks You Never Thought of:
5. YUPPIE POLITICS The pressures for reform may flare most powerfully not from the downtrodden, but from the new, property-owning middle class, which will demand accountability from officials.

In 2003, the most vociferous illegal demonstrations in Beijing were staged not by desperate workers but by young professionals who said they had been cheated by developers of their apartment complex, abetted by local officials....

7. HUMAN RIGHTS FOR DOGS, AND VICE VERSA This is no joke. Visitors to Beijing and other big cities may notice an eerie absence of dogs on balmy weekend afternoons. This is not because they are regularly eaten; in fact, the Chinese love their pet dogs as much as any people anywhere. But because of outdated and draconian laws, tens of thousands of pet owners in Beijing alone must keep their dogs in the closet, as it were.

In Beijing, dogs are not allowed outside in the daytime; those caught outdoors are confiscated and killed. They are not allowed in parks, on grass or on elevators - even when elderly owners live on the 14th floor. They may not grow taller than knee-high, on pain of death. And licenses are expensive.
(Xiexie ni, Andrés Gentry!)

No comments: