Chen Zhu: The American Media's New Chinese Poster Boy
While Newsweek sings the praises of Chen and Beijing's recent moves to improve health inspection systems, it makes no mention that this is the same Chinese health agency that chose to ignore early reports of Melamine poisoning for fear of losing face during the Olympics. This is the same government that pressured news editors to adhere to official copy from the Communist Party mouthpiece, Xinhua, and then later quashed efforts by parents whose children were affected by Melamine-tainted products to pursue complaints against the government.
But why taint a good yarn? The way Newsweek describes Chen and the new generation of Western-educated leaders that "returned home with a newfound sense of confidence and independent thought," you would think that in just a few short months the sagely, Westernized newcomers would usher the heavy-handed Chinese bureaucracy into an era of kinder, gentler leadership, with open Internet access, freedom of speech, and a cute pair of bunny slippers on everyone's feet.
Cue the children's chorus.
And let's not forget the clothes, the hair, and our beloved Horatio when judging Chinese leadership. These qualities are the seeming litmus test for whether they are one of us or, you know, Chinese. Thankfully, Chen passes with flying red, white, and blue colors:
Chen has refreshingly rough-hewn air. He's wearing a suit this day while making his rounds, but his rumpled mien somehow makes him look less like a CEO than the farmhand he once was. The son of two Shanghai doctors, Chen was sent to a dirt-poor village in Jiangxi province as a teenager during the Cultural Revolution.
Don't you feel better about China's ambitions already?
So the next time you read about the Chinese government cracking down on a democratic protest, cracking heads in a renegade province, or cracking the whip on prison laborers before their inevitable execution, remember: America's own are behind the scenes working toward a brighter tomorrow.