Young and Restless in China

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One thing in particular about the film we were asked to review occurred to me approximately half way through the clip. The cities and infrastructure was built fast; perhaps too fast. A few minutes after this realization, a woman began to talk about the power lines that had been put up for the Beijing Olympics. A question hit me when looking at the modern style apartment complexes that resembled the luxury style common in Fairfax, Virginia. Does China have building code laws, and if so, how do they compare with that of the United States? My first question was answered; there are laws protecting citizens from irrational construction in China, such as the one that the lady sited to sue Beijing Electric. But the comparison of Chinese building code laws with the United States’ is probably a dissertation length comparison and better answered through actual analysis of the laws. What I did notice however, is that many citizens were forced out of their homes for the construction needed to host the Olympics. I vaguely remember this getting mentioned when I watched the Olympics. I know that United States’ citizens have protection against getting forced out of their homes, so it struck me when the documentary mentioned that there was a vast number of Chinese citizens forced to move. The lady who sued about the power lines mentioned that she would like to see a “people first” approach from the government when making such decisions, but the ladies at the table debated the importance of sacrificing for the country’s benefit. Thus, I found an issue that has potential to be debated in our class that focus’ on the culture of China. There is a divide apparent between citizens who would say “people first,” or “country first,” and I wonder how many more issues there are where this divide is evident.

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