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Wen Jiabao said his heart hurt by rising food prices

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Beijing Times, December 27, 2010

On Sunday, China's Premier Wen Jiabao co-hosted a talk show on China National Radio, taking questions from audience through short messages, microblog messages and phone calls.

When asked about the rising food prices this year, Wen said the question "hurt his heart". While admitting that the price rises have caused difficulty to low-income people, Wen said the he was confident that the government would get the matter under control. Wen also admitted that the execution of government's measures to curb the housing price rises was not ideal.

In other news, a government official requested a government job for his student son caused big controversy. A note circulating on the Internet indicates that Cao Changqiang, director of the local human resources bureau in Lengshuijiang, Hunan Province, requested that his son to be given a position at the city's financial bureau. The application was approved and signed by both the city's mayor and party secretary, despite the son was still a junior at university.

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Comments on Wen Jiabao said his heart hurt by rising food prices

"When asked about the rising food prices this year, Wen said the question "hurt his heart". "

Remember the Dairy inspections that turned up disastrous quality control ratings? Here's how it works, if you want to eat and drink things that are bad for you, you can get them for cheap: you can drink water from the tap and you can eat dinner at a local street stand. After a month, come back and let me know how you feel.

Or, you can put some kind of standards together, get an oversight committee that won't take bribes (excuse me, stitches..................) and have them insist upon health standards. The cost to do the inspection and throw away bad product will have to come from somewhere --oh I know!-- higher prices maybe?

By the way, isn't this like when Clinton did that interview (Playboy I think) and suggested the US should do something to decriminalize pot (eg.... gee, if only you were in some sort of position of power to do something like that for the last 4 years.... hmmmmm). Wen can do anything he wants and the Chinese govt has more money than God. They can subsidize if they want.

"Wen can do anything he wants and the Chinese govt has more money than God. They can subsidize if they want."

I strongly disagree. Wen is just a technocrat, he may be a high ranking technocrat, but his power has limitations. There's an entire politiburo involved in decision making.

And subsidies are a horrible idea. Once subsidies are implemented, they're notoriously difficult to reverse without causing social unrest. Just look at the problems Iran is facing in attempting to remove its own food and oil subsidies.

Also it's not just quality issues driving up food prices: there are a whole load of reasons including shrinking/degrading farmland, rising transportation costs and inflation which is outpacing income growth. Subsidies can be risky for international relationships too

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