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Black rain and democracy in the state-owned media

Vile effluvia

Black sludge rained down on Chengdu, Sichuan on Friday. The sludge storm was caused by effluvia from the nearby Jialing Power Plant, which burnt a batch of substandard coal.

The incident has been covered in the state-owned press, in both English and Chinese. Xinhua's English website republished a China Daily story about the black rain, and illustrated it with photos credited to search engine Baidu, which probably means they were found using a Baidu search, and could come from just about anywhere. The photo reproduced here is from the Xinhua web page.

Meanwhile, an opinion piece in the China Daily asks: Does democracy exist in China?

The article talks about the government's recent release of a white paper about democracy, arguing that the document is worth reading:

The reading process may be a little tedious considering the prevalence of unfamiliar political jargon. But ample rewards are guaranteed - you will find out what democracy means in terms of official Chinese political ideology, and how democracy - the Chinese brand - is practised.

Hmm, The Chinese Brand of Democracy. The reading process may be a little tedious.

I think I prefer Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, but then as Jiang Zemin was fond of saying, one must move with the times (与时俱进).

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