Archive for July 15th, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Toilet Paper, for Starters

Wang Zhenyao (王振耀) resigned his post as an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ disaster relief office this year to head the newly established Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute (壹基金公益研究院), China Radio International quoted the Beijing Times on June 23. Wang currently attends a China-Europa Forum at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and was interviewed by Southern  Metropolis Daily there.

In the interview, he predicted that after charitable donations reached 200 bn Yuan, contradictions between China’s rich and poor could be resolved, and feelings of hatred towards the rich be eliminated. Wang  wants to encourage billionaires to contribute at least one million Yuan per year.

Wang expressed his hope that, together with the media, society’s rich could be pressured towards good intentions, and advocated the establishment of a merits list for the Pearl River Delta region, together with Southern Metropolis Daily and the paper’s online edition, to provide college dormitory toilets with toilet paper, and to influence more university students to show interest for the needs of ordinary people.

To start a wave of charity with a toilet-paper movement looks like an extremely modest start – but maybe this is what it means to say. The Global Times published an English version of Wang’s deliberations on Wednesday. Besides, Wang probably isn’t necessarily out of tune with the public when emphasizing the need to make toilet paper available.

When people in Wuhan were faced with a public toilet which banned the use of toilet people brought with themselves last month with a warning sign outside the place that contraventions would lead to severe punishment, a Hunan Online reporter apparently took a lot of time to investigate the motives of the most despotic public toilet in history. One of the civil servants the reporter phoned in the wake of his research asked to be quoted anonymously.


Japanese vs Chinese Toilet Paper, Japan Probe, July 12, 2010
China’s Rural Village Elections, Carter Center, May 4, 2010
Voting: One Village at a Time, Washington Post, June 14, 1998

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