Is nothing NOT for sale in the Jaded Kingdom?

The below are four stories told to me recently by friends.   It’s worse than you think.  I’m aware we all have heard other such stories as well.

A longtime married couple friend of ours has a child they are looking to send to America to further her schooling.  We’ve been preparing for some time for this moment.  She will actually be joining us here in the Summer.  Meanwhile she goes to a good school here in Shenzhen.   Her family has property that has greatly increased in value over the last decade.   But they are just normal.  Actually, a lot of Chinese today are paper millionaires, reminiscent of the Japanese in the 80’s before the crash.
Her father told me he recently received a call on his cell.  The caller knew who he was.  That is, that he had a daughter in this particular school.  Upon answering the call, the father was told that his daughter had been kidnapped.   Now in America, with all our well publicized crime, etc, people in China would think America is run by the inmates.   Yet I’ve never heard of anything like this.
What happened next was chilling:  the kidnapper put a female voice on the phone and a child called out “daddy, daddy help me”.
This being China, my friend simply hung up the phone.   He told me the voice wasn’t that of his daughters.  Than he called the school.  He told the school about the issue, and asked them to issue a notice.   Apparently this had happened before, though.   The school was nonplussed.  A circular never went out.   
Now how did the caller get his number?   How did the caller know his child went to that school? Someone obviously sold the list to a 3rd party.
Now if you’ve read my other posts about how it’s too late for freedom of the press to help China, this is actually one situation where this freedom would have come in useful.    Publishing this scam would have shamed the school into action, and also would have performed a public service.   Though the school knew of this action, and the potential danger to it’s students, it chose to remain silent(familiar response from a gov’t entity, yes?). The reputation of the school being more important than that of the safety of it’s students. 

I’m reminded again how quickly people readily admit the error of their ways only when the error comes to light.

It is my understanding that China’s PLA is like America’s in that it is all volunteer.   And like America, a lot of youth in smaller towns use it as a medium for employment.  
A friend of mine has a younger brother.  This kid is just another young man from the countryside looking for a way to make a living.  In order to be accepted all recruits must take an exam.   If one fails the exam, that closes a door to potential employment.
Sure enough he failed the physical.  However, as only a Chinese could know, they understood this was only part of the process.  The Doctor had already hinted that the kid would be able to make his imaginary ailment go away for a fee.  The family ponied up, and the kid passed his physical.
Now….his sister claims that he never really had any ailments.   But what if he did? What if it was only a minor ailment that only a doctor could see?
More likely, it’s just a scam this Army doctor and other’s use to pad their pockets.   Having to pay to join the PLA is something I’d never considered possible until I heard about it.   Now everything in China is for sale.  

My chief assistant just had a son.  Good for him.  However,  the doctor had told him that the boy would be delivered by C section.   The father wanted a normal delivery.   The doctor said this would cost 1200 rmb.  My guy bargained this down to 700 rmb.  His wife had a normal delivery.
Apparently the long term health of the mom wasn’t a factor here.
Finally….my wife’s cousin is a government official in a large city.   Her husband is an eye surgeon.  He does well.   He has, as he should, a very nice salary.   However a good portion of his income comes from forcing patients to take prescriptions they don’t need.   He actually has monthly sales quotas to fill.   Even if he doesn’t want to pimp the medicine, he’s been threatened with a reprimand if he doesn’t.    What if the medical salesmen is pushing a bad drug? Or a drug with unnecessary side effects?
This goes back to the pressure all government workers in certain positions face.     It’s actually more dangerous to not accept bribes than to simply say no. 
If I were a Chinese, I’d wonder out loud…”so now not only are we bargaining for our national security, but also our health”?
How is the average citizen not to feel jaded?
Make your own conclusions….


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