From the chinese press

Updated: 2012-01-06 08:02

(China Daily)

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Don't ridicule people's features

Guo Jingming, author of many bestsellers, wrote on his microblog recently that he was mistaken for "a kid" by security staff at an airport. Taking a cue from this, some netizens have even ridiculed Guo by saying he should use the "passage for children". However controversial Guo may be, no one has the right to pass comments on his physical features, says an article on rednet.cn. Excerpts:

As a writer, Guo Jingming has been a highly controversial figure, not least because of his commercial practices, successful marketing pattern and the plagiarism scandal he was involved in several years ago, which drew widespread public attention and even criticism from his readers.

But Guo's works have been enjoyed by many people, and he remains popular and the richest Chinese writer. Despite his popularity, there are still many people who do not like Guo and try to attack his frailty, his height for example, in every way they can. Guo has been subjected to personal attacks ever since he made his debut as a writer about a decade ago.

Actor Pan Changjiang faced similar attacks because of his short height. But his ability to indulge in self-mockery on stage has won him appreciation and made him popular among the public. We should not forget that everyone has the right to defend his/her dignity. Any lewd comments on another person's innate physical conditions is disrespectful. It is indeed annoying to judge a writer or actor by his physical height instead of his/her works. This should stop.

Defend rice farmers' interests

Though the Wuchang rice from Heilongjiang province is of good quality and fetches high prices (the highest being almost 400 yuan a kilogram), it has failed to bring real benefits to farmers, who are forced to sell their produce for less than 4 yuan a kg to local companies. The authorities should take measures to correct the twisted profit chain and protect farmers' interests, says an article in Oriental Morning Post. Excerpts:

The objective of China's agricultural development changed from traditional food supply to improving farmers' lives and making farm products more nutritious in 1998. But from 2006, the agricultural policy began focusing on production and intermediate sectors in the distribution chain instead of helping farmers. This has facilitated land availability and made the administrations pay greater attention to the production scales. This has also led to the emergence of cooperatives, aimed specifically at getting State subsidies.

The original intention of modernizing agriculture was to restructure scattered family production units to meet the demands of market economy and establish an organized group led by leading agricultural enterprises. But during the implementation of this policy, the gap between companies and farmers in terms of money and pursuit of profit made the restructuring process rather loose.

Family farming is still a feature of the country's agriculture sector. Though cooperatives will reduce the costs of negotiations and supervision - or the cost of trading as a whole - other endogenous trading costs could increase.

But no matter what happens, farmers as a group should be the greatest beneficiaries of cooperatives. The Wuchang rice case makes it imperative for local governments to forgo their undue pursuit of higher yields and profits from cooperatives. Instead, they should respect farmers' independent choices and make cooperation voluntary to ensure that the latter enjoy the fruits of agricultural development.

(China Daily 01/06/2012 page9)