1 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/14/2012
CHINA
Astronaut food infuriates ordinary Chinese who want same quality on earth
As the country prepares for the launch of the Shenzhou IX spacecraft, ordinary citizens complain about the quality of space programme food and the poison-laced and detergent-tainted food available on earth, which has killed thousands of people in China. Chinese authorities hope to distract the country with its first taikonaut.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China's Shenzhou (divine craft in Chinese) IX spacecraft, with a crew of two men and one woman, could prove a public relations disaster for the government's spin doctors who may hope to distract domestic and international opinion from the country's many social problems. In China itself, the authorities' fanatical concern for astronaut food clashes with their poor food safety record. In fact, many people have died in the past few years from food poisoning.

Shenzhou IX and its launch rocket are ready for tomorrow's liftoff at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, weather permitting. The 13-day mission will mark a great leap forward for China's technology, Communist Party officials said, but ordinary Chinese seem to be concerned (and angry) about the quality of food on board the spacecraft.

In its coverage of the event, the mainland press has reported how closely the food for the mission has been monitored. With a price tag in the billions of yuan, having a taikonaut (a Mandarin word for astronaut) experience a bellyache during his or her spacewalk would not be good public relations.

Online, stories about astronaut food have also generated more hits and commentaries that those about China's first woman in space or that the mission will be the first one with a human crew to land in history.

In this case, pork on board the craft come from pigs fed with organically grown cereals that were closely monitored and quarantined before slaughter. Ordinary Chinese are none too pleased. The site that reported the story had millions of hits and more than 22,000 comments were posted on sina.com, one of largest web portals in Chinese.

"When will the government pay attention to the food on my dish?" asked one Sina user from Henan province. "If we can't feel safe about our food, how can we feel proud of our country?" lamented another user from Guangdong.

Such views are not far from the truth. Tainted pork, detergent-tainted milk powder, toxic toothpaste and shrimps à la glue have killed thousands of people because of poor food safety enforcement.

Meanwhile, people are still waiting to see who will be the first woman taikonaut. Two women are still in the run for China's first spacewoman: Major Liu Yang, a "hero pilot" who safely landed her passenger airliner after it was hit by a flock of birds, and Captain Wang Yaping, famous for leading rescue missions in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake.

Both are 30, with a child, which guarantees optimal physical and mental conditions. However, they cannot have any scar, which can reopen in space and bleed, or strong body odours, which are intensified in the restricted conditions of space.

Whoever is chosen, Beijing noted, will have private sleeping quarters on board and will be able to bring "basic" sanitary products.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/26/2005 china
China's next space mission planned for October 13
10/12/2005 china
China, second manned space flight
09/29/2008 CHINA
Beijing celebrates “hero” astronauts and lunar exploration programme
10/17/2005 CHINA
Shenzhou VI returns; another space mission planned for 2007
09/25/2008 CHINA
China’s first spacewalk tomorrow

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.