24 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 06/14/2012, 00.00


    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

    26/09/2005 china
    China's next space mission planned for October 13

    12/10/2005 china
    China, second manned space flight

    17/10/2016 09:19:00 CHINA
    Shenzhou 11, prepares space mission to the moon and to Mars

    Two astronauts, Jing and Chen, will stay in space for 33 days. They will conduct studies and pharmaceutical, physical and biological tests. Congratulations from President Xi Jinping: "A new contribution to building China as a space power."


    29/09/2008 CHINA
    Beijing celebrates “hero” astronauts and lunar exploration programme
    Three astronauts returned to a hero’s welcome yesterday. But in fact political and military bosses celebrate themselves and their leadership, announcing future conquests, forgetting the country’s many miseries.

    17/10/2005 CHINA
    Shenzhou VI returns; another space mission planned for 2007

    Chinese leaders are making triumphant noises. Experts say the mission was partly intended to stimulate the "national pride" of a people worried about poverty, social problems and corruption.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®