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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

The China Syndrome

Filed under: Asia

Welcome to February!

Did you see the news last week? In China, hundreds of thousands of people were stranded at the Guangzhou train station on the way to visit their families for Chinese New Year due to a snow storm. Now, I’ve been to the Guangzhou train station quite a few times and I can tell you that under the best conditions, it’s no day at the beach.

Having seen the footage of throngs of Chinese citizens stuck there for days without ample food and water, it just about redefines what hell must be. Thankfully, the trains have resumed service and the Chinese people are slowly getting where they need to be for their holiday celebration. (The Guangzhou train station, incidentally, looks like Dresden after the bombings in the wake of all those people crammed in there for days…)

The sad part is that Chinese factory workers save their money to visit family during Chinese New Year. It is the high point of their year, and for people who make on average less than $200 per month, it was just soul-crushing to watch them wait helplessly while the Chinese government, clearly not used to this kind of weather-related catastrophe, grappled with how to alleviate the bottleneck of rail travel.

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