Can China Reform Itself? – Joseph Kahn

The New York Times looks at the food and export crisis from the perspective of U.S. 100 years ago:

Like America’s industrializing economy a century ago, China’s is powered by zealous entrepreneurs who sometimes act like pirates. Both countries suffered epidemics of fatal fakes, and both have had regulators who were too inept, corrupt or hamstrung to do much about it.

The question now is whether Chinese factories, caught exporting poisonous pharmaceutical ingredients, filthy shellfish, bogus pet food and faulty tires, can react in time to head off more damage to their reputation.

Or, to put it another way, are the latest incidents enough to push China toward its own Progressive Era? [Full text]

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