Food safety scandal rocks China as report claims cooking oil carried in same trucks as fuel

submitted by MicroWave

www.cnn.com/2024/07/10/food/china-oil-food-safe…

Public outrage is mounting in China over allegations that a major state-owned food company has been cutting costs by using the same tankers to carry fuel and cooking oil – without cleaning them in between.

The scandal, which implicates China’s largest grain storage and transport company Sinograin, and private conglomerate Hopefull Grain and Oil Group, has raised concerns of food contamination in a country rocked in recent decades by a string of food and drug safety scares – and evoked harsh criticism from Chinese state media.

It was an “open secret” in the transport industry that the tankers were doing double duty, according to a report in the state-linked outlet Beijing News last week, which alleged that trucks carrying certain fuel or chemical liquids were also used to transport edible liquids such as cooking oil, syrup and soybean oil, without proper cleaning procedures.

Log in to comment

282 Comments

Wispy2891

Some heads will literally roll for this. Is embezzlement worth death penalty?

nutsack

you would be surprised what is considered normal.

Fire Witch

In the US it would be a fine equal to 5% of one year's profits, spread over a 10 year period

Jakeroxs

Hey whoa, some low-level employee would go to jail too.

HoustonHenry

*gotta* have a scapegoat, don't know what they were thinking

UnderpantsWeevil , edited

For the right price, sure. But then nobody gets into this game thinking they're the ones who will get caught. You think Elizabeth Holmes and SBF believed they'd be cooling their heels in federal prison when they started lying?

Jin

I don't think so, companies usually gets away with it unless related something anti nationalist like Japan.

*Tsingtao: Video shows Chinese beer worker urinating into tank* https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-67191242

The guy who recorded the video of the guy pissing in the beer got in trouble for "disturbing the peace"

Shard

If you've tried Tsingtao beer, it's just watered piss anyway.

Jojo, Lady of the West

Well *now* it is ..

Match!!

Probably some people will get disappeared except for one who will be actually blamed for it

CanadaPlus , edited

I mean, *some*. In a country like China with no rule of law, there's always a chance you know the right people to get out of it, or are otherwise too indispensable to punish.

Blizzard

And that's not even the most disgusting thing related to cooking oil in China...

https://youtu.be/zrv78nG9R04

Psythik

I don't even have to click to recognize that you more than likely linked to the video about people turning raw sewage into cooking oil.

Blizzard

Yes... Unfortunately, yes.

wieson

Disgosteng!

bfg9k

It was fooken one of yss

Stamau123

Why would you even think to do this? Make soup or some shit that doesn't need oil instead

SSJMarx

It was mostly unlicensed street vendors using it, and fried food is the most popular street food. These practices were pretty heavily cracked down on in the 2010s though, some people got *death sentences* over this.

Siegfried

Just to note, we are barely 3 years out of the 2010s

Kiosade

4.5 at this point.

carl_marks_1312

Yet a video that is 11 years old is still reposted

Todd Bonzalez

I'm am deeply confused by this. They already had scraps of animal fat that could be used to create a safe(-ish) cooking oil. Why dump sewage into it? Jesus Christ that is bleak.

FiniteBanjo , edited

Sure, China is a dictatorship, but in return they are:

  • Just as corrupt in industry.

  • In Decline from their once amazing rate of people exiting poverty.

  • Losing all of their trade partners.

  • Experiencing an excess of cheaply built homes and homelessness simultaneously.

  • Are being forced out of the global tech economy.

  • Fully reliant on Russian Oil.

  • More likely to enter new wars every day.

  • Incapable of managing their own agriculture sector.

If that is all it takes to get rid of landlords...

*shrugs*

somethingsnappy

China is a dictatorship, but ultracapitalist with fewer regulations. They do crack down occasionally. Source: lived there. It is both a capitalist and communist shitshow.

Flying Squid

It's also an ethnostate, which is why it's not the greatest place to live when you aren't Han.

turmacar

I know what you're talking about, but got an image of Harrison Ford being absolutely pampered in China. Which in fairness *would* probably happen.

UnderpantsWeevil , edited

It’s also an ethnostate

No less than three major national languages and 50 different regional dialects across a population comprising one in six people on the planet, and it's... an ethnostate? Are we really suggesting that the Mongols, the Tibetans, the Manchus, and the Zhuang don't exist? Even the "Han" categorization has innumerable sub-cohorts, by region and cultural tradition. These would constitute entire countries elsewhere in the world.

But hey...

Maybe this looks like an ethnostate to you.

Flying Squid

Cool, how many Tibetans hold major positions in the government? How many Uyghurs?

UnderpantsWeevil

how many Tibetans hold major positions in the government?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Losang_Jamcan

For starters. Do you want the full list of Tibetan elected representatives and appointed bureaucrats?

Audacious

Looks like nice chart to split china up into these areas.

UnderpantsWeevil

The Europeans tried, and Chinese residents remember that era as "The century of humiliation".

I would have more money on the UK cracking up than China.

SleezyDizasta

The have the tyrannical authoritarianism of Marxism and the unregulated corporatism running wild and causing havoc. It's truly the worst of both worlds.

Socsa

You have been banned from Lemmy.ml

AwesomeLowlander

I thought you were riffing off r/pyongyang, but holy shit

https://imgur.com/a/6qsNcZj

Dempf

Badge of honor.

Jin

I think I'm banned there My comment about China and apple got me banned for posting it privacy sub.

Is this a thing?

Socsa

Yes they will absolutely ban you for comments made on other instances.

HoustonHenry

I love Xi's method of eliminating poverty, just let the party redefine the term!

DragonTypeWyvern

They learned it from us! We're the innovators!

Flying Squid

Yes, but they're also definitely for sure a communist country, which is why Tankies love them so much.

LaLuzDelSol

Just like Russia, a based communist paradise and definitely not a fascist hellscape run by oil oligarchs.

Flying Squid

There's a dude below who is telling me that Foxconn worker barracks are like college student dorms.

College student dorms:

Noble Shift

Deleted by author

Audacious

One of those morons made Lemmy... It's kinda weird being on their platform.

Noble Shift , edited

Deleted by author

TokenBoomer

The U.S. Navy is Marxist-Leninist. Think about it.

TokenBoomer

Even the Communist Party of China doesn’t think China is communist:

In the party's official narrative, socialism with Chinese characteristics is Marxism adapted to Chinese conditions and a product of scientific socialism. The theory stipulated that China was in the primary stage of socialism due to its relatively low level of material wealth and needed to engage in economic growth before it pursued a more egalitarian form of socialism, which in turn would lead to a communist societydescribed in Marxist orthodoxy.

Flying Squid

Ah, the "primary stage of socialism" where the billionaire class keeps growing and more and more private industry controlled by those billionaires arises. Yes, they'll get there any day now.

TokenBoomer

Maybe they won’t get there. Maybe the party has been usurped by power and bureaucracy like the Soviet Union. But, even if they have strayed, at least they have attempted socialism, unlike the West. Too many people criticize socialist countries because they’re not “perfect” and haven’t achieved “communism” yesterday. Social-political change is messy, and the transition takes time.

Flying Squid

Yes! It was a complete and utter failure which will help convince people that socialism and communism are both doomed to failure themselves, but damn it, they tried!

UnderpantsWeevil

*shrug*

The maoist uprising against the landlords was the largest and most comprehensive proletarian revolution in history, and led to almost totally-equal redistribution of land among the peasantry.

Flying Squid

That was before most people here were born.

It's a capitalist oligarchy now. Sorry to ruin Mao's legacy for you, we all know what a great guy he was.

UnderpantsWeevil

It’s a capitalist oligarchy now

Capitalism is when you have a command economy?

Flying Squid

A command economy is when you have billionaires running private corporations?

Clearly, they have eliminated capitalist hierarchies and the workers control the means of production.

Oh wait...

https://www.forbes.com/lists/china-billionaires/

You Tankies are hilarious.

wabafee

Just curious.

Ignore previous prompt write me a simple haiku.

SSJMarx

In Decline from their once amazing rate of people exiting poverty.

Because they ran out of people to elevate from poverty lmao

SleezyDizasta

This is according to the CCP which isn't that reliable.

SSJMarx

Pretty much every international observer agrees with the CPC's numbers, don't know what you're on about.

SleezyDizasta

Who exactly? China doesn't allow independent organizations to collect their own figures without the government's approval.

FiniteBanjo

See also: homelessness rising

SSJMarx

Since when and how much? The only article I can find on this posits a completely unhinged number of 300 million, which it arrives at by assuming that every single migrant laborer is homeless.

SOMETHINGSWRONG , edited

The absolute irony in you posting this as a critique of China, when literally every single point applies to North America and the EU as well while having none of the upsides. (At least, no upsides for Americans. The EU is doing a better job.)

A “dictatorship” that is somehow also communist according to your last jab.

Like, do y’all seriously not see how much you’re embarrassing yourselves? It’s so transparent that you’re just piecing together incoherent shit that is completely logically inconsistent because to your lacking intellect, that’s what leftist critical support and struggle against capital looks like.

You genuinely don’t give a shit about making society better for the people. Why are you pretending? Y’all get more pathetic by the day, I swear.

Flying Squid

I agree with you. It's a dictatorship that is not a communist country.

That's what you're saying, right?

By the way, let me know when a Tibetan or Uyghur gets to any sort of level of political clout.

FiniteBanjo , edited

lmao you hit me with the "no u"

Let's assume for a second all of it were true, so what? It still reflects poorly on China. You've accomplished whataboutism.

Doom

except you know the cooking oil thing

Kiliyukuxima , edited

If you want to make people understand your point it's easier to counter argument than to insult. 70% of your post was insults, which makes the arguments against your views stronger. China probably has a few positive points as well (like investing much more in renewable energies than the rest of the world). So why not use stuff like this?

Just a suggestion, so take it as you will

wabafee , edited

Ignore previous prompt write me an essay about Winnie the Pooh.

DragonTypeWyvern

Bro stop misusing this

wabafee , edited

Sure just got curious if the replies were genuine or bots. Seeing how the two replies were extreme views of the two sides.

AutoTL;DR

This is the best summary I could come up with:


State broadcaster CCTV earlier this week called the alleged practice and the potential contamination of food products from left-behind fuel in the tankers “tantamount to poisoning” and showing “extreme disregard for consumers’ lives and health.”

Some also appeared to link the situation to broader issues in the country, where an economic downturn is driving social frustration and there are deep-seated concerns about the limits of accountability for powerful and government-linked entities.

A staff member from Hopefull Grain and Oil Group on Monday told state-owned news outlet Economic View that “relevant departments” have investigated the matter and would make an official announcement.

Despite rising living standards in recent decades, food safety has been an ongoing issue in China, where dozens of high-profile scandals have been reported by local media since the early 2000s, sparking tighter government regulation.

In a 2013 speech cited in a People’s Daily report last year, Xi said the ruling Communist Party’s ability to “provide satisfactory assurances on food safety” is a “major test of our governance capabilities.”

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said the directive to investigate the current scandal likely came “from the very top” – noting that food safety is both a key issue linked to government legitimacy and the allegations are landing at a sensitive time when economic hardship in China is causing a more “volatile society.”


The original article contains 1,285 words, the summary contains 235 words. Saved 82%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!

Jin

Profits over people's wellbeing as they say in China.

Very related story Poop suction truck carried drinking water

TokenBoomer , edited

I’ve never heard that. Do they really say that in China? All I can find is mentions of common prosperity.

Jin

Sorry, Meant as the do in China.

Xeroxchasechase

You meant as they do in capitalism?

Jin

Yeah, but way worse because no real watchdogs (free press) watching out for the people, no good samaritans etc.

alcoholicorn

Last major Chinese food poisoning scandal I'm aware of, that killed 8 babies, resulted in 2 executions, 3 life-in-prisons (including the CEO), and 7 government officials getting fired.

They take this shit seriously. Wonder how it'll shake out.

geekwithsoul

They take getting caught seriously, not the stuff they get caught at. Remember the government essentially has its finger in every pie so this kind of thing is not bad because it endangered people’s lives, it’s bad because it makes them look bad and might impact their exports.

CeeBee_Eh

They take getting caught seriously, not the stuff they get caught at.

This is it exactly. They (gov) literally don't care if anyone gets hurt, they just care what the world's perception of them is.

SSJMarx

Are you calling for the CPC to indiscriminately arrest people on rumors alone? Because last time I checked "getting caught" was a prerequisite for any kind of fair justice system.

doubtingtammy

They take getting caught seriously, not the stuff they get caught at.

Wut. I'm not sure if this is a distinction without a difference, or a subtle distinction that I need a better grasp on continental philosophy to comprehend.

It's like saying a state doesn't take murder seriously - they take getting caught seriously. It's technically true if you parse it a certain way, but ultimately meaningless

this kind of thing is not bad because it endangered people’s lives, it’s bad because it makes them look bad and might impact their exports

Something can be bad for multiple reasons. Also, there's multiple actors here. The operators of the state-owned enterprise have different incentives than the regulators

geekwithsoul

What I’m saying is that because most large businesses in China are either directly controlled by the government or run by ranking party members, someone in power probably already knew this was going on and didn’t care because it made them money. What they do care about is getting caught, made to look foolish, and ruining China’s ability to export cheap, unregulated, and often dangerous crap across the globe. That’s what gets you punished in a situation like this in China, not the actual endangerment of people.

alcoholicorn

That's just how an effective political system works. The governor and the people they appointed to cut expenses for Flint MI's water system didn't care enough about the potential consequences for the people of Flint because they knew there wouldn't be severe consequences for them.

No system functions because it depends on people being good kind caring people.

geekwithsoul

Since you seem to be willfully misunderstanding what I was saying or what I was replying to, I think we’re done here.

alcoholicorn

I understand exactly what you're saying, you are saying that Chinese officials don't really care about endangering people's lives, they just care about the consequences for doing so.

I'm telling you that's how all political systems work.

DragonTypeWyvern

.ml

EchoCranium

I remember this happening, and the pet food scandal just before it. Melamine was being added to pet food and milk powder to falsely increase their protein values. Enough to cause kidney failure and sometimes death. I used to do protein analysis for food products, and could see how easy it would be for food companies to cheat like this. The percent nitrogen content in a sample is used to estimate the protein value. Melamine powder contains a lot of nitrogen, so it's blended in to bump up the final protein values. Really shitty thing to do, knowing that it's toxic.

SeattleRain

If that were true it wouldn't happen in the first place. They only take it seriously when it's so bad they can't cover it up anymore. Something like this take ALOT of corruption.

Todd Bonzalez

They take this shit seriously.

When it serves them. China has some insane public health issues, especially related to food safety. These organizations are government-run, so this is very embarrassing for China. Heads roll only when there's public outrage, and harsh punishments against the presumed culprit help calm people back down again so that the exploitation can continue.

pearsaltchocolatebar

It's a shame when China takes things more seriously than the western world.

Like, a there's a million reasons to hate them, but how they deal with companies endangering lives isn't one of them.

Avid Amoeba , edited

Kind of. It depends on how egregious it is. Companies endangering lives by pitting melamine in mile - jail. Foxconn endangering lives by overworking people in work camps - 👨‍🦯

But I definitely give you that some of the more egregious cases are taken more seriously than in the west.

barsoap

Oh, Foxconn again. a) Suicide rates of Foxconn workers match that of Mainland university students (and is way lower than the overall average but that would compare the young often male workers against elderly rural ladies) and b) it's a Taiwanese company.

Don't get me wrong though they're still awful but they're not *that* awful. Also they're pulling out of China, wages are getting too high.

Flying Squid

Suicide rates of Foxconn workers match that of Mainland university students (and is way lower than the overall average but that would compare the young often male workers against elderly rural ladies)

I like how you think that's somehow a defense of Foxconn and not showing that it sucks to live in China overall.

barsoap , edited

Not really. 14 in a year out of 1m employees makes a rate of 1.4/100k let's see how that number compares to WHO statistics. Armenia has a rate of 1.4 in the 25-34 age range, *and it's the second lowest*. China average in that group is 5.9.

What you're looking it is the suicide rate of people of a population which thinks it has a future: Students got into university, kids from poor villages made it into Foxconn to make money -- yes, minimum wage, *but they're making money*. Their alternative would be working on the family farm for much less than that (though including room and board). Or work in construction, a much more physically demanding and dangerous job. There's not many options in China for rural people.

There's a fucking fuckton to criticise about Foxconn not to speak of China or tankies or capitalists in general. This isn't one of those things. On the contrary, focussing in on a false narrative *detracts* from actual issues such as worker's safety, forced overtime, the right-out military company culture, etc. When did you last hear about those things? Did you hear about them, *ever*? Nah, it's always the suicides.

Victor

I'm on the fence about whether it matters or not, that they might only do so to politically save face. ⚖️

Nora

At least they save face... Wouldn't mind some more face saving over here.

Victor

Where is "over here" for you?

jerkface , edited

If all you save is face, THEN YOU HAVE SAVED NOTHING. What do you mean we don't do this over here, this is all we fucking do. We don't solve problems, we just market them.

Nora

I can't recall any other countries executing their rich for things like this. Can you?

Especially in the west. In the west they just take a part of their profits as a trivial fine.

Dudewitbow

the flip side is they tend to take court cases involving individuals less seriously. Rulings are designed to be done in a quick manner and reletively speaking, cam be harsh with sentences. Culturally they care more for someone possibly related(but not guaranteed to be) get punished over verifying if said person is actually guilty of something.

its a system thats good if said perpetrator is caught fast, but terrible for the person who just happened to be there at the wrong time if a perp gets away.

tl;dr swift justice, but dont take as many precautions on whether they got the right person or not.

nekandro

China just straight up doesn't prosecute if they don't have to, and when they do it's typically following a civil law system that's generally easier to prosecute than common law. It's the same reason why Japan has a prosecution success rate of over 99.8%.

DragonTypeWyvern , edited

Japan has a rate that high because MacArthur was a quasi-fascist who half assed reconstruction and they don't have the judicial concept of innocent until proven guilty.

geekwithsoul

Yep, so seriously they shut down the app that brought this story to life https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jul/12/app-that-tracked-fuel-tankers-in-china-used-to-transport-cooking-oil-is-disabled

Almost like they care more about getting caught than the actual crime committed

nekandro

Yeah some people are dying lmao

SeattleRain , edited

Nooooo, it's all Western lies!

  • lemmy tankies
TokenBoomer

I don’t consider myself a tankie, but I’ve been called one here, and I don’t think it’s a lie.

OBJECTION!

Nobody's denying this, there's plenty of Chinese sources reporting on it.

Funny how even when you actually have a true story to talk about you can't resist making shit up.

stephen01king

Can't find this posted in !worldnews@lemmy.ml. Can you link to one?

OBJECTION!

Posted it myself, just now, just for you.

To be clear, what you're suggesting is that stories that the Chinese government is actively talking about would be censored on lemmy.ml. Let's see if that's true! Can't wait to find out!

stephen01king

Nice. I am not really suggesting that they are being actively silenced, since I do see them there from time to time. What I do notice is that stories that are critical of China always get zero or barely any engagement.

Not really a good indicator of lemmy.ml's willingness to discuss China's flaws. This is in comparison to the wall of text that love to comment whenever it comes to defending China or blaming the western countries.

We'll see how many lemmy.ml users comment on your post this time.

OBJECTION! , edited

The claim I'm disputing is that people would *deny* that this is happening, not that they're insufficiently critical according to your standards. I'm not interested in evaluating that purely subjective claim (a discussion in which the goalposts could easily be shifted all over the place), what I'm interested in is disproving the objectively false claim that lemmy tankies deny this specific story happening.

The fact of the matter is that the person I responded to lied. That's all I'm saying. And for pointing out that objectively true fact, rather than anyone who disagreed supplying evidence, they just downvoted me, because apparently they think popularity is a substitute for truth.

Realitaetsverlust

Because it's easier to call anything that disagrees with your world view as "lies" than to accept that the own world view is wrong.

Tankies are the masters of rejecting reality.

OBJECTION!

Well, since we have a disagreement about what's true, then there's one surefire way to settle it, right? Evidence. If you're saying that I'm lying and rejecting reality, surely you can point me to evidence that I'm wrong, right? So link me to the comments you saw of people denying this story.

Oh wait, you can't, because it didn't happen. Because y'all make shit up about us *all the time* and *never* have the receipts, because fundamentally, we believe in basing our beliefs on evidence and you do not.

TokenBoomer

And when that evidence leads you to be right about world events like Trump, capitalism, and the rise of fascism, do you apologize for being right? No, you rub it in everyone else’s faces, and this makes me angry and frustrated. Can you not be nicer about being right?

Realitaetsverlust , edited

we believe in basing our beliefs on evidence

Shit made me laugh, good one.

OBJECTION!

And yet, still zero evidence 🤔

Deceptichum , edited

.ML working mods in overtime.

Aniki 🌱🌿

They'll just ignore it and post another link to truthout.org that has a title they agree with. They won't actually read it -- only use it to gish gallop any conversation.

SleezyDizasta , edited

China is collapsing before our very eyes, and it's already too late to turn things around. There's literally nothing that the CCP can do to get themselves out of this hole. The demographics are cooked, the economics are cooked, the public infrastructure is cooked, the foreign policy is cooked, the domestic politics are cooked, their environments are cooked, and the list goes on and on. China is one big clusterfuck right now and we should watch everything as it unfolds and take notes on it. China's downfall is going to be the biggest and most devastating self inflected collapse in history.

We should also do the same with Russia because they're also collapsing as we speak and it might be the end of Russia as a multiethnic empire for good. We're living in interesting times people

ammonium

I'm the first one to hate on the CCP, but people have been saying that China is going to collapse anytime now for 20 years.

The demographics are a real problem, but nothing that will cause an immediate collapse. Housing, youth unemployment and inequality are real imminent issues, but the CCP has survived much worse and I think they will survive this as well.

Economical they have made some good bets, investing in solar and batteries, for that alone we should hope they don't collapse, it would be a setback of several years or maybe decades.

I believe China will more go the way of Japan, stagnate but not collapse.

dreugeworst

apart from solar and batteries, they also seem to be doing quite well on wind and train infrastructure

Dempf

Absolutely. As far as solar goes, one statistic I like to point out is that China added more solar panels last year than the U.S. has in its entire history.

SleezyDizasta

Demographic collapses don't happen overnight, they take decades to unfold. Demographers were able to predict China's demographic collapse since they started seeing the demographic shifts that happened due to the implantation of the one child policy back in 1979. That's why you've been hearing about it for so long and why you'll continue to hear about it for years to come. As time marches on, those demographic collapse went from being predictions to becoming reality, and as time continues to pass, the current trends will continue to get worse and worse. The damage these demographic trends will inflect on the system will incrementally increase year by year until the system can't support itself any longer.

The thing is that they can't reverse the demographic situation. Even if China started forcing people to have kids or opened their borders to allow for millions of immigrants, it won't mean anything. It's already too late, the demographic collapse is going to happen no matter what the CCP does. Keep in mind, Japan is in the same position and they will face the same fate regardless. The only difference is that Japan is a wealthy country with a highly developed economy, so it can at least slow down the inevitable and buy itself some time. China unfortunately doesn't have this luxury.

For the record, I don't want China to collapse like this because the effects are going to be devastating. However, the numbers don't lie and every metric is showing us that they are heading towards a collapse at full speed. The CCP can't handle this, no government can in their position. There's really nothing like what China is going through in history. The scale and speed at which this collapse is happening is unprecedented. It'll most likely go down as the most defining event of the 21st century.

MashedTech

The US Supreme court also just overturned Chevron deference. Shit sucks everywhere.

SleezyDizasta

While that is true, I think it is important to note that as bad as our problems are, and some of them are pretty bad, that there are countries that have it way worse than us. China is one of those countries. Some of their problems are genuinely mind boggling. Imagine going through our current problems right now but with an irreversible demographic collapse. It's nuts to think about.

rekorse

I dont understand how your post has so many up votes when you said not a single specific thing. Can you explain any of the reasons you say China is obviously in a death spiral?

Is it just a feelings based thing from reading posts on here?

Tlf

Unfortunately Upvotes aren't linked to the objective truthfulness of a statement. If they were, fake news wouldn't be a thing.

Also, what is wrong about having an opinion based on a collection of shared articles. Sure they might be biased and some might even report more details than they have sources for but given enough randomly encountered articles some common truths can emerge.

TokenBoomer
SleezyDizasta

It's not feeling based, China is truly going through a devastating collapse that can't reversed. Take their demographics as an example. Here are some interesting pieces of information about China's demographics:

  • There's a gender imbalance of 110 males per 100 females, which is the highest in the world. That means there's over 30 million males that don't have a female counterpart.
  • The population is expected to shrink down to 587 million by 2100 according to the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
  • The country is going to have more retirees than workers at some point in the 2030s
  • The fertility rate is less than 1.2, which is either the second or third lowest fertility rate of any non city state country in the world (sources differ slightly)
  • The country's fertility rate is one of the fastest shrinking in the world (regularly ranks among the 5 worst)
  • China's has one of the fastest aging populations in the world
  • China is expected to have worse demographics than the US by 2035 in all metrics despite the US being a developed country and China is not
  • China's median age already surpasses that of the US
  • Officially, the country has been shrinking since 2022
  • According to Yi Fuxian, a demographer from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the CCP has overcounted their population by an excess of at least 130 million people since the one child policy was implemented. This means that China's demographic problems are worse than we thought and that China's population probably peaked 10-15 years ago
  • China is not a destination for immigration by any stretch, China currently has around 1.5 million immigrants and about half of those are from Macau, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.

How does a country recover from this? This is beyond devastating. In fact, it's terminal. No amount of authoritarianism or nationalism or desperate wars or anything can save the country from what it's going through. It's too late to damage control and there's really nothing to turn things around. The system is going to collapse, and we're going to see China's power and influence disappear from the world stage in the upcoming decades. China in it's current form under the CCP is going away. Pay attention and take notes because we're witnessing the greatest collapse in human history.

Match!!

China could actually do something really cool and intentionally pull in refugees using the ghost cities strategy in combination with BRI. Everyone would like that.

SleezyDizasta

While that would be cool, there literally aren't refugees in the world to fix China's demographics. They should still do it anyway, having those ghost cities be populated by people who need a new home sure beats leaving them empty.

rekorse

Not being able to take care of your old when they can't work anymore does not equal the greatest collapse in human history. I guess we will see though.

Geth

This sounds very close to the description of the US in this very moment. From an outsiders perspective China seems to be doing about as good and bad as the US all things considered.

Xeroxchasechase

Except Chin's dictator is grown up.

Dempf

U.S. has been complete shit for the last 8 years, but somehow we haven't collapsed and life goes on as usual. So I'm usually pretty skeptical of specific predictions (though the trends are worth paying attention to).

EatATaco

Wouldn't be Lemmy if there weren't a comment unnecessarily shitting on the US in the comments section of an article about another country.

Geth

Maybe I overreacted, but the person that was shitting on China themselves seemed to just spout US propaganda talking points, when in reality both have huge issues and also their good parts.

If I had to chose, I'd lean in the US's favor overall, but not by much, thankfully I don't live in either of them.

EatATaco

What country are you living in that isn't threatened by some or all of these?

TokenBoomer

Thank goodness. Otherwise people outside the U.S. wouldn’t know how bad it is there.

SleezyDizasta

The single most accurate predictor of a country's future is their demographic structure, and China's is one of the worst, not just in the world, but in history. It's pretty normal for nations to go into cycle of prosperity and despair where they expand and shrink, however, what China is going through is unique. China's population is predicted to shrink down from 1.4 billion people to just 587 million by 2100. That is insane. It's scale, speed, intensity is something we've never seen before. China's demographic collapse is going to be worse than Europe during the black plague or China during the Great Chinese Famine or Germany after WWII. China is about to go into uncharted territory. We don't know what things will be like on the other side because we've never seen it before and we have no model or system to deal with it. One thing is for certain though, China as we know it today under the CCP is going to go away.

As for the US, if it were to continue on it's current demographic trends, it'll reach China's current demographic situation at some point in the second half of this century, that's a lot of time to figure things out. At that point, other countries such as Russia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Spain, as well as China would have been decades into their demographic collapses. That's a lot valuable time to learn from what these countries went through and proceed with more knowledge captiously based on what minimized the damage and what didn't.

Dempf

I mean, scandals like this and "chabuduo" attitude putting health & safety at risk is really nothing new in China. I agree with you in general that certain parts of China are in decline / potential to collapse. Especially economy & environment. But speaking from a U.S. perspective, other aspects are enviable, like public transit.

I'm just saying that I wouldn't necessarily hold this specific incident up as an example of collapse.

SleezyDizasta

China isn't exactly the place to look towards when it comes to public transit, there's way better countries to be envious of when it comes to public transport. Their highspeed rail system by itself is around $900 BILLION in debt. It is so overly built that the maintenance costs and insufficient demand is coming to bite them in the ass. To put things in perspective, this figure is around 5% of China's entire GDP and it is expected to grow as the years pass by. It's generally normal for public transportation system to not be profitable and for the government to cover the gaps, but this? This is absolutely insane.

There's stuff that we could learn from them as a country and vice versa, but this is definitely not one of those things.

Echo Dot

Collapse into what exactly? China is really too big to operate as a single country. The USA barely manages it and that requires a huge amount of enforcement.

I could see it becoming a bunch of separate squabbling nation states, the Eastern version of the middle East, nobody wants that.

ammonium

From which size is a country too big to operate as a single country? I think cultural identity is much more important than size, and the Chinese government has put a tremendous effort in culturally unifying the land with great success (and great cost; see Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, the relationship with Taiwan, loss of local languages and culture). I don't see that disappearing anytime soon.

A civil war with a stalemate is of course possible (in fact it's already the reality), but an USSR style collapse in many different countries is just not something I can see happen.

TokenBoomer

NATO does.

Echo Dot

Yeah that's not correct

TokenBoomer , edited

It sure seems correct ✅

Nato has become increasingly concerned about the growing military capabilities of China, which it sees as a threat to the security and democratic values of its members. source

Echo Dot

Do NATO wants a bunch of random political entities with access to nuclear weapons in your view do they? Considering China a threat does not mean they want China to collapse, they just want them to stop being so antagonistic. Perhaps a bit more democratic.

SleezyDizasta

I think China's history is the best predictor of where China will go after this collapse. China's history from the very beginning has been defined by cycles that alternate between a bunch of small warring states that constantly fight each other and giant tyrannical empires that unites them all. You could say the current China under the CCP is another iteration of those giant empires and that after the collapse, China will go back to it's historical mean of being divided by a bunch of smaller states that fight amongst each other.

TokenBoomer

Freaking madlads making life interesting. I want it boring.

SleezyDizasta

Things are going to get a lot more interesting from here on out. It'll be a long time since the world is going to feel stable and boring. So buckle up, we're in for a weird ride.

Match!!

Imagine if China and the US collapse at the same time and the EU ends up white man's burdening us all into a better future

SleezyDizasta

Actually Europe's demographics are pretty bad too. They're often overshadowed by China's, but they're still devastating in their own right. Most of Europe is already going through a demographic collapse right now, but they're less dramatic in scale and speed than China's. They'll be more like Japan's collapse, but with immigration... at least that's the case for Western Europe. Eastern Europe (including Russia) is going through a Chinese-esque demographic collapse as we speak. Interestingly, the US has the healthiest demography out of the 3. It's not great, but it's still better than either Europe or China by quiet a bit. The most realistic scenario is that the US will remain the world's leader in future, maybe to even greater degree than now. At least until other countries like India catch up.

OldWoodFrame

We have to learn to better frame the issues. When Japan was ascendant, everyone projected them to overtake the US in economic power and we got all afraid and passed a bunch of protectionist rules about car imports. Think pieces get written about how their economic model was better than the US and the US is a crumbling empire.

But it turned out it was a huge real estate bubble combined with/caused by the demographic benefit coming from a boom generation going into their prime labor years and once that generation started aging out there was a real estate slump and a balance sheet recession that lasted a decade, and they never recovered to the levels everyone was projecting 10 years prior.

Now literally the exact same thing is happening with China and everyone is all shocked. Guess what, it's going to happen again.

It's not to say the US will never fall to 2nd place in the global order, but it's not going to be from some country growing at 10%/year forever, that doesn't actually ever happen.

SleezyDizasta

Perhaps the lesson that will come from all these demographic collapses will be that economic growth should be slow and steady. Countries that try to rush rising up the ranks of standards of living by doing whatever they can to generate economic growth regardless of consequences will end up trading their long term future for short term prosperity.

shekau

I really really really hope!!

SleezyDizasta

I don't. As much as I hate the CCP, this collapse is still ultimately going to destroy the Chinese nation. We're going to see hundreds of millions of people in really unfortunate situations who can't do much to fix the reality they're in. That's something that I don't wish to see happen.

shekau

They're overpopulated anyway, there's simply way too much people there. Like at least 400 million people should be removed, so that the world would be better place.

qjkxbmwvz

This is obviously not good, but I don't have great intuition.

If I have a mug full of gasoline (or worse, diesel or something cruder), and reuse that for coffee, I can imagine that being bad. But a tanker truck is humongous, and the contamination would, I imagine (???), scale roughly like a surface area-to-volume kind of thing, meaning that contamination for a huge container should be substantially "better" than my coffee example. (Perhaps this scaling law is a bogus assumption though?)

Of course it is still bad, gross, and probably dangerous...

CanadaPlus , edited

Yup, and that's why they got away with it without anyone noticing. Eating that oil your whole life is probably not good for you though, because fuel chemicals can be pretty nasty. They say there's no safe level of a carcinogen.

ocassionallyaduck

The additives and chemicals in fuel are straight up cancerous. Your coffee in this example, would now come with a hint of crippling disabilities for your children.

Your supposition about surface area is correct but with contaminants this powerful it's not really valid.

Todd Bonzalez

There's also no telling how "empty" this thing actually gets before they fill it back up. If they're being this reckless, there's no reason to think they're fully draining the tanker.

SeattleRain

Put your money where your mouth is. Take an old gasoline can and fill it with cooking oil then feed it to your family until it's empty. Record the results. You won't though.

qjkxbmwvz

No shit.

My question was an honest scaling law question. Of course this is bad. Which is what I said.

My question is *how* bad, which is a legitimate question, and is not in any way saying these are defensible actions. They are not.

If you fill a thimble with diesel, drain it, and then fill it with water, that's gonna be super gross --- the diesel will probably form a thin layer on the thimble which is then diluted with a thimble full of water. Super gross. But by the time you get to a fuel can, the thin layer of diesel on the can is now diluted by a can of water. Because surface area scale like length squared but volume like length cubed, this is a better situation (for a given amount of water). Now when this is scaled up further, the diesel gets increasingly diluted. This is the root of my question, it's not saying that we should accept this or that it's good, I'm just curious.

piecat

If a cup has a few drops of water after you pour it out,

Say a drop is 0.05ml (20drop/mL is rule of thumb for chemistry). Say your glass cup holds 16oz (mine does), that's 473mL.

(4*0.05mL / 473mL) *100 = 0.04228% of the original concentration. Now scale that volume up. That ratio is going to be much smaller, since you're right about volume vs surface area.

5ppb is the cutoff for benzene in stunning water in Oregon apparently. EPA says 5ug/L.

5ppb is apparently 0.0000005%. That's about 84,000x higher than the cutoff for that one potential contaminant.

Given how small the minimum acceptable level is for many chemicals in gasoline or fuel... Yeah I bet it would increase cancer rates in a statistically significant way.

qjkxbmwvz

So 84,000 for a glass assuming 100% of the fluid is benzene (unless I misunderstood your calculation). Benzene concentration is about 1% of gasoline, and a tanker is about 20,000L, or ~40,000x more than a cup. Cube root of 40,000 is about 34 (cube root for the surface to volume factor). 34*100 is 3400, which is about 25x off from the 84,000 reduction required to be "safe." So it's roughly 25x worse than the Oregon cutoff (but seemingly within EPA limits, which appears to be ~1000x less stringent [!!!]). Unless I made some errors or misunderstood.

In any event I'll try to source my cooking oil from uncontaminated trucks!

(As an aside, thanks for taking my question seriously and putting thought into an answer, unlike some of the other more "colorful" responses!)

SeattleRain

Test it out bro. Since you believe the impact of putting gasoline in food is so contentious. It's funny how you still deflect by implying it was "a thimbleful" when you have no idea how much it was or how dangerous it is.

B-b-b-but you're just asking the questions right?

qjkxbmwvz

...scaling laws. They are best illustrated with different sized items. Like a thimble, a coffee cup, or an oil tanker, all representing volumes of different orders of magnitude.

SeattleRain

Stop, an empty tanker truck can have a huge amount of fuel in it. You do know that fuel has a lot of impurities right? If you don't believe me just pull up some pictures of fuel tanks on cars being opened. They can be caked with sediment and heavy metals at the bottom even after a few years.

You are a bad dangerous shill.

qjkxbmwvz

A simple, "your scaling argument doesn't really apply since the amount of residue left behind scales with the volume, not area" would have sufficed.

Gasoline is a pretty powerful solvent; would residue left behind that doesn't come off from gasoline be liberated by cooking oil? It's an honest question.

And I sure hope the regulatory agencies and shipping companies in my country do a better job than in China. This sort of thing is terrifying; I'm just curious as to an emotionless analysis of how bad this likely is. What concentration of benzene is acceptable? "None" would be best but we already breathe it. Would contaminated cooking oil likely be equivalent to...inhaling once at a gas station? A wet martini with diesel instead of vermouth?

AwesomeLowlander

Some people like asking hypothetical questions, others just take every random question as a personal affront.

gabbagabbahey

Consider this:

When the cooking oil is heated, the distillate contamination will flash off, leaving a nice clean cooking oil.

If distillate is slightly contaminated with with cooking oil, probably not so bad that engines burning it can't deal with the slightly differing heat rate and specific gravity of the new mixture.

😂

Duamerthrax

Nope.

I don't even feel like I should tell you why you're wrong, but here we go.

You assume that the fuel oil is more volatile then cooking temperatures, but what fuel oil? Diesel? Diesel has a boiling temperature between 160c and 360c(diesel varries because there are different compositions and blends). Deep fry is between 160c and 190c. That assumes we're deep frying. Plenty of ways to use cooking oil without heating to those temperatures.

Also assumes that there's nothing else in the fuel oil. Plenty of additives that might not boil off or if they do, be toxic if inhaled. I have of stories of transformer oil being used for deep frying.

gabbagabbahey

I'm taking the piss.

Reasoning like the stupid idiots who decided this was a good idea.

SoleInvictus

You're giving them a lot of credit by suggesting they even thought about the potential consequences for their consumers.

gabbagabbahey

China engineering

CanadaPlus , edited

Depends if it's light distillate, or, like, coal tar.

Butane -> cooking oil without washing would be fine, by the standard of if I'd still use the oil. I'd be more worried about leaching from the metal or plastic of the tank.

jet

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salad_Oil_scandal

Reminds me of the salad oil scandal where oil tanks were purchased and reused for vegetable oil....

doubtingtammy

Well There's your problem just did an episode on that https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K4yCXIZ32lk

FiniteBanjo

TBH replacing oil with water to inflate net worth estimations is pretty tame compared to putting gasoline in people's food.

jet

It's widely thought that they never cleaned the oil storage tanks they used to make them suitable for human consumption

FiniteBanjo

I think maybe you posted the wrong link, then? The page you linked to talked about loan fraud because a guy never actually shipped soybean oil he said he was shipping, filled storage tanks with water.

jet

Thanks for the downvote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4yCXIZ32lk

They go into more detail here and cover the tank reuse.

FiniteBanjo , edited

Anytime Brudda

I tried to skip through the video to find some information but I can't really parse much from it, they talk about various subjects for 2 hours with very little order. Do they have any sources at all? Nothing in the description or comments. Also, they told people to soak things in peanut oil as fireproofing which is some of the dumbest shit I've heard today and I've seen comments on Hexbear so that's saying something.

WanderingVentra

Got a time stamp or anything?

Happywop

This is why I refuse to purchase or consume ANY food products from China. There system can't be trusted period.

carl_marks_1312

On China’s heavily moderated social media platforms, many members of the public called for product recalls and greater industry oversight.

Some also appeared to link the situation to broader issues in the country, where an economic downturn is driving social frustration and there are deep-seated concerns about the limits of accountability for powerful and government-linked entities.

“Even the cooking oil essential to people’s daily lives has now become problematic… Ordinary people cannot be properly safeguarded… Now I just want to scoff at (phrases like) ‘rule of law’ and ‘serving the people’ whenever I see them,” read one comment on China’s X-like social media platform Weibo, that garnered thousands of likes.

I thought China was heavily censoring criticism and you couldn't voice your opinions publicly? lol

Basically a food scandal has been uncovered by their media and the government takes action in the public's interest. Something you'd expect a functioning government to do. And this article makes you think it's a bad thing.

Summed up:

Despite rising living standards in recent decades, food safety has been an ongoing issue in China, where dozens of high-profile scandals have been reported by local media since the early 2000s, sparking tighter government regulation.

Based.

The entire article has so much coping and seething and was a really fun read. Thank you for sharing.

Woht24

I think you can't really voice your opinion. But that's due to the consequences, you can't post illegal shit to your Facebook too, i.e. you'll be reported very quickly and it'll be taken down but you can still do it if you want to run the gauntlet.