Having carried out a close investigation of the 35 young children in this class, we have not discovered evidence that any of them were involved in blackness or evil.
Chinese tax dollars at work.
Wave after wave of campaigns like this one to "sweep away blackness and eliminate evil", that come and go the way fads and Internet challenges do in the U.S. are just one of many mays in which daily life in China is really weird, often with ominous undercurrents that can destroy the lives of a few chosen scapegoats or whole communities of people. Some of the other ways that China is weird include the following:
* Its social credit system that systemically harasses people for offenses as minor as not sending your mother a birthday card.
* Its tortuously circuitous press that offers almost only propaganda, where no one can afford to be honest with anyone but their closest family and friends in securely private settings.
* Its massively censored internet that is always inventing new bizarre euphemisms to evade censors.
* It excess supply of urban men who are spoiled only children (not uncommonly a second generation of only children), whose struggle to find spouses leads poor rural farmers to procure mail order brides from Southeast Asia and India, and leaves the nation tempted to start a war so it can find something for them to do.
* Its routine use of abortions pretty much as birth control with little or no stigma attached.
* Its legions of thirty-somethings making decisions that in the U.S. would be reserved for septuagenarians with decades of seniority in business or politics.
* Its business deals awash with corruption and sex parties.
* Its rural areas with poverty and grass roots legitimate non-partisan local government democracy juxtaposed against sprawling cities with endless wavs of rural migrants swept their by economic circumstances juxtaposed against an ultra-wealthy class that is fused with the political leadership and makes its fortunes with bold corruption and government abuse fueled business deals.
* Its huge expanses of high speed rail lines that run half empty because few people can afford tickets.
* Its seizures of homes and businesses with almost no notice and no compensation to build railways or high rises.
* Its high rise apartment and office buildings that go up in a week or two with whole massive cities with millions of people rising from almost nothing in a matter of a few years.
* The common practice of kidnapping foreign executives with impunity as a means of debt collection and contract negotiation, almost like the vestigial practice of debt collection via "body execution" in the common law tradition, or practices similar to China's by labor unions in France.
* Its sudden secretive executions of business people for alleged corruption.
* Its spooky totalitarian campaigns to force ethnic minorities in its inland hinterlands like Tibetans and Uyghurs to assimilate into the Han Chinese majority with colonization campaigns designed to destroy their ethnicities, bans on speaking their own languages, and unannounced and unacknowledged seizures of people who are taken to "reeducation and labor camps" when there is the slightest hint or suspicion that a person might not be fully assimilating.
* This is a country that persecutes pretty much harmless, slightly heterodox minority spiritual movements like the Falun Gong.
The thing is, this isn't pre-Cold War Albania or today's North Korea or Uzbekistan or Brunei. It isn't a bizarre little enclave removed from the larger world.
This is the world's most populous nation, with more than a billion people (although India is catching up fast and will surpass it soon).
This is a nation that has seen year after year after year of economic growth of 10% or more that is no longer a poor third-world nation.
This is the place where a huge share of the world's manufactured goods, from party dresses than can be purchased direct from China in the U.S. for $6, to processed chickens, to smart phones, to most of the inventory at Wal-Mart is made.
This is the country which has purchased more U.S. Treasury bonds than any other single bond owner in the world which is at this moment lending money to the U.S. so that its deficit spending can provide relief to U.S. farmers who are being put out of business by Chinese tariffs on their soybeans and other products in retaliation for multiple rounds of U.S. tariffs (paid for almost entirely by Americans, both formally and in terms of economic incidence) on their goods.
It isn't clear how much of this madness facilitates its breakneck economic development, and how much is merely a hinderance that is overcome, as a reasonably socially cohesive society with hundreds of millions of well educated and/or managerially skilled people who a reaping the benefits of being able to borrow technology that already exists instead of inventing it from scratch are using to the fullest.
This is a country that in making huge foreign investments in Central Asia and Africa.
Once upon a time, in the mid-20th century, its political and social system was vaguely modeled upon that of the Soviet Union. But, those days are long gone. China's unique economic, legal, political and social system bears only a remote relation to the Soviet and civil law and traditional Chinese monarchy's traits that it has synthesized into a novel authoritarian capitalist state. It does business with many countries organized on a culturally and politically Western model with mixed economies that have unapologetically capitalist roots tamed by democratic socialist institutions, and has adjusted its own practices enough to be compatible with these economies at a business level, but very little about it is Western, and even the Western business practices that it has submitted to have something lost in translation in a Chinese context.