The latest in news on semi-irrelevant governing bodies: China has gained observer status on the Arctic Council.
While the body has no real say over anything in the far north, this is undoubtedly good news for Chinese pig farmers who have had bad luck lately with disposing of swines that die of disease. More than 16,000 of them ended up in Shanghai’s water supply in March because burning or burying the carcasses is too expensive.
Problem solved. By gaining so-called “observer” status to the Artic Council, China takes that to mean it can do whatever the hell it wants in a land that isn’t really a land, doesn’t have any laws and was probably Chinese territory to begin with. Pig farmers are reportedly lining up to deposit their dead hogs at the mouth of the Irtysh river in the north of Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
Aside from the random floating pig, Inuits and polar bears should also keep their eyes peeled for huge rubber duckies among the the icebergs of the north. An enormous, inflated yellow duck, the work of a Dutch artist that was floating in Hong Kong’s harbor, brought smiles to all of Hong Kong. Leave it to China to duck it up though: a mainland tourist deflated it by tossing a cigarette butt at it.
If this is true, the mainland will no doubt have to have to remove the massive yellow carcass. But there’s no better place to re-inflate and relocate it to than the Arctic. Nothing like a building-sized rubber duck to remind fellow Arctic researchers of China’s commitment to climate change.
Hey Norway! Dare to give Chinese prisoners the Nobel Peace Prize? We’ll violate your soverign waters. Quack, quack …
While the Arctic welcomes China, the EU has been pushing back against China. This week, the European Commission tried to demonstrate that it can do more than screw up the global economy when it said it would probe Chinese telecoms for illegal subsidizing practices. It has also confirmed tariffs on solar panels and said it might fine Chinese airlines for not providing emissions data.
Commission President José Manuel Barosso has reportedly been sending Chinese President Xi Jinping menacing messages on WeChat. Xi sent only one, somewhat confused reply: “Barosso? Ba bao zhou? I’m hungry.”