Friday, March 9

Chinese Year of the Pig no match for EU-China Year of Science

It may be the Chinese Year of the Pig but what is really getting the Chinese worked up is the EU-China Year of Science.

Only weeks into the Chinese new year and enthusiasm has already receeded to to point of whimper. Grafitti referring to the 'Year of the damp Squib' has allegedly begun to spring up on dams around the country. Were it the Year of the Dragon, one would be tempted to say that it had run out of puff.

No Puff?

Sources are suggesting that it was the unrelenting style and verve of the Commission's original press release that first attracted the Chinese. "How can a few firework displays compete with prose like that", complained a depressed Beijing mandarin charged with the uneviable task of reigniting the public interest. "Since that damned press missive it has been simple damage limitation."

Even the fact that it is a Lunar Year of the Pig - think multiple milleniums, as one China gazer put it - has left the Chinese unmoved. "It simply does not possess the same sort of attraction for young people as the recent joint EU-China exhibit on S&T co-operation at the Shenzhen High Tech Fair or the EU-Asia East Midland’s cooperation event at Leicester University", commented a well known face on the Shanghai party scene.

It is understood that all hope has been lost. Chinese officials in the department of the new year are now placing all of their hopes on next year's Year of the Rat but are watching nervously to see what the EU might have up its sleeve. An EU-China Year of Food Safety could be disastrous, they fear.

Inside: Vietnam and Korea break diplomatic ties with EU in bid to avoid similar fiascos.

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