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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saving Face and the Baby Formula Tragedy

It's interesting to read the official time lines. The Chinese version has the central government being informed one day prior to the New Zealand Ambassador notifying China's central government.

I see three options:
  1. China to save face officially was told a day before being contacted by New Zealand. This way China is not embarrassed having to be told by an outside source about this tragedy.
  2. The NZ company told the local government their government in two days would be contacting the central government. This allowed China to find out internally.
  3. The city decided out of the goodness of their heart to notify the provincial government and it was just a coincidence this happened at the same time as the New Zealand government's communication.
My guess is on number 2.

Time Line:
  • March - Chinese company, Sanlu, received complaints.
  • August - Tests by Sanlu confirm presence of Melamine in milk.
  • August 2nd - Fonterra told the local government the problem but were ignored.
  • September 9th - NZ Prime Minister informed and gives two days before she contact central Chinese government.
  • Sept 9th - City government informs provincial government.
  • September 10 - The central government was informed of the issue the local provincial government. One day delay.
  • September 11th - NZ Ambassador informs central Chinese Government.
  • Recall of Baby Formula ordered.



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