Princelings behaving badly

One fairly certain prediction for the future, is that in the next couple of decades we’ll see many more stories of princelings behaving badly.

China’s elite have money, and a reasonable number are sending their sons and daughters abroad. Even at home, the puritan work ethic of the parents must produce a rebellion of some kind. Whether that emerges as culture, gambling or boozing depends on the child.

B&T picks out a mid-level case of this from a report in Le Monde Diplomatique. Children of Chinese officials go on gambling jaunts to Kaichin, a breakaway province of Burma making a bid for independence. Apparently Laiza, its main town, is filled with casinos targetting Chinese:

“Children of Chinese officials became a problem,” said a [Kachin Independence Organization] official. “They borrow money from the [casino] owner to gamble, pay after a phone call to their parents. When parents stop sending money, we keep them in the hotel until parents pay up.” Keeping them is not kidnapping: “They get food and housing, they just can’t leave. We make a lot of money.”

The full story is interesting, showing China’s policy of non-interference being put to the test:

Chinese infrastructure projects in Burma — pipeline, railway line and dam construction projects — depend on peace in Kachin State. Two pipelines are expected to transport 12bn cubic metres of gas and 22m tons of oil a year from two Chinese-built ports near Kyaupkyu in the Bay of Bengal to China’s energy-hungry central provinces.

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