China: Keeping the Paramilitary Olympic Torch Lit

Ever wonder what China is doing with the extra cash now that it's refunding less of the export VAT to companies? Additional torch security, for one. According to the Times Online, "China's blue-clad flame attendants, whose aggressive methods of safeguarding the Olympic torch have provoked international outcry, are paramilitary police from a force spun off from the country's army. The squad of 30 young men from the police academy that turns out the cream of the paramilitary security force has the job at home of ensuring riot control, domestic stability and the protection of diplomats." While I'm all for keeping the torch lit, isn't all of this a bit extreme? Sure, labor costs are still low in China, but there has to be a better way for the Chinese government to show its fiscal responsibility in a more challenging economic market than paying a bunch of elite storm troopers to trot the Olympic torch around.

- Jason Busch

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