How standards have changed. First there was Mao’s famous Yangtze River swim where he set a world record by swimming 15 km in 65 min. Now a wealthy Chinese businessman is offering 200,000 yuan [HK$246,000] to get a Chinese official to simply swim for 20 minutes in a river without success. It is not the result of diminishing physical stamina (or propaganda) in China as much as the river in question. Jin Zengmin, chief executive of a Hangzhou eyeglasses retailer, wants Ruian’s environmental protection bureau chief, Bao Zhenmin, to swim in the river in the small-town Ruian, which is virtually solid garbage. He could literally do a crawl on the surface. Not the Australian crawl, mind you, but the Chinese crawl on a surface of refuse.
While Jin blames a local factory, Boa not surprisingly defends the factory and blames citizens for dumping in the river. He insists that the river has been destroyed by overpopulation.
It appears that there will be no swim down the majestic river in Ruian. The pictures in the article below however suggest that Boa might be able to walk down the river. It appears that Chinese communist officials can walk on water in the miracle that is China’s bustling economy.