News outlets report that the toll of Chinese children ill from toxic milk formula may have nearly doubled since the Health Ministry’s last public count.  That number now may be over 94,000 children sickened.  Beijing is now struggling with the political, business and moral fallout from the adulteration of milk with the industrial chemical melamine.

Like the alcoholic, China needs at least several of Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step Program’s guiding principles for "recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems."  Dr. Bob – one of AA’s co-founders – has characterized the process of twelve-step recovery as "trust God, clean house, help others". 

OK, so God may not be a moving force in China, but it really is time to “clean house and help others.”  As summarized by the American Psychological Association, and adapted by me, China’s process must involve at least the following:

*  Admitting that the Chinese government cannot control its addiction or compulsion for money and power;

*  Recognizing a greater power that can give strength – The Party leaders need to go back and read and understand Confucius, Mao and Sun Tzu;

*  Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor – I’m available;

*  Making amends for these errors – It is time to take care of the children that you have allowed to be poisoned;

*  Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior – it is time for a free press and a functioning civil legal system;

*  Helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions – Every country can do better – China, that has developed so much over a proud history, can help us all.  It just needs to first admit that it has a problem.