Criticizing China and Beijing

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Maysie Maysie's picture
Criticizing China and Beijing

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

I've noticed a not-unexpected phenomenon recently, on babble and from some white lefty circles in Canada. With the upcoming summer Olympics in Beijing next year (news, opinions and concerns about food and water quality, and China's rather appalling human rights record), that critiques of China are coming out from all quarters, progressive and non-progressive.

I find most of the critiques to be classic racist conjecture, that are simply utilizing the fact that "everyone" is talking about these issues which gives the excuse to vomit out old boring racist tropes that would otherwise be challenged by progressives, but is now seen as "legitimate", even "intelligent" discourse.

I'd like to venture a parallel to other phenomena, such as when a certain community of colour is on the "hot seat", the racism that is normally just under the surface in mainstream and progressive communities is then "allowed" to become a normalized part of everyday discourse, which if allowed to grow, can result in laws and policies such as the anti-Muslim fervour we're living in right now. To be clear, such racism was always there, it now has gained mainstream legitimacy.

My observations have been that this same kind of racism is now ongoing against both China the country, as well as Chinese immigrants to Canada and the US, and Chinese-Canadians, -Americans.

My questions to babblers are how often do you see this happening? How often do you participate without noticing? And how can we provide critiques and objections about the very real human rights violations that the Chinese government perpetuates without invoking racism?

Le T Le T's picture

I have to confess that I have not heard a lot of this going on. I mean, there is the usually fear mongering in the MSM about how China is taking over the world and owns most of the US debt but that's always been there. Although, to be perfectly honest I haven't talked in any depth about China or the Olympics in a while.

500_Apples

How is it racist to be concerned over the seemingly prevalent presence of lead in Chinese manufactured goods? There is a large industry out there, composed in large part of western hypercapitlists looking hard for lower production, environmental and labour standards. Surprise surprirse there appears to be some production problems, in addition to the labour and environmental problems we already knew about. Wal-Mart is the twin brother of Chinese manufacturing. Is it racist to not shop at Wal Mart?

Human nature is such that we will always be more paranoid of things we believe we can't control. We're more afraid on flights than in cars, even though flights are safer. Equivalently, people are now growing fearful of Chinese goods, as our governments have a harder time regulating the productions, and we know that the profit motive is in opposition to safety.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]How is it racist to be concerned over the seemingly prevalent presence of lead in Chinese manufactured goods? There is a large industry out there, composed in large part of western hypercapitlists looking hard for lower production, environmental and labour standards. Surprise surprirse there appears to be some production problems, in addition to the labour and environmental problems we already knew about. Wal-Mart is the twin brother of Chinese manufacturing. Is it racist to not shop at Wal Mart?

Human nature is such that we will always be more paranoid of things we believe we can't control. We're more afraid on flights than in cars, even though flights are safer. Equivalently, people are now growing fearful of Chinese goods, as our governments have a harder time regulating the productions, and we know that the profit motive is in opposition to safety.[/b]


I just head an interview on CBC about this issue.

The question to ask is, why is this society only concerned with the health and well being of our kids, but not the kids and other adults who are actually being abused & poisoned to make our cheap toys?

Its racist to talk about boycotting China, but not Walmart, MAtel or whatever other western conglomorate is actually responsible for creating the problems that are affecting our kids localy and internationally.

If we were so concerned about abuse & human rights, why are a majority or Canadians not calling on other countries to Boycot the canadian govt, until Native right are respected?

Or Make a stink about the Human rights abuses that are being sanction by Canadian Govt & Companies .. such as is going on in latin america ?

Or closer to home in some of our garment districts, not to mention the abuse of Migrant workers in Canadian farms?

Or why the Canadian govt is sanctioning the export of Asbestos from Canada, which has been banned in Canada?

marzo

It is nonsense to claim that 'racism' is the reason for criticism of China's exported products or its disregard for human safety. If critics of China were 'racist', then they would also be treating other east Asian countries the same way. There is no harsh criticism of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or other countries in the region, just China because of toxic pet food, poisoned toothpaste, kids' toys with lead paint and other problems. I don't understand why North American pet food companies are buying wheat from China anyway, when China has a domestic economy of more than a billion hungry mouths, and hundreds of millions of consumers to buy manufactured goods.
If we had a rational, realistic economic system Canadian farmers would be producing plenty of food for domestic needs and imported foods would be things that can't be produced in Canada such as cocoa, tea, rice, tropical fruits etc. The grocery stores are flooded with Chinese garlic and the only place Ontario garlic can be found is in farmers' markets.
When some people claim that criticism of Chinese products and labour standards is 'racist', it is an injustice to people who have faced racist persecution.

Michelle

BCG, I've been thinking lately about all the recent freaking out, particularly in the American media, about Chinese product safety, and I think I started a thread on that on babble maybe? I'm not sure now. It has been striking me as a heck of a lot of hype - for a while there, a few weeks ago, it seemed that they tried to cram some sort of "defective Chinese product" angle into every other story on CNN. It got to the point where I started laughing in disbelief when I heard a remark tagged onto the end of every other story ("As a final note...the earpiece on these defective phones are made in China") and thinking that I should make a drinking game out of it or something.

I wonder if you could give examples of some of the racist things that progressives are saying that are becoming "legitimate"? The reason being that I haven't noticed it, so maybe I'm desensitized to it, and perhaps I've even done it myself without realizing it.

So I guess to answer your questions - I don't see it happening in progressive discussions (although I haven't read a lot of them lately), and I'm not sure whether I've been participating without noticing. And I'm open to any suggestions on your final question about how to provide critiques in a non-racist way.

Liang Jiajie

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]

I just head an interview on CBC about this issue.

The question to ask is, why is this society only concerned with the health and well being of our kids, but not the kids and other adults who are actually being abused & poisoned to make our cheap toys?

Its racist to talk about boycotting China, but not Walmart, MAtel or whatever other western conglomorate is actually responsible for creating the problems that are affecting our kids localy and internationally.

If we were so concerned about abuse & human rights, why are a majority or Canadians not calling on other countries to Boycot the canadian govt, until Native right are respected?

Or Make a stink about the Human rights abuses that are being sanction by Canadian Govt & Companies .. such as is going on in latin america ?

Or closer to home in some of our garment districts, not to mention the abuse of Migrant workers in Canadian farms?

Or why the Canadian govt is sanctioning the export of Asbestos from Canada, which has been banned in Canada?[/b]


Canadians do not seem to be concerned with the living conditions of foreigners, and other international issues, for the same reason that only 60 per cent of Canadians voted in the last two federal elections respectively. Most persons, whether they are Canadian or Chinese, rarely concern themselves with issues that do not directly affect them. There is a similar trend in the United States. I think this is human nature, so it is not restricted by political boundaries.

One example: [url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19390791/site/newsweek/]Lack of Interest in the U.S.[/url]

bigcitygal: I agree that there is fear-mongering regarding Chinese imports. How do you differentiate between sound criticism of Chinese practices and racism? Could you provide examples of what you mentioned?

[ 06 September 2007: Message edited by: Liang Jiajie ]

Pogo Pogo's picture

I would sure like to see what the statistical information is regarding China as an exporter. Right now it seems we are making judgements by adding up the stories we have heard.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Is it racist to be concerned about the internal human rights situation in China?

I was in solidarity with the Tienenman Square rebels, as was most of the left in the English-speaking world IIRC, and I hope that not wanting to see their ideals crushed doesn't make me a Western hegemonist.

Seems to me we have to establish a few things:

1)what is and what is not legitimate criticism?

2)who is and who is not entitled to express such criticism?

3)what are and are not valid motives?

I for one think that much of what the Chinese government does, provided that that government isn't treated as the world's only human rights offender, is a perfectly legitimate subject for discussion by progressives. And given that much of Western capitalism seems to be in bed with the Chinese "Communist" regime, it hardly seems fair to imply imperialist or reactionary intent in such criticism, so long as China isn't treated as the only place that needs it.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]Is it racist to be concerned about the internal human rights situation in China?
na isn't treated as the only place that needs it.[/b]

I think when there is an implied dialogs of how great our Canadian/US govt handle human rights, it is the glossing over the harsh realities that some of us have to deal with in this racist and oppressive society.

We should be concerned for all humans right to life with dignity and free of oppression. I believe that if westerners actually engaged/challenged their govt to live up to the Human right ideals domestically. It will make it harder for them to continue to support these atrocities internationally.

It kinda reminds me of the feminist groups in the past, that were fighting for their right to be treated as equals, while also fighting for their right to keep slaves. That did not mean that they did not truly believe they were concerned for the equality of women, but you can see how the women they were enslaved might have found it rather hypocritical.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I agree that, in criticizing human rights policies in other countries, a person needs to avoid exempting her or his own society from criticism of its failures.

Is there not a way to achieve that in this case?

Can we not speak of the need to fight oppression everywhere and in all degrees?

I hope we're not going to say "we can't criticize China(or any other country) because our own societies have serious flaws".

That kind of thinking has taken the left to bad places in the past.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]I find most of the critiques to be classic racist conjecture[/b]

I think it's it's economic and political, rather than racist. China is a huge economic, and perhaps military, threat to the United States and its allies.

Fidel

How about we criticize Indian capitalists at some point ?. It's a country of comparable population that shares similar logistical issues with housing, feeding and employing over a billion people.

Our colonial administrators in Canada have the world's second largest country with unparalleled natural resources at their disposal. I think the Chinese and Indians might ask how Ottawa manages to do so little with so much.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

There is always a racist aspect to war. And I think we need to begin viewing what is occurring on a global basis as potentially a very dangerous precursor to something horrible.

quote:

A sharp drop in foreign holdings of US Treasury bonds over the last five weeks has raised concerns that China is quietly withdrawing its funds from the United States, leaving the dollar increasingly vulnerable.

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/09/05/bcnchi... a North American news source[/url]

quote:

China's military entered its third day on Wednesday of a surprise, four-day military exercise in northeast China that has jarred Taiwan with maneuvers widely interpreted as practice for an invasion of the self-governing island.

[url=http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/417302]Also not NA[/url]

quote:

Indian and U.S. aircraft carriers plow through the Bay of Bengal launching fighter jets into the air. American submarines cruise below Japanese, Australian and Singaporean warships.

The stated aim of this week's massive war games off India's eastern coast is to improve the forces' ability to fight terrorism and piracy. But in the five days of naval exercises that began Tuesday, experts see a broader strategic shift that's being driven in large part by the fear of a rising China.


[url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hCj3Q1vVW2sB9Nx0f_9cXKzFyLaA]AP and note how upbeat it is.[/url]

The world is entering a very dangerous period. We began the 20th century in a race for control of a new resource that would deliver power and riches to those who controlled it and we begin this new century with a race for the dregs of that same resource that will provide domination of a declining world for those who control it.

And it threatens to be a frightening dystopian future regardless of who wins. We now live in a world without any good guys. Only fellas.

Fidel

It all sounds like strategic maneuvering to me. Why can't the paltry 400 million or so North Americans of us be satisfied with total domination of our own hemisphere ?. Why do the Yanks have to be over there shit disturbing with the armada and hundreds of military bases around the world and being the only rogue uberpower with its nukes on foreign soil and threatening them with ABM's in Eastern Europe and roving nuclear powered, nuclear-armed submarines and destroyers and aircraft carriers ?. Because if China or Russia or India were to do something similar in our own backyards, all hell would break loose.

That business with shock and appall over Baghdad in 2003 ? - it should have been considered an act of illegal aggression and international sanctions slapped on the offending nation. As Regis Philbin might have said to Kathy Lee, "Our so-called western democracies are outtA CONTROL!" Our weak and ineffective leaders are like the proverbial coward who walks past the person being mugged in the alley. See nothing, hear nothing and do nothing but trust and obey, it's the only way.

[ 06 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


It all sounds like strategic maneuvering to me.

It is. It is the endgame we should be worried about.

Liang Jiajie

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]I hope we're not going to say "we can't criticize China(or any other country) because our own societies have serious flaws". [/b]

Countries often share similar problems such as racism, so if you have denounced and condemned racism in Canada, you have also indirectly denounced and condemned it in China and everywhere else. The same can be said about the environmental practices of countries. If you criticize the environmental policy of the Canadian government, then you are likely to criticize the environmental practices of China and other countries that choose to ignore the urgency of environmental protection. Most issues have no political and cultural boundaries. If you are not willing to criticize China because Chinese are victims of racism in Canada or because China was a victim of imperialism, then you are holding China to a lower standard. That would be racism.

[ 06 September 2007: Message edited by: Liang Jiajie ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Liang Jiajie:
[b]
If you are not willing to criticize China because Chinese are victims of racism in Canada or because China was a victim of imperialism, then you are holding China to a lower standard. That would be racism.[/b]

That's a fairly strong accusation. Countries like China and Russia [i]are[/i] held to different standards on a number of levels in comparison to the western world. Because our countries did not have world wars and civil wars raging in our country in the first part of the last century. Our countries shed old world imperialism a long time before the last imperial eunuch in the forbidden city was handed his freedom and testicles in a glass jar by his Maoist liberators.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks to everyone for your comments here. FYI, I'm only babbling in the mornings on weekdays. Particular thanks to AfroHealer and Liang Jiajie for your contributions. Liang Jiajie, I know that's your handle and not necessarily your name, but I have cousins who are Liangs. Cool. Nice to see you here.

As to the thread, I don't have answers, y'know, to the questions I raised. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] It's discussion I'm hoping for.

I absolutely believe there's a way to criticize China for various issues such as human rights violations, worker/product safety issues and the crimes of repression and occupation, without invoking racist structures that have been taught to those of us who live in Canada or the U.S. What I find is that at times, those on the left may not be aware that as they go on and on about some issue, that they are in fact re-inscribing racism, even via an important and legitimate issue that warrants discussion and perhaps condemnation.

quote:

KenBurch: I hope we're not going to say "we can't criticize China(or any other country) because our own societies have serious flaws".

No, I'm not saying that, although I have in the past and may well again. But not today. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

International solidarity and awareness is very very important to some struggles. People in countries around the world often call for international presence, support and witnessing. Tiannamen Square is the perfect example.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]

That's a fairly strong accusation. Countries like China and Russia [i]are[/i] held to different standards on a number of levels in comparison to the western world. Because our countries did not have world wars and civil wars raging in our country in the first part of the last century. Our countries shed old world imperialism a long time before the last imperial eunuch in the forbidden city was handed his freedom and testicles in a glass jar by his Maoist liberators.[/b]


When our First nations are actually not controlled and oppressed by the imperial states of Canada & US. Then and only then can you then talk honestly about Canada or the US shedding their old world imperialism.

Let's not forget that North-America (turtle island) is still Colonized. I smell Eurocentricity ( other wise know as mental masturbation), when we ignore the realities of our "home on native land" as we criticize the "other" of today. Once it was Russia that was evil, and the west were the saints.

I agree with the earlier post that when we criticise and analyse the abuses at home, and take it one step further to actually be part of the solution. We then truly stand in solidarity with the other oppressed peoples of this world.

I think intact if we want to have lasting change globally, we really need to start standing in solidarity, by addressing the abuses in our backyard. We also be able to better understand How & Why those abuses happen in the so called "other", as a parallel of the abuses that are experience here. Not something that is unique to the China, Russia or whomever the demon of the day is.

I smell racism, when we say "they" should be held to a different stand. Last I checked abuse of human rights is abuse of human rights. Regardless of what artificial boundaries colonial powers have created.

May the truth, set us all free. I know these lies are definitely holding us in bondage.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


When our First nations are actually not controlled and oppressed by the imperial states of Canada & US. Then and only then can you then talk honestly about Canada or the US shedding their old world imperialism.

Not even then as imperialism's reach is global and has many different forms each as insidious as the next.

Consider the following:

quote:

While neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, and the Bush administration embrace unbridled violence against Muslims, Lee Harris warns that America is much too tolerant and reasonable to be able to defend itself against Muslim fanaticism. America's "governing philosophy based on reason, tolerance, consensus and deliberation cannot defend itself against a [Muslim] strategy of ruthless violence."

Islamophobia overflows with such absurdities and contradictions. Harris tells us that the Enlightenment overcame fanatical thinking in the West, leaving the West unfamiliar with fanaticism and helpless to confront it. Harris, who fancies himself an authority on fanaticism, is deaf, dumb, and blind to Communism and National Socialism and is completely ignorant of the fact that neoconservative fanatics are the direct heirs of the Jacobins of the French Revolution, itself a fanatical product of the Enlightenment.


[url=http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=11560]http://www.antiwar.com/r...

Islamic people sit on much of the world's remaining resources and we are entering a period of wars over resources.

I read a history once with regard to an area once populated by a First Nations people. The history was written by the descendants of settlers. It described the First Nations people as "savage" and "warring". The First Nations people in question was the Neutrals, so named by the French because they refused to take part in war and sought to establish peace among the other First Nations within neighbouring regions.

So how do a peace loving people become "savages"? They inhabit a land rich in resources that the forces of imperialism covet. And the rest is history.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]
So how do a peace loving people become "savages"? They inhabit a land rich in resources that the forces of imperialism covet. And the rest is history.[/b]

Man I could not have said that better.

DR Daniel N Paul'ss book "we were not savages" covers the real history of the treatment of Aboriginal peoples in atlantic canada.
[url=http://www.writers.ns.ca/Writers/dpaul.html]Daniel N Paul at Writers Federation of Novascotia[/url]

Liang Jiajie

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]

That's a fairly strong accusation. Countries like China and Russia [i]are[/i] held to different standards on a number of levels in comparison to the western world. Because our countries did not have world wars and civil wars raging in our country in the first part of the last century. Our countries shed old world imperialism a long time before the last imperial eunuch in the forbidden city was handed his freedom and testicles in a glass jar by his Maoist liberators.[/b]


I agree that factors such as historical development and geography have prevented many countries and peoples from achieving the high [i]material standards[/i] of Canada. It would be unfair to compare the living standards of rural China and rural Canada. But I am speaking of the [i]immaterial standards[/i] that are more often than not transnational and not affected by historical development or geography. Human rights and environmental protection are two examples. Nothing prevents Russia or China from giving themselves the task of achieving excellent human rights and environmental records based on the ethics declared by the United Nations. China has spent hundrends of billions of US dollars (if not, trillions) on modernizing its military, developing a space program and a nuclearized navy, but, in comparison, very little has been done to improve the educational infrastructure of the country. And, needless to say, China's human rights record is dismal. The material wealth entering China comes from the profits of foreign investment. The Chinese government has to do more than allow foreign investment to improve the livelihood of Chinese. And there is nothing inherent in the Chinese character that prevents China from enjoying the same political freedoms as Canadians enjoy. I will not hold China to lower or different standards regarding these two issues.

The original point I tried to make in my previous post is that Canadians should not be discouraged from criticizing China because they are not Chinese. I know that there are well-informed Canadians who do not participate in discussions about China because they feel that racism in Canada towards minorities precludes their right to participate in the discussion, or because they have been told that their ethnicity precludes them from participating, or because of their countries' imperial past. I say this because there are some Chinese who argue that foreigners should not be permitted to study Chinese history or culture simply because they are not Chinese, and because it is a form of imperialism. Or they argue that human rights as they were established at the United Nations cannot be applied to Chinese society because it is too different than Western cultures. These kinds of arguments are ridiculous, they discourage dialogue and give China a lower status. That is what I meant when I used the word racist.

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: Liang Jiajie ]

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: Liang Jiajie ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Liang Jiajie:
[b] It would be unfair to compare the living standards of rural China and rural Canada. But I am speaking of the [i]immaterial standards[/i] that are more often than not transnational and not affected by historical development or geography. Human rights and environmental protection are two examples. Nothing prevents Russia or China from giving themselves the task of achieving excellent human rights and environmental records based on the ethics declared by the United Nations.[/b]

Russia is one of the few developing countries that already meet Kyoto's greenhouse gas emissions levels. Russia's aspiring capitalists of the 1980's and 90's had outside help with destroying that country's state of industrialized economy in the 1990's and laying waste to the public infrastucture as well as the Soviet institutions which could have made democratization possible.

There were commentators suggest that there is no proven or successful formula or guidelines to follow for transforming communist economies to capitalist ones. They said that our capitalist western societies took a long time to develop and comparing western capitalism to an ecosystem and forest with its many supporting floras and fauna which make the whole.

What the commentators neglected to point out was that our western economies became more tolerable to live in because of that period after the end of laissez-faire capitalism, and that period after 1929 which saw massive government interventions in the economy with building of infrasructure to support capitalist economy. And many social gains were made because of civil society groups, trade unions and grassroots groups fighting for those gains. These achievements didn't occur overnight, and people had to fight our plutocratic governments very hard during a most vulnerable political period for our power elitist society ie. the cold war when they were afraid and most afraid that an idea could spread from east to the west and remove their power and privilege.

China was a basket case in 1950 while western countries were climbing to our collective feet after a failed 30 year-long experiment in leave it to the market capitalism. China was behind even India with respect to mortality rates, widespread poverty and illiteracy. By 1976, China's infant mortality rate was better than what India's rate is today. China has made many gains since people there were born in rice paddies and died an average of 30 years later.

But I don't think there will be the same golden era of capitalism there that existed here leading up to the realization that consumer capitalism based on oil consumption and consumerism is unsustainable over the long run. Chinese must fight for all those things which were fought long and hard for here and won: trade unions, better health care, and accessable and affordable higher education. We're losing those things here gradually. I think crisis-oriented capitalism will unintentionally present new opportunities to workers for real democratization and change like no other time before.

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

scooter

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]How is it racist to be concerned over the seemingly prevalent presence of lead in Chinese manufactured goods?[/b]

When 77% of the recalls are due to defective design. The study was published just a few days ago pointing out that China manufacturers are to be blamed for few of the toy (and other) product recalls.

Erik Redburn

That's an essential angle thats been too long overlooked, that Matel, and most the other companies being criticised, are mostly owned and operated by Westerners (mostly American shareholders) and they/we draw most of the product specifications, set most of the production quotas, and collect most of the profits. The advantage of this view is it may also open the door to other ways in which to regain some control over these trans-national entities.

That said it would be going a bit far to assume that all the criticism is based on race. China is colonial nation itself in many ways, and a rising world power in close partnership with American multinationals, and therefore must be open to criticism when they too export something which harms their prefered customers. Mostly I'd think it depends on what this criticism is focused on and how it's expressed. Is it the poor industrial practices encouraged by globalization, and the preference corprations show towards undemocratic labour markets, or is it some negative feature our media is portraying as particular to other nations and ethnicities.

The last IMO goes further than the usual ethnocentic parochialism that most North American media sources display, into a purely hypocritical avoidance of our own hand in it all. Most corprate media sources have previously been strong supporters of deregulation under the rubric of "cutting red tape" as well, without mention of the usual real world consequences.

jeff house

Western manufacturers outsource production to China because there ARE no standards there.

There are no enforcible labour relations standards, and there are no standards which insure that the product is safe, either.

Thats why production is cheap there. No red tape, which is another term for government-enforced standards directed at protecting the public.

Fidel

China has over 1600 ISO 9000/14000 certified companies. In some areas, like car emissions, their standards are higher than in the U.S. They've got a long way to go still wrt labour rights, but they've also come a long way.

There are dozens of struggling third world capitalist countries today which were actually miles ahead of China in 1950 in dozens of areas of human development. And now they're behind China since 1976 and struggling more than ever with unfulfilled promises for a capitalist economic long run.

jeff house

quote:


In some areas, like car emissions, their standards are higher than in the U.S.

On paper.

In the real world, China simply does not enforce its standards.

It has paper standards both for autos and for coal plants, but somehow, inexplicably, its cities have 10 times the air pollution that Los Angles has. Los Angeles!

[url=http://pubs.wri.org/pubs_content_text.cfm?ContentID=1431]check the graph here[/url]

Fidel

That doesn't say anything about car emissions standards in China, Jeff. China's a big, developing country with four times the population of the U.S. We don't want to think what might happen if every Chinese person consumed and polluted at American or Canadian levels.

Jeff, we've got one of, if not the highest rates of cancer right here in North America. The U.S. isn't clean, Jeff. "Cancer Alley , a 100 mile stretch of Petrochemical plants and plastics factories between Laplace and Baton Rouge, is infamous for high rates of cancer and "other" health problems. European countries won't accept Canadian beef because they're fed antibiotics and growth hormones. We are slowly but surely falling into line with everything American. That's what deep integration, SPP and NAU are about. U.S. and Canadian refusals to abide by Kyoto should set off alarm bells for those of us concerned about the environment and a sustainable future for the next generations.

I think criticism can be productive for certain countries if it's done with an intent to fix problems not for the sake of political expediency and deflecting blame here. If the things we're doing are just as bad or worse, then what's the point ?.

[ 10 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by jeff house:
[b]It has paper standards both for autos and for coal plants, but somehow, inexplicably, its cities have 10 times the air pollution that Los Angles has. Los Angeles!

[url=http://pubs.wri.org/pubs_content_text.cfm?ContentID=1431]check the graph here[/url][/b]


Ah! The governator is now Caleefornia's greenernator, or something with his hydrogen highway and get tough on pollution agenda. Arnold is clearly not your typical hawk in this regard.

At the same time, I think California's energy conservation and efficiency is something our nuclear-powered Liberals in Ontario should try first before jumping on the neo-nuclear bandwagon. They want to give us another Darlington nuclear fiasco instead.

Sean in Ottawa

I don't think we have to blame ourselves for China's publicity problems.

the story of developpers bribing city officials to get the police out of the way so they can bring in the Chinese mafia to blugeon people into giving up their poor apartments for development disgusts people as it should-- we are disgusted by the fact that the parts of human beings are inventoried, the people kept alive like a plant for harvest and then sold for profit-- we are just not disgusted enough to do something about it as a country

the story about the CPC decreeing that you can't reincarnate without permission of the CPC or from out of China makes them a laughing stock-- although we laugh less when we look at what they do to Tibet

the story about them making internet cops more user friendly while they deny civil liberties makes us realize how out of touch they are

the fraud and deception from chinese government and business over every topic including safety of products (remembering the babies who died of fake formula starting a long list of such stories) makes people worry

the treatment of their workers, children and citizens makes us, or should make us, feel a little guilty about our support for their regime.

We listen to our government talk about constructive engagement uncritically as we pretend that this load of BS actually means anything. Show me where constructive engagement has ever worked (it is code for make a buck exploiting the people of a country without feeling guilt) There is only one example where a government changed partly using peaceful pressure from outside. That example is South Africa-- it wasn't engagement that worked it was the fact that the world said fixing their problem was a prerequisite to playing in the world community.

I think it is a shame we are going to the Olympics glorifying and approving of this regime in the way we did in 1936.

This is not racism. I love the Chinese. My partner is Chinese. I think this was a great civilization and an ingenious people who deserve human rights. I think the horrible stories coming from China are a testament to what happens with an unaccountable government. This government and our support for it (for profit and greed) is a tremendous diservice to the Chinese people.

This tarting up of our participation with China as something good for their people is a nasty rationalization where we do not accept our responsibility for what we do with our buying power. Even the Chinese government have pointed out this problem by sayign the faulty products are created by our greed and pressure in buying-- they just don't complete the picture with a real description of what our constructive engagement is actually doing to China.

The only hope would be if the middle class in China gets enough power to actually force a change but that is not happening. They are for the most part so risk averse after Tienamen square that they will do nothign to risk their personal economic victories and rather choose not to discuss politics in the hope that their own families can survive the mess of a political, economic and environmental disaster that occurs around them.

No, it is not up to us to tell them how to run their country but we should not pretend that the billions we spend there into that system is not already interference keeping that nasty situation in place.

As far as the bad stories are concerned, maybe we should all clip them out of the paper and send them to the embassy with the question -- is this how you want the world to see your great country and civilization?

Fidel

I think one of the reasons our own stoogeocrats tend to avoid a diplomatic war of words is that the Chinese have pointed to Canada's history of abuse with native people in reply to our would-be bravehearts in Ottawa. Takes the wind right out of their sails.

Maysie Maysie's picture

quote:


Sean: This is not racism. I love the Chinese. My partner is Chinese.

Oh no you didn't! [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

Just a teensy widdle FYI for Sean, the above phrase is the exact opposite of a "get out of being accused of racism" card.

quote:

Sean: The only hope would be if the middle class in China gets enough power to actually force a change but that is not happening. They are for the most part so risk averse after Tienamen square that they will do nothign to risk their personal economic victories and rather choose not to discuss politics in the hope that their own families can survive the mess of a political, economic and environmental disaster that occurs around them.

Hm, now what country does that sound like.....

Fidel

Yep, the CPC is playing at capitalism now with their "special economic zones", and they're pretty good at it, too. China's middle class is said to be the size of the U.S. population.

Sean in Ottawa

okay-- when I said I love the Chinese and that my partner was Chinese I meant that as two separate statements supporting the same point not any causation here-- okay. Didn't even occur to me that it would be read that way...

Unionist

Does your partner know about his/her 1.3 billion rivals?

Sorry, I couldn't resist, don't be mad at me please.

Sean in Ottawa

I deserve that--
I normally am a decent writer and don't say things I don't mean but when I looked at it later it was pretty funny- especially as it was 100% inadvertant.
But it is all good-- sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves.
That said- I must admit that I prefer only one of the genders so it would be substantially fewer than 1.3 billion rivals even if I restricted myself to Chinese.
And I think things could get worse-- if I say it is not because you are Chinese then she could say so now you are saying I have 2 billion rivals?

(Of course she really has no rival or comparaison)