Why is everyone so scared of China?


#121

wow. really?

this isn’t a pissing contest, and this isn’t a personal attack. The fact that you say you “whacked me in some 9-11 attack”, - wow, I have no memory of that … and how many years ago was that? -just says you are oversensitive (and maybe revisionist). geez, and this is just tripe:

Enigma wrote: [quote]However, you suggest that the economic interests of MNC corporations should override the health, safety and incomes of the average American.[/quote]

I never said that, and it’s annoying that you would twist my words. What I have said is that these MNCs’ interests are quite powerful and need to be confronted ie they are an obstacle.

  1. In this depression, I’ve heard many people simply blame China for US problems. I just don’t buy it. Yes, there’s a trade imbalance, and yes, manufacturing has shifted, yes, it’s quite a large problem. Yes, it’s easy to blame China. Yes, consumers COULD choose to boycott goods and organize. BUT:
    a) US economic problems are larger and more complicated than the China issue alone.
    b) people on the internet just blurt out knee-jerk reactionary things like “ban all China imports” (without anything else) is laughable, because that’s really not helpful. Americans overspending, spending into debt, living a life they couldn’t afford, and then irrationally expecting all their real estate investments to flip with massive profit (or using equity in their homes irrationally), not saying that’s you, but a lot of folks on the internet, gets old. China as a boogeyman gets old. yes, it’s a problem, but there are many problems in the US we can fix first (you mention special interests, I would add investment in training, education, fixing tax code, etc.).

And also, if you re-read my post, I have mentioned that I would like to hear your thoughts on how this could be done as a practical matter (other than the government needs to somehow magically come up with political will which you seem to suggest).

  1. I have in previous threads mentioned that brand items like Nike shoes appear to me to not have changed prices much since, say, the 80s (afaik), and I have argued to others who readily castigate China that it’s the US companies who keep the lion’s shares of the “savings” rather than being all passed on to the consumer for many such products, so no I haven’t “changed” my position on that (it’s just that my example of shoes might not have been the best one). On the other hand, it seems to me, that many white-brand goods seem to be very cheap because of China and all Americans have benefited from this. This is an example of having one’s cake and eating it too; and I argue it’s a habit/expectation which needs to change or be dealt with before one simply bans all Chinese goods. Because suddenly a struggling family may have one parent out of a job and going from paycheck to paycheck AND also not be able to afford to buy things they needed from Walmart. What happens to those people? Aren’t they one of the struggling American families you seem to be defending? Or do they just have to eat bitterness while your plan magically evolves? ( But I would agree that Americans should wean themselves off the idea of cheap goods without some sort of trade-off/cost if they want to tackle this problem ie. some poster mentioned the union guys who upped their wages for their production and then turned around and bought cheap Chinese goods for their consumption).

  2. I have never said that Apple’s bottom line should outweigh a family’s means to a living. That’s just silly. My point was simply, these MNCs and other companies who are tied into the Chinese economy are too heavily invested (in expansion in China, in selling Chinese products in the US, or some ancillary service like shipping) AND are too powerful politically speaking; they have to be dealt with. You wishing to turn back the clock without any suggestion of how to deal with the immense obstacles is what I’m criticizing as laughable, that is, your “solution” of simply banning imports rather than the idea that the US needs to rebuild X,Y,Z which I think is sensible (and I’ve already said a specific ban on products we suspect or know to be harmful is a rational first step that I support). I’ve also made a post about Andy Grove’s idea to rebuild manufacturing (and its ancillary effect of growing R&D) which I support. I’m not defending the CCP, the MNCs, etc. -geez!

  3. The other problem I see with a simple ban on Chinese imports is that it doesn’t necessarily result in US manufacturing moving back to the US. It might just go elsewhere like Vietnam, India, Mexico, etc. Then you just create a multi-headed dragon. How are you going to encourage US companies to build factories in the US under current conditions and then compete with cheap labour abroad (of course, you could make high-end goods like some of the Europeans, but that doesn’t solve the entire problem)? What about the US Tax Code? it’s pretty f’ed up; you blaming China for that one too? And the focus/attraction in America on financial services (rather than encouraging more engineers for example, whose fault is that?

  4. I also said that a complete ban would trigger a trade war; that would hurt US companies doing business in China too. And before we say, hey, we don’t care about these MNCs (or rather they are less important than my family, etc.), what about those small companies struggling or at least not making billions off cheap labour, or those regular Americans (not Apple top executives) who depend on that job at the MNC, say, based in Shanghai. In any trade war, they will suffer. Do they deserve to lose their jobs, perhaps even their entire company? Maybe they’ve got a family to feed too. Is this their fault? We have several Forumosans in that position, I think. Do they deserve to lose their shirts or jobs, because the Prez back home suddenly endorses Enigma’s Complete and Non-Temporary Ban on All Chinese imports? And politically, this is probably gonna create another Cold War. Yay. great.

  5. Ultimately, I think people who think blaming China is the answer to their problems are myopic. You yourself mentioned special interests/lobbying problems in the government. Will that end because we’ve cut off Chinese imports? Whose fault was that? You argued for people taking back control of their own government away from special interests, and we can both agree on that. But certainly you must agree, that is not a China problem. And as I’ve argued, cutting off China doesn’t mean you’ve dealt with this problem, and therefore doesn’t mean you’re going to rebuild the US. which is why, again in previous posts, I would like to hear (from everyone) a more practical plan rather than just wishful thinking or unrealistic vision. I do agree that the US needs to do something to rebuild its domestic economic strength, but how do we get there? I’m not saying it’s laughable because it can’t be done at all, I’m just more interested in knowing how it can be done.

I’ll start with this interesting post by F. Zakaria who among other comments, talks about massive investments and avoiding blaming other countries for our problems (e.g. overconsumption and debt-driven economy is of our own doing). and what I really like is he agrees with Mayor Bloomberg: give all foreign students who graduate from US universities with certain degrees (that we see as useful) green cards; they are highly educated, probably highly motivated and productive people - why let them go back to their home country instead of encouraging them to stay?

edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/ … eate.jobs/


#122

OK OK, I know the pimp slaps are coming and I realize this is an IP thread and there’s been some seriously cogent discussion going on, but I’d like to (briefly) take it down to the common man, and that is to say, on a personal level, I am not in any way, shape, or form scared or afraid of the Chinese or the Chinese gov’t. In fact, I pity them, but not in a starving-Ethiopian-orphan sort of way, but more like a frat-boy-at-a-keg-party sort of way. As is the case with many of us who have been to the mainland and experienced Chinese culture first-hand, I consistently come away with the impression that these people, particularly their leaders, are fucking scared out of their minds, and historically, you can’t blame them. China has been cut-up and redistributed more times than a deck of cards at a World Series of Poker event. Now, all that aside, economically and politically, China is essentially that frat boy who posts up at the keg and drinks himself into a stupor over and over again, no matter how many times he paints the walls with his vomit, he’s right back there at the keg next weekend, expecting a different result – which is the definition of ignorance and stupidity. Who knows? Maybe frat boy is not even worried about the results.

Dare I say anyone who contributes to this thread ought to get over to China and have a gander at what they’re up against over there, before weighing in on diplomatic or military strategy. It’s easy to sit over here in China Lite (Taiwan) and say, oh well, the CCP is doing this bcuz the US is doing this. Nuh-uh. They’ve got a billion people running around like cockroaches under a heat lamp, and a majority of them are uneducated, indoctrinated savages lacking the common sense to wipe their asses after a bowel movement. Whose fault is that? Mao’s? Maybe. Go over there and take a good look at what they’re doing. Count the number of massive construction projects that have been abandoned half-way through. Take a boat ride down one of the open sewers that used to be rivers. Gaze in awe at mountainside after mountainside that’s been scraped away in search of minerals. Walk among the people in the streets who make less in a month than you spend at Starbucks every morning. But the point is, no matter what the Chinese decide to do about the yuan, or Taiwan, or any other issue that’s got people running scared, you’ve got to remember who the wizard is behind the curtain. He’s Chinese, and for that we’ve got nothing to be afraid of.


#123

Regarding China’s cost savings passed on…

There is some truth in that but not too much, probably the line of ‘cost savings’ was passed about 10 years ago for most quality stuff. If it was so cost saving how come Taiwanese like to buy any type of solid mechanical appliances that are made in Taiwan or Japan, not China? Even if some of the non-brand stuff was cheaper than before, that didn’t stop people spending more than they had previously as they probably thought they were getting deals on a lot of low quality stuff (see below).

I think another part of the problem was Westerners (I’m including my own country here too) got into the habit of buying tonnes of crap in stores and on TV shopping channels, literally whole garages full of crap that’s used once or twice and then thrown out, much of it bought on credit too. The whole world seems to have become very materialistic , the new religion for a long time was all about earning money to spend it. Nobody makes anything anymore, kids costumes, clothes, furniture, people throw out rather than repair or the devices are so flimsy or so complex electronically they cannot be repaired. I guess it’s okay to be such a consumerist society as long as the goods are actually made in your own country…but if not that’s going to cause problems obviously.


#124

I think the whole “China is a threat” hype is overblown. True, their economy is posting double digit growth. But eventually this will slow due to several factors. China’s population is aging because of the one-child policy. In fifty years, China’s aging population and huge male to female ratio will bear down heavily on the economy, creating demand for entitlement services. Unless reform is pursued, the government isn’t likely to deliver sufficiently on entitlement programs. This will put strain on the Chinese consumer to save more and spend less, hurting domestic demand in China’s economy in the long run.

Continued environmental degradation will also slow economic growth. China’s environment is garbage. Local officials are eager to make money and impress their bosses in Beijing. So they will continue to ignore environmental regulations. China’s top-down structure and lack of an independent judiciary makes enforcing environmental regulations difficult. China is running short of water. They’re building an expensive south-to-north pipeline to divert water from the south to feed the capital and the arid north, which is slowing turning into desert. People and farmers in the south are already complaining about the water diversion.

China’s economy will eventually slow due to these demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental timebombs, which means less money for military spending.


#125

[quote=“Enigma”]
“Apple” Why the hell did they go to China anyway? And, why the hell should I care about Apple over the health and safety of my family? It was because Apple wanted to screw the American labor force to their own ends. Profit? Do I worry about Apple’s economic interests? Not even for one instant. And, I am surprised that you would.[/quote]

Why did Apple go to China? I would suggest the last thing they wanted to do was screw the American labor force, they still have thousands of employees in the US, and generate billions of dollars in sales, which when combined with other companies like Microsoft, Google and so on are very important industries for the US. You may not care about them, but these companies support hundreds of thousands of Americans, their families and provide finance and safety to them.

A lot of companies resist a move to China precisely out of loyalty to their own employees, sometimes almost to the point of bankruptcy. For example, Apple wants to produce a MacBook Pro or something, they will still have large numbers of American employees working on design, Marketing, Sales, product evaluation and testing.

But when it comes to manufacturing, they can choose to either use a company like Quanta, who make notebooks for everyone, Sony , Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba. Pretty much the whole lot, who do this on a regular basis, have the facilities, have the equipment, have the experience to get the job right quickly and at low cost. Or because out of loyalty to the US workforce try to do all that in the states, requiring massive amounts of resources, slowing down your ability to make a product, having to acquire the manufacturing knowledge giants in manufacturing like Quanta or Foxconn, having to source components, molding companies, as well as the equipment required for production which as an investment is only worthwhile to these companies because they manufacture for so many other companies and at low profit margins.

I’m sorry, option 2 will put most companies out of business, American companies with American employees all spending money in the American economy. Ban China imports? Sorry that really is a joke, where do you suppose rare earth minerals come from? You dont think companies have experienced tarrifs on certain products from China before? I can tell you they certainly have, and do you know what they do? They produce in Thailand, South America or India, not in the USA.


#126

Just ban the crap chinese imports.

like that Bruce Lee guy, what’s his name? Jackie Chan, yeah. Ban all Jackie Chan movies.


#127

Lots of countries. Australia has some of the largest reserves of rare earths in the world. New minesin Australia are about to come online producing these materials. It takes several years to get to production.


#128

[quote=“urodacus”]Just ban the crap Chinese imports.

like that Bruce Lee guy, what’s his name? .[/quote]

Yeah except Bruce Lee was an American. lol


#129

Lots of countries. Australia has some of the largest reserves of rare earths in the world. New minesin Australia are about to come online producing these materials. It takes several years to get to production.[/quote]

Edit: found some info in Wiki:

guess Canada and Australia seem to have large reserves not yet online. …


#130

blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/11 … NY_NY_Blog

Mayor Bloomberg on China and the US.


#131

Jack Burton: Great long post above. I am struck by the fact that America seems to be at a very interesting crossroads right now. A lot of people seem really rattled. It will be very interesting to see how the next decade pans out.


#132

So… another slavery scandal. apparently some company “hired” disabled workers, then forced them to work for no pay (supposedly paying a impossibly low agency fee to a sham company), feeding them dog food. good gracious, the management should be shot.

thestandard.com.hk/news_deta … 01215&fc=4

not that I think china is alone in this. I’m sure much of the Middle East has slavery. It’s well known many companies in South America use slavery. Sounds like many of those Eastern European Slavic countries are still into Slavery.


#133

It also speaks of the moral bankruptcy of many in the West (including me, probably) in that we still buy products from these places without knowing (or caring) that these things go on on such a major scale. If we saw it happening in our own backyards, we’d be outraged, but it’s out of sight, out of mind. They say people get the governments they deserve, well the rest of the world is getting the China we deserve. China is the mirror held up to all of us, and frankly, we don’t care how ugly the reflection is, so long as the mirror was cheap.


#134

Nobody really cared in the first place. Hell the west had child labour first. If you ban countries from hiring kids you’ll start seeing a lot of problems (mainly prostitution). Kids in many LEDC’s work not because they are forced to, it’s because they are desperately poor. Handing out aid like candy doesn’t help either.


#135

as a policy advisor for Britain, from my point of view, the world is not exactly ‘scared’ of China

regards to ur questions, either US or EU (include britain) really want see a currency/trade war between States and China, Chinese economy is simply too large to dispute with, If US label China as a currency manipulator, that will destabilise entire international capitalist system, drag down the world GDP growth rate by 1%-2%, Taiwan will not benefit either. Certain American congressmen do want label China as currency manipulator but they are not majority.

Japanese released Chinese fishing boat captain, partially bcoz Chinese arrested few japanese in return, but most likely, I believe is caused by American pressure. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it very clear: US does not want see the heat between China and Japan goes too far. As two regional superpowers, a Chinese-Japanese conflict will disrupt all regional trade/investment, etc. It is not in America’s interest.

Realism is the dominant philosophy of Anglo-American foreign policies these days, Chinese do have a very bad record of Human/Labour Rights, lack the Rule of Law, corrupt, and aggressive towards Taiwan. BUT, if any attempt which mean to correct China on these issues may will harm West’s own interest, then it is NOT an option.

Hope you find my comment useful and nobody needs to agree with me :slight_smile:


#136

Kane.Luo: In theory, what you’re saying makes sense. However, there are some problems with it, the main ones being to do with how constituencies in the West view the effects of the rise of Asia (and China in particular).

In theory, the pie should grow for everyone, so that even if China’s slice is growing faster, it’s in everyone’s interests that the current trend continues. However, if there is at least the perception amongst American or British (or other) voters that this isn’t the case, and that China is the sole beneficiary (at their expense), then there will be a real temptation to rebel at the ballot box and elect politicians who are far less sympathetic to China.

There may also be the thought that the longer they wait (and thus, the more China closes the gap in economic, political and military power), the harder it will be to tackle China in the future. I would say that unless America and Britain really manage to tackle their structural decline, at some point within the next five to ten years, there will be a tipping point towards real nationalism in the West. If Obama were to get kicked out at the next election (a distinct possibility unless the Republicans stick a complete idiot hated by half the country – such as Sarah Palin – up as their candidate), and then a Republican couldn’t wave a magic wand and fix structural decline and was also facing the possibility of being a one-termer, then Americans would have lived through a decade of very unpleasant economic conditions. I can’t see that people anywhere in the world would be happy with that and wouldn’t want to point the finger at someone else. Expect the anti-China rhetoric to be ramped up significantly by both parties at that point. Empires rarely fade quietly into the night.

The other problem with the theory of globalisation and free-trade is that even assuming that the West engages in that (which it doesn’t), it presupposes that everyone has the same objective. China doesn’t. China is looking out for China, which is fair enough, but the West is a collection of mugs if it believes China is paying anything other than lip service (if that) to such concepts. So far, it’s been convenient enough for the West to ignore it because there have been enough cheerleaders for the globalisation cause. Because of the above, I just can’t see that happening for that much longer.

I wonder what China makes of all of this. Surely it realises that it’s only a matter of time before things come to a head, so it must be thinking about how to avert that for as long as possible so it can grow as strong as possible by the time it does come to a head, but it must also be thinking about how to deal with it when it does come to a head.


#137

On another note, I see the PRC “leaked” some photos of their new J-20 stealth fighter.
I find this comment interesting, and pretty much spot on:

[quote]But the U.S. Defense Department said it wasn’t worried about the reports.

“It is not of concern that they are working on a fifth-generation fighter,” Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said, since the Chinese are “still having difficulties with their fourth-generation fighter.”[/quote]

Of course the US has the F-22 Raptor (187, then stopped production) and the F-35 Lighting II. I’d still back the US in the air any day of the week and twice on Sundays.


#138

Alas, a US defense expert was explaining on one of the lists the other day that the F-35 is being built under the assumption that the F-22 will be there to clear the airspace for it. Without the F-22 it will be less effective.

Also, there is no way we’ll see that many F-35s. Count on it. The US is going to have to push Japan and Indian to ramp up their fighter forces.

Brrrr… What we’re heading for is a nightmare.


#139

[quote=“Vorkosigan”]Alas, a US defense expert was explaining on one of the lists the other day that the F-35 is being built under the assumption that the F-22 will be there to clear the airspace for it. Without the F-22 it will be less effective.

Also, there is no way we’ll see that many F-35s. Count on it. The US is going to have to push Japan and Indian to ramp up their fighter forces.

Brrrr… What we’re heading for is a nightmare.[/quote]
Yes, I was surprised the stopped production of the F-22. And I agree, I doubt they’ll produce that many F-35s. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-start F-22 production or produce an F-22 B. However, rumblings do tend to indicate that the US may scale back on military expenditure, although I guess that will also greatly depend on who is in the White House from 2012 onwards.


#140

f-22 is an absolutely awesome plane. there is nothing you cannot do when flying it.

they will make more when necessary, sukhois notwithstanding.