Archive for September, 2007

Published September 9th, 2007 by Mliesie

China Inc.

Having just read ‘de Volkskrant’ (a Dutch newspaper) online, I again cannot feel somewhat disappointed about all the negative publicity concerning China. During my stay in Holland over the Summer, not a day went by without some news item on China. Most of them quite negative though, others not reliable (I can tell for sure after having lived here for a year now).

Mattresses had to be pulled out of stores because of a high concentration of pesticide, children’s toys had to be pulled out because the paint used contained lead, children’s clothes contained toxic paint, toothpaste contained dangerous iongredients, animal food had killed cats and dogs in the US, rice and riceproducts were unsafe, and so on.

But what do we expect in the Western world? We want cheap products, so we move our factories to China because of the cheap labour. After prices of labour have increased, we still want cheap products and expect the Chinese to deliver those to us. But how can they, when the price of, for instance paint without lead, is much more expensive? Ofcourse they will use the cheaper one, they are still businessmen and we, the rich Westerners, refuse to pay a better price!! So now we complain about all that is happening.

Fortunately, somebody said, we read that something is done about it. Yes! One of the businessmen has committed suicide, the other one was shot. Fantastic!

Where does that leave us with our human rights? We critisize the executions here in China, but a businessman being shot because of the ‘mistakes’ made is no problem?! What does that make us? Hypocrits, indeed!

Everyone seems to be focused on China nowadays, everyone seems to know how to change things for the better. I would like to suggest to some of you to come and live here and experience life in China, the problems it’s facing, the willingness to change things. Ofcourse I’m aware of what’s going on here, but let’s not just point at China. There are plenty of other, so-called civilised, developed and Western countries, that make similar mistakes, that face the some problems or worse.

Let’s be realistic and try to look at China both in a positive and negative way. There is so much more to it than all you hear and read in the media!