China #2

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George Victor
China #2

 

US-China Rivalry Intensifies

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/pers-j09.shtml

"Last year it was fashionable to talk of an energy 'G2'. The US, the world's largest economy, and China, its rising rival, would come together to resolve global problems - in particular the international crisis wracking capitalism.

These illusions have rapidly evaporated this year, as the Obama administration signals a harder line towards China with a series of provocative moves, including the sale of advanced weapons to Taiwan and a planned meeting with the Dalai Lama.

These significant symbolic steps follow the imposition of hefty US tariffs on a range of Chinese goods from steel pipes and steel grate to tires.

Barely hidden is the growing military rivalry.."

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hi George.

This belongs in International news and politics. I'm going to move it there.

George Victor

The list of questions I posted - even while the mod was deciding at this early hour to end the discussion - will be (mercifully) reduced to one...albeit a stream of consciousness one.

While we have been presented in the previous thread with a prodigious stream of growing problems to surmount in the increasingly dangerous growth of what will probably become the world's biggest, environmentally most voracious economy - just what can we in Canada propose to do for the worker of China without the further erosion of workers' futures here, and the extension to China of our historical relationship with the U.S. through a comprador PM., selling out the kids' birthrights while playing environmental deniers to world investors?

I put this question because I don't believe that the Canadian worker is going to tolerate dithering on questions of his/her livelihood and future prospects for very much longer...important as international solidarity remains for discussion purposes. I'd hate to see the political right fill the practical void.

 

NoDifferencePar  will recognize his final posting in the previous thread as the initial one in China #2.  And I hope that Joey Ramone will recognize his concerns in those I have posted here.

(And please, Fidel, no more lessons from "history". We need you to step forward with policy proposals of direct relevance now...

Fidel

George Victor wrote:
(And please, Fidel, no more lessons from "history". We need you to step forward with policy proposals of direct relevance now...

Welcome to the multi-polar century? I think that the best foreign policy that any country can have is to build democracy in one country first and foremost as an example for other countries to follow. In this way we pave the road to socialism in one country. And if enough countries can eventually be transformed into advanced democracies, perhaps then a quiet revolution around the world will take place and leading to global socialism. Socialism or barbarism? Barbarism is pretty much the road the world has taken, and especially so since 1991. And countries like China and Russia are well aware of the military encirclement of their countries since dissolution of the USSR, and they are acutely aware of the continued financing of the US Military at cold war levels.

China is investing $220 billion into research and development of green energy technologies. I think that is a very good policy and something that can be viewed as a gesture of good intentions by the rest of the world.

George Victor

George Victor wrote:
(And please, Fidel, no more lessons from "history". We need you to step forward with policy proposals of direct relevance now...

Fidel "China is investing $220 billion into research and development of green energy technologies. I think that is a very good policy and something that can be viewed as a gesture of good intentions by the rest of the world." 

THey will sell those technologies to us, Fidel, even while the extraction of resources mounts to a frenzy across Africa and South America. 

"Good intentions" your ....ass...umption.

Fidel

And what will our colonial administrators sell to China that isn't spoken for already by corporate America? We need to work toward creating some form of democracy and sovereign rule of our own country before the CPC will take notice of Ottawa, George. It's no wonder to me why Wen Jiabao scolded little boy Harper for straying too far from his outpost in Ottawa. We need legit leaders of our own to be taken seriously by the CPC.

George Victor

Certainly not leaders who salivate at the prospect of selling them bitumen from the Tar Patch.....    :D

Fidel

I think the CPC may have secret state of the art weapons labs deep in the mountains somewhere, George. Like Stalin and the Sovs did. And who could blame them. They remember MacArthur and his plan for Asia, we can be sure.

NDPP

China 'Strongly' Urges US to Immediately Stop Arms Sales to Taiwan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2010-01/09/content_12782345.htm

"The US arms sales to Taiwan undermined China's national security, He Yafei told Xinhua.

This was the sixth official annoucement made by China over the issue in a week."

 

Fidel

[url=http://www.opednews.com/articles/Afghanistan-only-the-firs-by-michael-pa... winning the grand chess game in Central Asia[/url] Diplomacy mightier than sword

George Victor

And here I thought that diplomacy  without military backup had all the substance of a fiddler's fart? (Pearson's brokerage role in the middle east in 1956 being an exception).

Fidel

George Victor wrote:
And here I thought that diplomacy  without military backup had all the substance of a fiddler's fart? (Pearson's brokerage role in the middle east in 1956 being an exception).

And I believe that this is why Jack Layton says diplomacy is needed in Afghanistan. The Taliban and women's rights are not going concerns for NATO, are they, George? The real issues need hashing out between all countries involved and an exit plan for NATO spelled out in detail for them. We need Jack the diplomat in Ottawa not the vicious toadies that are there and embarrassing Canadians every time they nod up and down in rapid agreement with warmongering plutocrats in Warshington.

George Victor

You are spiraling into another geographic area, Fidel.  Take a break...with your Atlas. Then let's have the latest on Jack on CHINA. Please.

Fidel

It's all relevant to China, George. Our stooges have put Canadian troops on China's frontier. It's not our neighborhood.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/01/10/china-exports.html]China overtakes Germany as biggest exporter[/url]

If the Liberals want to distribute maple leaf flag pins made in China, and now the conservatives want to sell them to unemployed Canadians, too, then where do we draw the line? We can be sure the Chinese are'n't buying national symbols made by Canadian workers.

 

 

 

George Victor

Yes, that's sort of what I'm also bitter about...the unemployed Canadian workers bit. Not sure where we're poised to invade.

Fidel

George Victor wrote:
Yes, that's sort of what I'm also bitter about...the unemployed Canadian workers bit. Not sure where we're poised to invade.

The CPC want Canada's military to kiss Uncle Sam's ass anywhere else but on their front doorsteps. It's an obscene thing to have view from anyone's front window. And I imagine if Harper and Iggy were to do this arse-kissing anywhere in the viscinity of our own Western hemisphere would prolly suit the CPC just fine.

 

George Victor

Is that the Communist Party of China, Fidel, or the Conservative Party of Canada.  You lost me.

Fidel

George Victor wrote:

Is that the Communist Party of China, Fidel, or the Conservative Party of Canada.  You lost me.

Our own CPC allow supranational energy companies to dictate Canada's national energy policy(see Monbiot's description of Canada as a corrupt petro-state).

Whereas the Asian version of the CPC are competing with western world energy companies for what's left of fossil fuel reserves in fueling that country's unprecedented in world history industrial expansion. With neoliberal globalization of state-capitalism, the emphasis has move more toward hemispheric influence and control than continental. Corporate America has siphoned off most all of our cheapest and easily accessed proven reserves of crude and natural gas. Soon it will no longer be enough to pay them to take it off our collective hands. China is a real country with real leaders, whereas Canada has been a colony and preserve of natural resource wealth for British, French, and now a US corporate empire to raid at will. It's an unwritten rule that Canada's colonial administrators shall not create competition against private enterprise. Asia's state "capitalists" are competing,  and they are winning.

Our capitalists are under the illusion that they can rule the world monetarily since abandoning investment in productive labour economy beginning in the late 1970's-80's.

"When money arrives, all is green, bustle and abundance. And when it leaves, all is trampled down, barren and bare" old Chnese proverb

"Where the military is, prices are high" an even older Chinese proverb

 

Joey Ramone

This is why I gave up posting in this thread.  I'm interested in talking about how to best support the interests of the hyper exploited workers of China and it's colonies, but as long as the gang of corrupt thugs who rule China cynically call themselves the "Communist" Party of China, all such discussion will be derailed by obfuscation about whether their capitalists are more efficient than our capitalists. 

George Victor

I agree, JR.  Fidel's may not be "planned" obfuscation, but simply "babble". One could consider not reading it and go for consideration of the workers' in China, but I have no idea where one would start to find exactly where those workers, in their great variety, are at, politically. Do you?

Fidel

The thread title just says, 'China' And we should support their right to protest working conditions (~60,000 times a year in China) by raising a little cane ourselves. As things are today, Canadians and Americans are afraid to step off the curb or protest outside time limits set by the authorities. Canadians wouldn't say shit if they were neck-deep in it and had a mouthful. Chinese workers become agitated if economic growth falls below six percent. Canadian workers have never been agitatated in such a way, because we've never known a six percent economy in our working lives. In that vein, Canada's army of unemployed and under-employed need some actual working conditions to protest against.

NDPP

Joey Ramone wrote:

This is why I gave up posting in this thread.  I'm interested in talking about how to best support the interests of the hyper exploited workers of China and it's colonies, but as long as the gang of corrupt thugs who rule China cynically call themselves the "Communist" Party of China, all such discussion will be derailed by obfuscation about whether their capitalists are more efficient than our capitalists. 

NDPP

Keep trying JR. It's important and will become more so. Do you know China Labour Bulletin?

Going It Alone

http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/100507

 

 

 

Fidel

We have 200,000 migrant farm workers from Latin America in Canada who have no rights to EI, pensions, or health care that come with citizenship rights. Many of them have worked in Canada for 20 or more years. This is just an example of what we need to protest against in our Northern Panama in a show of solidarity with workers around the world.

Fidel

[url=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/LA12Cb01.html]Henry CK Liu[/url] writes about capitalism and problems associated with low wages and overcapacity of production:

Quote:
China needs to accelerate its domestic development with sovereign credit denominated in Chinese currency to proportionally reduce its excessive dependence on export for dollars financed by foreign capital in dollars. China needs to denominate its export trade in Chinese currency to break free from dollar hegemony. This is the key strategy for positively influencing a new world economic order of universal justice to replace current predatory terms of international trade under dollar hegemony.[...]

In conclusion, China can exert a positive influence on a new world economic order by setting an example with its own national development policy. To achieve this goal, China needs to adopt the following policy initiatives: [see henry Liu's impressive list of recommendations for China

And China is half way there already with state-owned central bank and investments banks financing infrastructure projects and now a commitment by the CPC to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on universal health care and 30,000 hospitals and clinics across China.

 

Joey Ramone

I am familiar with the China Labour Bulletin.  Here's an article from the CLB about a brave woman who sued after CPC controlled union rep recommended that she be fired after she was sexually harassed by her boss: http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/100639

NDPP

Thanks for both!

Joey Ramone

Union organizing is a crime in China known as "disturbing social order".  Worker activists face long prison time.  Many activisits who are considered less of a threat to the elites are simply harassed or fired.  http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/100014

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Good intentions" your ....ass...umption.

 

Ha.  That's a rather puerile glazing on that glass house of yours.

George Victor

Just trying to emulate your one-liners oh student of rhetoric!  :D

Fidel

I think that our neocolonials at the time would have preferred Chiang Kai-shek and madame taken over China and hacked off pieces of it for the corporatocracy. We - or rather the supranational energy and other companies dictating things to our guys in Ottawa - would have eventually ended up competing with China for world resources whether they are Maoists or Confucian-capitalists beating our brains in with mixed market Keynesianism there anyway. It's the same thing with Russia since they integrated with western economies. That the USSR was a closed economy trading block of nations apparently didn't matter. Because since 1991, a US-led NATO has proceeded to encircle both China and Russia regardless. We could trade freely with Russia and China for whetever it is they have. I think the leaders of those countries realize now it's just a game, and their opponents are very psychotic.

Joey Ramone

"The workers have no formal organisation and their actions to date have been spontaneous and mostly short-lived. The strikes, protests and demonstrations that have occurred in recent years do, however, reflect problems and injustices encountered by workers across China and have the potential to turn the country's workforce into a more unified public voice." http://www.clb.org.hk/en/files/share/File/research_reports/workers_movem...

NDPP

China's 'Ant Tribe'

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LA15Ad02.html

"they are like ants: clever, weak and living in groups.."

Fidel

And it's a wonder that China hasn't turned inward like some countries have done in the face of military encirclement by NATO. Robert Gates spewed some gibberish in 2007 about China's defensive military buildup - something about China working to deny other countries the ability to threaten China militarily. What a thundering nitwit Gates is. This was coming from a military mouthpiece whose country spends more on war and occupations of other countries than the rest of the world combined.

Noah_Scape

And a good portion of what they spend on war and occupation goes to making sure that socialism does not spread... or is that all funded with the drug money?

Fidel

Noah_Scape wrote:
And a good portion of what they spend on war and occupation goes to making sure that socialism does not spread... or is that all funded with the drug money?

 I have no idea what it looks like in the larger scheme of things. Noah_Scape. I've been meaning to read something by Alfred McCoy or others. What do you think? Apparently the CIA forged ties with Afghan drug lords in the 1980s. I think that wherever weapons dealing, illicit drugs, or oil are concerned, the CIA etc and their organized crime friends are involved. Appaerently they've taken over from the Brits as kingpins of global drug dealing.

NDPP

US Bites The Hand That Feeds It

http://canada.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/70806

"Even though the US military budget is almost ten times that of China's (with a population more than four times as large) and Washington plans a record $708 Billion defense budget for next year compared to Russia spending less than $40 Billion last year for the same - China and Russia are portrayed as threats to the US and its allies. China has no troops outside its borders, Russia has a small handful in its former territories in Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia, and Transdniesler. The US has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in six continents.."

NDPP

China: US Waging Global Internet War

http://rt.com/usa/news/china-usa-internet-war/

"The Chinese military has accused the US of waging a global internet war against multiple nations..."

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It is important to remember that the 3 key countries supplying China with oil in Africa includes ... Libya. And the NATO rivals to China are furiously trying to appropriate the entire oil weath of that country over the barrel of a gun, using "rebel" proxies and the like.

The barely disguised NATO aim of overthrowing the Gadaffi regime by whatever means they can - including slaugtering civilians, using depleted uranium weapons, killing large groups of muslim peace actvitists and imans in Tripoli, etc, etc, etc - is clear to anyone who remains objective. And leaders from other oil rich countries - like Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez - have pointed out for quite some time that this was the likely course of events, predicted it even, and warned of the invevitable NATO atrocities that would follow.

George Victor

And back in China, the party leadership spend sleepless nights formulating appeals to the leaders of the resource-rich nations coming under their protection to keep workers' rights in mind.Laughing

Sean in Ottawa

There are things that can be done to support worker's rights in China.

The government there is aware of the threat of unrest -- the need to bring more people in to the equation. They have already expressed a desire to see wages rise steadily so long as markets don't get cut off. They could be quite open to some leadership from countries like Canada with respect to our ethical purchasing-- provided we focus on what we are doing and buying rather than advice to them beyond that. I am sure they could be open to some kind of monitored exploitation free production so long as we were willing to pay the cost.

We have safety laws. We in fact can inspect plants there and we do. If Canadians wanted to identify the products made in China that provide a certain standard of wages or even environmental standards and we were willing to pay more for those products-- this would happen. The Chinese government will not stand in our way if we want to reduce our exploitation. The blaming of the Chinese government for western exploitation is a nice cover to avoid guilt but it is a farce when considered practically. Already you can buy paper from China that is environmentally managed and paper as a result of stripping the earth of trees. We like the cheap stuff.

It is not the Chinese governemnt that wants to exploit the Chinese people and leave them poor living in poison it is the western market that wants this. Sure, governments all over the world will comply when we come waving dollars with the exploitation terms we offer but don't pretend for a moment that they would not prefer fairer treatment if we offered it.

You want to help oppressed Chinese workers? Well this can be done here. We can go after the people who market, buy, tax and sell the product of exploitation and modify those terms. Then let the Chinese do what they need to do from their end. When we stop being the problem -- they will find a solution. When we stop exploiting their people to our benefit, the people there will have more opportunities to build the kind of country they want, whether it meets our preferred ideal or not is not that relevant. Sorry but it is very much that simple.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The government there is aware of the threat of unrest -- the need to bring more people in to the equation. They have already expressed a desire to see wages rise steadily so long as markets don't get cut off. They could be quite open to some leadership from countries like Canada with respect to our ethical purchasing-- provided we focus on what we are doing and buying rather than advice to them beyond that. I am sure they could be open to some kind of monitored exploitation free production so long as we were willing to pay the cost.

I will be right behind you after the same organization gets off the ground in relation to our NAFTA partners.  The southern right to work states are making a come back with jobs returning to them precisely because of the anti-union government policy and the non existence employment standard laws.

We could hold up Honduras and Haiti as exemplary case studies.  Teach the Chinese from the work of the Canadian companies who in those countries have shown themselves to be world leaders in ethical buying practices. Our Canadian mining companies in South America would also be great role models for those barbaric Asian communists.  

Sorry I forgot that our Canadian companies have shown themselves to be world leaders in exploitation in Burma as well.  I'll give you the link to the real face of Canadian ethics in business.

http://www.cfob.org/mining.html

 IMO Canadians have nothing to teach anyone in this world about ethical business practices. 

George Victor

And who would claim that they have.

And back in the new, rising empire in the East...

6079_Smith_W

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It is not the Chinese governemnt that wants to exploit the Chinese people and leave them poor living in poison it is the western market that wants this. 

I take your point to a certain degree, in the context of the rest of your comment, so excuse me for focusing on this one point.

I seriously doubt there is no exploitation whatsoever on the part of the Chinese government. Perhaps - perhaps - it is not as bad as in western capitalist countries, but it is not absent.

And in the second place, if they don't want to allow the exploitation it seems to me they have the power to do somethign about at least some of it. THey are, after all, the government. And if they can't do anything about it, then what good are they and what is the point of the people cutting them any slack on the issues of freedom of expression, restrictions and human rights abuses?

THis is, after all, the only government in the world which compelled WalMart to accept unionization across the board as a cost of doing business in their country. They are not powerless.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

All Chinese citizens have the right to vote.  My understanding is that the vast majority of the Chinese population accepts the legitimacy of their government and the system they live under. Maybe their government is as representative of the peoples will as ours is. 

I would agree that the system has some inherent weaknesses that make it fundamentally undemocratic and thus incapable of doing much to curb the economic elite from getting the laws they want. Does anyone who posts on this board dispute that the same can be said about Canada?

Unlike in Canada where we are going backwards on employment standards they are starting to bring theirs up.  Unlike Canada they are investing heavily with public money in modern public transit to curb climate change.  Unlike Canada they are not currently part of an occupation force or conducting daytime bombing missions in densely packed cities. 

But hell those damn Chinese need us to teach them some moral superiority.  Damn heathens anyways.

George Victor

You keep firing volleys at a racist poster who does not exist. Come down off the chandelier.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Kiss

Sean in Ottawa

Did you miss my point already?

To make it clearer-- I am saying to those whose money exploits people in China look to how you spend your money rather than sending buckets of sanctimony overseas.

As for people in the US being exploited it is the same point-- exactly.

As I said if you set ethical standards for the products you buy then it does not matter where they come from and the benefits go wherever you spend. If you are not willing to insist that your money goes to environmentally friendly products where workers were paid a decent wage then you have nothing to say to the government of those countries about their exploitation of their own citizens-- American or Chinese.

I was not attacking China here-- I was pointing to the hypocrisy of buying cheap exploitation goods while offering the Chinese government advice on how to run their country. Hope that makes it clear.

And yes, if Canada really wanted to stop exploiting Chinese or US low paid workers we can regulate an end to that -- just as we at least in theory make child labour illegal. I am sure if we insisted on having the workers paid more the Chiense government and the factory owners would not object -- it is the demand for lower prices regardless of the human cost that is behind the exploitation. That demand is here and the means to reduce it is here as well. In that context why would the Chinese or US governments want to hear what we have to say on the matter?

Sean in Ottawa

I should clarify that there will always be loopholes but there is so far no attempt whatsoever to reduce the exploitation of the people who make the stuff we in the West use. I'd like to see some effort there.

 

George Victor

And there are rumblings from those countries where incredibly nasty things are being done to supply the rising empire with resources, human and natural.  Not that existing emp;res don't continue to practise awful things against both.  But at this time, western failures are far, far more transparent.  Lack of transparency apparently does not bother those who fly on faith.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

George Victor wrote:

And there are rumblings from those countries where incredibly nasty things are being done to supply the rising empire with resources, human and natural.  Not that existing emp;res don't continue to practise awful things against both.  But at this time, western failures are far, far more transparent.  Lack of transparency apparently does not bother those who fly on faith.

Incomprehensible.  Do you provide translations?

Sean in Ottawa

I too would like to know what you are talking about here George. Please try again.

I also would like more about why you think the West is that transparent-- I know some countries censor the general internet but that is not what we are talking about because that information gets out anyway. I am not convinced that western governments are all that more transparent when it comes to the kinds of things China and others actually manage to keep secret.

When it comes to the living conditions in China I believe that there is a great deal of evidence that the rulers there understand that they have a monopoly on power that would not survive much discontent. The government has openly spoken about its concerns that any downturn, any reduction in progress for higher wages by workers would cause civil disorder. We have to recognize that wealth distribution is more delicate in China given that its per capita income is so much lower than the West. Its progress comes with expectations for more people to share in it.

The government there is well aware that it can be toppled by discontent and that the economic well-being of its citizens is its priority in order to retain power. This motivation is the same in most countries. You may not like their system but in fact they have vulnerability to the same things as governments do here even if the process is different and less predictable or even distasteful from a Western perspective.

I remain convinced that the answer for China in many respects relates to the need for workers there to be able to retain more value for the work they provide. This is what the government needs in order to be more secure in the short term, it is what those who want progress and political change there needs and it is what the workers need. In many respects the conflicts you seem to believe are at the heart of this are not quite as clear. The well-being of the people, the short term interest of the government and the long term viability of future reforms all rely on the same things. Western help for China therefore, should come in a greater willingness to buy products not based on exploitation, to pay what things are worth rather than demand slave wages from workers there that would be illegal here. If we were willing to pay twice as much for an LCD TV constructed where the workers and the environment did not suffer, then I am sure the Chinese would be happy to make it for us under those conditions.

There is a reason the CPC in China retains in power-- ask any Chinese and they know it: it is the widespread belief that it can provide more stability and progress towards the future they want to see. While elections may not be as clear cut a mechanism there as here, the Chinese government is tolerated so long as it delivers progress and better living standards.

Canadians who wish to criticize need to recognize the impact of a per capita income less than a tenth of ours and how that affects national priorities.

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