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China #2

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NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

China's 'Ant Tribe'

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

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


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

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
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

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
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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
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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
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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
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Joined: May 25 2003

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
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

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
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

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
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

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
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

And who would claim that they have.

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


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

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
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

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
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

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

 


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

Kiss


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

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
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

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
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

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
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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
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

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.


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

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.

I agree with this view totally.  

Their elections do form the base for the government.  The one ruling party system they live under is very strange to my eyes.  There are multiple parties but only one party may rule.   When I saw a program on China's school system I realized that the way into the ruling party was on what the Fraser Institute would call merit.  The high school students with the best scores on the nation wide exams are invited to not only attend the best schools in their area of excellence they are all invited into the ranks of the party.  Their structure channels the best and brightest into the party that under their constitution is deemed to be the ruling party.  

I have seen video of their Deputies putting forward proposals on the environment every bit as progressive as we hear in the House.  In the end the inner circles of the elite make the decisions in both our countries. 

 


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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?

How's this for class, monitors?


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

George-- you could take it as a critique of your post not of the person -- a little harsh but not way out of line.

I asked I think more politely the same question -- can you clarify because I have no idea what you are trying to say.


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

Northern Shoveler-- I think it is fair to say that neither of us are suggesting their system is without serious problems-- or making the claim that ours is either.

As well, I felt the need to point out that the challenges their country faces are not just different form ours but in most measurable respects more difficult. Canadian values and political realities are based on privileges many other countries do not share.

The company I keep includes as many Chinese as others. There is no question that there are criticisms, suggestions and heartache about some things that happen there that I am party to and share even. However, these ought to come from an appreciation of a Chinese context rather than solely a Canadian one and Canadians who want to help can do things to reduce their exploitation of Chinese workers -- along with that of any other workers.

I know this may be an idealist concept but I have long thought that we should have public consideration of the labour components for products -- much like an ingredients label on food. We should not punish whole countries but we can require those purchasing things for our market to require certain standards in those products when it comes to labour.

I am sure it would not come as a shock to many here that I would like to see a requirement that anything that comes from a factory of more than a certain number of people should be unionized-- If all products sold here had to be from union shops where workers were paid a certain amount then we could at the same time treat all source countries equitably and contribute to global progress. It would also be about focusing on our market rather than interfering in others.

I know some will say that unionization can mean different things in different places and that is where local law also must apply. In fairness we cannot insist that our labour laws be imposed on others but a minimum wage for products sold here is not unreasonable -- just as requiring that there not be high quantities of lead in children's toys. If we take out the exploitation in our market that is what addresses our responsibility. Then we can let other countries develop their systems without the interference of our exploitation and that alone is greater than any other influence we could hope for or presume to have the right to exert.


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am sure it would not come as a shock to many here that I would like to see a requirement that anything that comes from a factory of more than a certain number of people should be unionized-- If all products sold here had to be from union shops where workers were paid a certain amount then we could at the same time treat all source countries equitably and contribute to global progress. It would also be about focusing on our market rather than interfering in others.

State imposed unionization in Canada.  Awesome.  I would like to see that as well.  As long as its a free secret ballot vote for which union.

Any chance of getting the NDP to get on board and make it a campaign plank? 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Except not all unions are equal. Look at Saskatchewan's Bill 80. 

Make it mandatory and put the power in the hands of the government and it seems to me it is no longer in the hands of the workers where it belongs. 

I have no problem with choosing to buy only from union labour, but beyond that I think all we can do make the system as free as possible for workers to organize unions if they want to. And there is still plenty of work to be done on that front to undo the attacks and restrictions on that freedom.

 

 


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Except not all unions are equal. Look at Saskatchewan's Bill 80. 

Make it mandatory and put the power in the hands of the government and it seems to me it is no longer in the hands of the workers where it belongs. 

You missed where I SPECIFICALLY added that it had to be the workers who decide on the union that they want to represent them.  As long as the employer or government is not involved.  Having employers involved would be the worst scenario.  Like CLAC of other rat unions.  Also I have never read anything good in any country about state controlled unions so I don't even consider them unions. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I did read that, actually. I don't think it is always that easy to keep that choice free, whatever intentions we might have.

(edit)

And as I said, there is still plenty of work to be done to allow for a truly free choice in the first place.


Northern Shoveler
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Joined: Feb 17 2011

Secret ballot vote is not the way to ensure the legitimacy of an election?  

So we get stuck with a dictator named Harper on the basis of voting by secret ballot but you are suspicious it might not be an adequate system to ensure a vote of workers. A vote to decide who will represent their interests.

To be clear I am only talking about secret ballots in the hypothetical situation where the workers will be unionized by regulation.  In our current system where unionization is not mandated I am firmly opposed to votes and believe the only system that provides anything close to a level playing field is the automatic certification based on membership evidence. 

 


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

You need a secret ballot certainly and independent unions naturally--

But if you want the lives of citizens to improve you do this through addressing workers directly-- the only way to do this is through unionization. There is no other way of achieving these results that has ever worked.


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