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Made In China

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James Reynolds | 17:28 UK time, Wednesday, 25 June 2008

If you're reading this and you're outside China, have a quick look around you. Pretty much everything you wear, everything you sit on, everything you look at, everything you type into or talk into was probably made in China.

Made in China labelTake it all away and what would you have left? Let me know. (To make this point, an American journalist, Sara Bongiorni, recently wrote a book A Year Without Made in China about her efforts to live without Chinese-made products. She found it pretty tricky.)

China makes around 80% of the world's photocopiers, 65% of the world's mobile phones, 60% of its digital cameras, 50% of its computers and 45% of its microwaves. They are all made for little cost by low-paid Chinese workers.

This has a huge effect. It's thought that Chinese-made products save the average shopper in the UK hundreds of pounds a year. Chinese production and Chinese spending mean that people in the UK get cheap goods and low interest rates. So we are all coming to depend on what happens in this country.

We're putting together a piece for the Ten O'Clock News on this subject. Should be running tonight.

Comments

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  • 1. At 7:04pm on 25 Jun 2008, zickyyy wrote:

    We Chinese are not proud of being a world factory but actually should be ashamed of it. We are learning and improving in terms of technology and education. One day we will be closer or even better.

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  • 2. At 7:32pm on 25 Jun 2008, ho0oligans wrote:

    Well, I'm in Indonesia. I wouldn't say that everything in my house is made in China, but probably every electronics in my home is made in China. I don't think I would be able to afford all those electronics if they weren't made in China. Chinese made goods really improve the standard of living in my country.

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  • 3. At 7:34pm on 25 Jun 2008, thhan279 wrote:

    Of course one can live very comfortably without Made In China products providing that one is a very rich. Case in point, dress shirt one can get a very nice made in China dress shirt in New York City at around $25.00, if one to get European or American made dress shirt it will cause easily $75.00 or higher. Just a thought.

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  • 4. At 8:25pm on 25 Jun 2008, yetingsong wrote:

    a few thoughts on the subject:

    1. people talk about the dependency on the cheap products made in China, but it is almost unavoidable in the age of globalisation - if it's not China, it's going to be some other Country to fulfil the same role. The fact is, it is inequality that drives the economic development, without the cost difference, the companies won't be making money, there will be no competitive edge, and thus no economic growth. The Chinese is just as dependant on the western companies for investment, as the west dependent on the Chinese for the expensive lifestyle we otherwise cannot sustain. This is a fact of the modern life we live in that is an result of the globalisation, it is a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship relationship.

    2. People have always talk about the pollution made by China and the responsibilities of China being a large economy in the world, but most of people miss the point that those pollution made out of China are partly responsible by us, indirectly. Imagine if we buy 80% of the photocopiers made from China as James has said, then it is reasonable to assume that the pollution resulting from these productions are indirectly caused by us. So those of us who live in the western countries can enjoy clean air, green grass, we're able to do so because we have effective shipped pollution making industries to China and other developing countries.

    Got to go now but if I think of something else I will post again.

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  • 5. At 8:53pm on 25 Jun 2008, fairreport wrote:

    If you don't like to buy made-in-china, go ahead, don't think you are doing China a favour by buying Chinese products, instead China is doing you a great favour!

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  • 6. At 9:46pm on 25 Jun 2008, redtibetan wrote:

    After seeing a documentary about the life of chinese people in the factory owned by the greedy owners i decided not to own a single items made in China. The chinese government has no rules of law for the labor issue and even some of official were involved. the good cultural heritage of some 5000 years tradition is now almost over with so many chinese are hungry for money. they are the wolrds manufactoring sector and they don't know the consequences for the generations to come of the pollution these factories are causing. I only buy products made from consience countries like Europeans, India, combodia, USA and japan even if i had to pay little more. the chinese products are cheap and have no quality at all. comapring to shoes like NIKE Vietnam made is far more durable than the chinese. so no made in China in my household andf i am totally china free.

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  • 7. At 9:57pm on 25 Jun 2008, KennethWu wrote:

    I don't know why there are so many people out there supporting a chinese good boycott. Like it will solve anything. They say they will boycott chinese goods for many 'just' reasons eg. human rights abuses, allegede 'sweatshop' labour, 'bad' treatment of minority ethinic groups, racism, anti-communism, or just in general anti china.
    But has anyone who supports these boycotts ever sat themselves down and thought about the consequences of their actions? Would boycott solve any of these alleged problems? or would boycott cause more problems for the ORDINARY chinese citizen?
    How would boycott improve the 'human rights' situation and the alleged sweatshop situation (even if it did exist). Does making people lose their jobs sound like human rights? does make people poorer sound like human rights?How is it supporting human rights if you are making the average chinese joe hungery, because they don't have the job any more?
    This is highly hypocrtical, there are many countries worse than china at human rights, how come none of them are boycotted (as widely), i bet its because they are not as powerful as china therefore not as big a threat.
    The western world boycotted Burma for decades, look at where thats ended up. Burma has no modern equipment to predict cyclones, Burma have no trucks or fuel to transport the victims out or supplies in. And above all, Burma's government is less willing to trust western agencies, so very little foreign aid got through.
    Do you really want china to end up like Burma?
    All i can say is that the people boycotting are either very ignorant, very narrow minded, or just can't use their brains to work out the consequences of their actions.
    But where does all this end up? the western government. if the western government don't constantly bash china over the littlest of issues (eg alleged unfair trade practices) then the general populace would not be so eager to boycott.
    And people say the chinese are brainwashed. ROFL

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  • 8. At 9:58pm on 25 Jun 2008, KrSund70 wrote:

    James:

    For those who would be quick to jump on China for slave-like labor conditions/wages, and shoddy goods, I think fair attention should be paid to articles such as this one from the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/13/business/worldbusiness/13sweat.html

    Globalization and free markets is a double-edged sword, a fact of life and economics that the world should do well to remember. For all those who enjoy the savings and yet complain about the quality, minimal worker's rights, and loss of manufacturing jobs in the West, you would do well to educate them as to why they can't have their cake and eat it too.

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  • 9. At 10:11pm on 25 Jun 2008, Brian Golden wrote:

    Nowhere near as simple as that.

    Those savings get whittled away by dearer energy and food costs, driven in no small part by Chinese demand.

    Ok, thats fair enough. They have a right to consume.

    But some goods are low quality and the cheap thing becomes the dear thing in the long-run.

    Also, what about the risk of being poisoned?

    Also, are consumers supporting the repression, torture, enslavement and murder of innocents in Burma and Darfur?

    There's a big global effect alright but saving money on certain items in the short-term is a small part of the story.

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  • 10. At 10:32pm on 25 Jun 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    James:

    Is this report.....Going to be made available on BBCNEWS.COM and on BBC WORLD.

    Most of the stuff, i consume is made probably in China.

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  • 11. At 10:38pm on 25 Jun 2008, uppercanard wrote:

    Made in China indeed - That is all well and good but what if some day China says 'we will only supply our domestic maykets' - what then? We have no capability to produce our own goods as we have given evrything to China. The author said things are cheaper when they are made in China - are they? Look at the people in the British Isles, Canada and the USA who are unemployed and on welfare because their manufacturing jobs have gone to China. This costs the tax payer a great deal more than any increase in costs because they are locally produced. Look at the giant trade surpluses that China has racked up at the expense of our nations. Look at the counterfeiting that is going on and robbing our artists and manufacturers of their due royalities. Sara, please get your head out of the sand!

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  • 12. At 11:09pm on 25 Jun 2008, PRAVEENRAJ wrote:

    We all talking about cheap chinese products. Are we fools. Why do we forget the history. When Britain started making everything for its colonies, Britain became rich and the colonies became dependant and poor. When US started making almost everything for the allied forces in WW2 and the post war era, the US became rich and most powerful nation and, Britain and the Europe became less powerfull. Now we are asking the chinese to make everything for us because it is cheap, and in that way, we are making China the most powerfull nation. Me and you are empowering China. If you are OK with it, then, that's fine. But if the governments are worried about it, then it should wake up from sleep and take appropriate actions.

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  • 13. At 00:40am on 26 Jun 2008, YiXin921 wrote:

    It is really complicated for a Chinese people to read this article. Chinese people have been using more than one and half centuries to try hard to restore a strong country since 1840. Now everyone think we are close to the aim but what I can find in China is that people dont have many holiday and most of them have to work more 40 hours per week. Even many families already have a good financial conditions but they have forgotten how to enjoy lives. The Chinese are really industrious people. I hope that in the future Chinese people can have much richer and more relax lives.

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  • 14. At 00:42am on 26 Jun 2008, Kunsel wrote:

    For moral reasons I try to aviod buying products which are made by low paid workers, regardless of the country. With so many products being made in China this is a difficult task however I try. I think that the global community has a moral obligation to fellow citizens to look after their well being. If we promote a wrong act, in any way, then we are sanctioning that act. I'm quite sure that if we all attempted to boycot buying products made by underpaid workers, such as those in China, then that situation would have to change. It would take massive affort on our part though and the question is are we up to it? If yes however then the old saying goes "necessity is the mother of invention", such a system not supported by the global economy would not survive and would have to change.

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  • 15. At 04:43am on 26 Jun 2008, Barbadosmac wrote:

    Well off the mark! The reason for products coming from China is simple to increase profits, not to give the customer a fair deal.
    Do you actualy think that companies are using the same profit margin percentage as they used for goods made in the uk? Not a chance, it is all about greed. Who controls the food products that are often fed on human waste?

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  • 16. At 09:56am on 26 Jun 2008, nonothing wrote:

    made in china? who's getting the biggest share of the profit, the ordinary chinese people, the chinese government or the western global consortiums? you bet.

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  • 17. At 10:15am on 26 Jun 2008, maijajohnstone wrote:

    Perhaps Mr Reynolds could spare a thought for the poor animals in China: about two million cats and dogs are held in tiny cages and then *skinned alive* in order to produce fur for export.

    No human, in China or anywhere else, has to suffer this level of torture.

    Most of the fur is mislabeled and all of it is produced using an extreme amount of cruelty.

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  • 18. At 11:05am on 26 Jun 2008, ukpanda wrote:

    please do get out of your comfort zone and a little common sense- its supply and demand here. please tell if uk people (not all) are not greedy themselves then why are all these demands for cheap food, clothing and everything esle? cheap good and services at a price of others if not yours. so sick of people here who have the freedom to say or think, and yet don't really uses it! Buy! what u need and think abit beyond yourself- please.

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  • 19. At 11:18am on 26 Jun 2008, yetingsong wrote:

    After reading some of the comments here, I realised that there are so much resentment and misjudgement towards China, I can't help to comment on this a bit more.

    Talking about boycott, China isn't the worst country that the western countries buy products from, the whole of the middle east has far worse human rights record than China, why not try boycotting oil from the middle east? it'll solve all your terrorist problem!

    While China might not have a perfect Human Rights record, but China is getting there, most importantly, China has a leadership who is committed to improve the lives of everyday Chinese. China is a vast country with a billion people, it's not a easy job to improve everything at once, there has to be priorities, sometimes different than the values of a naive westerner's moral demands.

    The western media always shine spotlight on China for its human rights record, but when China taking important steps to improve, nobody seems to care. The recently passed labour law for example, the law gives a number of key rights to the labour forces of China, which will undoubtedly increase the cost of labour in China, to which the western companies has criticised and threatened to move out of China. I find it distasteful when double standards such as this is being applied to China.

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  • 20. At 11:58am on 26 Jun 2008, rylain wrote:

    I have watched the program about to help the labour in India on BBC1. We can easily find some fair trade products in London. Instead of complaining about Chinese product, has anyone ever considered about helping Chinese labour?

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  • 21. At 12:17pm on 26 Jun 2008, EWONGNL wrote:

    @ kunsel

    "for moral reasons I try to avoid buying products which are made by low paid workers, regardless of the country..."

    The logic is funny.

    1. can you afford to buy products which are made by high paid workers?

    2. or being even more "morally"sound, why not try to buy products made by higher (than you) paid workers? To make them richer, if you can afford ?

    3. or shall I say, since I am pretty much sure that I got much higher paycheck than you, for moral reaons, I will try to ignore the remarks made by low paid workers such as you? Obviously no.

    Why not try some correct things such as:

    A. to pay more for the products ESPECIALLY when you know that they are made by low paid workers, to help them increase thier living standards?

    B. to support a campaign to lobby import companies to pay more for the products made by low paid workers, instead of lowering the purchasing price to the last penny possible, in order to maximize their own profit margin?

    I believe these are moral, much more moral.

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  • 22. At 3:15pm on 26 Jun 2008, Rikey wrote:

    This report does not make much sense, atleast to me.

    China is becoming an industrial nation. Increase in job opportunities and in people's daily income is in rife. It is all happening simply because Chinese are hard working people.

    People in the UK and elsewhere are using Chinese products overwhelmingly does not mean that they are becoming dependent on China. These countries are doing business with China. Business is business. Today it is China. Tomorrow it may be someone else.

    China is becoming rich and it is on the way to become world's super power. Because it is an able and efficient country. And world is supporting it by investing and becoming customer. No surprise.

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  • 23. At 4:42pm on 26 Jun 2008, buaadallas wrote:

    It's not China force you western people to buy our goods. It's your choice, do not forget that!
    Even China sell you 100,000,000 pants, can only earn a plane from Boeing or Airbus!
    If you want to boycott Chinese goods, just think about if China boycott your products, what the economy will like in you country! Think about the small boycott to Carrifour (a French chain) in China made France so scared.
    Globalization means you sell something to me, then you need buy something from me. China is not developed country, so what's our advantage is the labours, but the condition of labours is changing now, if you learn somthing about the new labour law of China, you will know the effort from China to protect the rights of labours.
    Never compare China with UK, China is a developing country, if China robbed and invaded some other countries as what UK did centuries ago, our people will also enjoy the lives which you British are enjoying.....

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  • 24. At 5:30pm on 26 Jun 2008, objection2it wrote:

    China made products are cheap and very low in price, is because most consumers want them as cheap and as inexpensive as they can afford to buy them for. And outside companies doing business in China want to make big huge profit margins. A $5.00 item made in China sells for over $100.00 in the EU. Who's making the money and who's the screwing the Chinese workers?

    Like to know. Patents and copy rights, who does it serve?

    China wants new laws that covers intellectural property. Why?

    The west has been using this trick to keep third world countries from coming out of the caves and out of the trees for 100's of years.

    These rights made China poor for many years and many Chinese trade secrets were stolen anf patented by western countries or they were just taken from China without any payment for them.

    These rights serve to make certain people and nations rich, it does nothing for the poor nations of the world but to keep them poor.

    Look at the case of the telephone or the case of the HD audio and HD video tapes.

    Big changes are needed in the way these rights are made and in the laws that protects them.

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  • 25. At 5:37pm on 26 Jun 2008, otherchinese wrote:

    The world is a global village. We are all in it whether you like it or not.

    Average corporations no matter which countries they are from (domestic, foreign, or joint) all seem to try to maximize the profit by taking the advantage of the weak law reinforcement situation in China and the cheap labors there.

    For example, there is an article about “Western retail companies have found there are real business benefits to going green. But when the same firms enter the Chinese consumer market, Paul French finds, the standards often change.” http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/2046-Why-is-China-different-for-western-brands-

    People who work in Chinese factories have less freedom to choose what they can do, because they need the job to feed themselves and their family. It’s the basic survival issue for them.

    Consumers in the developed countries have more freedom and ability to choose what to buy and what not to buy. On the one hand, their purchases help to alleviate Chinese people from poverty. On the other hand, if they buy anything without asking questions or consulting conscience, they are helping to keep Chinese people as slaves, helping to exhaust the natural resources and to pollute environment first in China then other places since pollution does not stop at country borders.

    There is a balance between the amount of money an average person can spend and the quality (not just the quality of the goods but the quality of how they are made) of the goods he or she buy . I don’t think it’s a one way or the other situation.

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  • 26. At 00:28am on 27 Jun 2008, endyjai wrote:

    So what's surprising?

    It used to be Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan... It's called economics.

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  • 27. At 00:29am on 27 Jun 2008, endyjai wrote:

    To post 14:

    It is not a great idea to avoid buying these products, because the loss of profits will make the underpaid workers poorer or out of a job.

    Just take a step back from boycotting things in the future.

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  • 28. At 03:51am on 27 Jun 2008, bluejeansbj wrote:

    Just some thoughts:

    1. labor cost in China will never be as high as in countries such as the UK, US, Canada, etc. We have 1.3 billion population. Labor is one of the few resources that we are truly "rich" in. Supply and demand decided that it will always be cheaper than in countries where labor resource is more scarce.

    2. a lof of the low paid workers are employed, and hence "underpaid", by foreign enterprises investing in China.

    3. those people who boycott made-in-China, I seriously doubt if they are doing that for the wellbeing of the Chinese workers. As said by Kennethwu above, how on earth can making the workers lose their jobs help them?? Has boycotting a country ever, ever helped the improvement of human rights in that country??

    4. Now that China has become the world factory, Chinese people are doing work that is at the bottom of value chain and that represents low value-adding and low profit margin. It is not the Chinese government's fault that Chinese workers are paid low. It is decided by the market force.

    5. Yes it is our goal to move further up on the value chain, and to do more higher margin, higher value-adding work, by which time the entire nation will be higher paid. When 1.3 billion people have moved further up on the value chain, what will the world say by then? will the dependance of the world on China decrease anyhow? I'm sure there will be other reasons for "boycotting" China.

    6. whenever people say that China has racked up huge trade surpluses "at the expenses of other countries" I wanted to laugh. Did we force you to buy? Is it our fault that you can't help buying our products? Remember China was closed to the world in the 18th, and the western world actually forced the door open with opium and war.

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  • 29. At 08:42am on 27 Jun 2008, yellowminshurts wrote:

    Some people (Chinese) are saying that boycotting Chinese goods will not improve humane right in china. I really can't digest this and there are many more people. Moreover, some (etingsong) said that pollution in china is cause by western countries.
    First we need to answer this question: Who ask the Chinese to produce cheap goods and build many factories? Who encourage or ask the Chinese to produce 80% of the world's photocopiers, 65% of the world's mobile phones, 60% of its digital cameras, 50% of its computers and 45% of its microwaves.China with aims of earning money and for corruption did this. So, the consequences what so ever have to bear by China not the west.

    For example - Last time in china one factory is producing Tibetan snow lion flags and when asked by government they said they don't know that this flag has been banned in china. From this one can know that Chinese cares about earning money only. So, here comes the Newton Law : Every force has equal and opposite reaction. You can pin point westerners for that.


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  • 30. At 08:53am on 27 Jun 2008, zawaung wrote:

    Although it would be hard to implement, I for one will boycott chinese made goods.

    I will do this even if I have to pay more for alternative goods. The chinese government thinks that the world has to buy chinese? If they do, they really are deluded.

    This is not an attack on chinese people, but on a government who is stripping natural resources from africa and south-east asia, supporting brutal dictatorships in Sudan, Burma, the cultural and ethnic genocide in Tibet and a unbelievable lack of human rights for its citizens.

    I am British of Burmese descent and unlike british-born chinese, I am willing to speak out against corrupt, brutal and totalitarian regimes such as the chinese government.

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  • 31. At 09:03am on 27 Jun 2008, Renee1112 wrote:

    That's so funny. So many foreigners regard China like a Slave or Feudal country. I'm afraid a lot of Chinese may probably live better than British.

    Every one has his own right to consume. If they'd like to buy more expensive thing, just go ahead. That's market.

    In fact, labor force has got more and more expensive in China these years esp. after the enforcement of the new Labor Law. Our government is trying to protect the employees better. Those cheap Chinese goods may become less in future. I wonder whether one day you guys will miss the days with cheap Chinese commodities.

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  • 32. At 11:32am on 27 Jun 2008, cambridgestuart wrote:

    I think that trade in the sense of production moves and moves. My only concern is when China is rich enough to desire more and more service jobs which country will take the production work of their hands. My point here is not about fear for any economy but rather the sustainability of production globally.

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  • 33. At 1:36pm on 27 Jun 2008, cping500 wrote:

    When I visited my friend in Shanghai I found that I need not have brought much luggage. since I could have kitted myself you for the five days I was there for less than £50, and that is buying in the middling malls and not in the market. I could have given the kit away before I left to the Chinese equivalent of Age Concern. Part of why Chinese things are so cheap in Europe is the exchange rate. In purchasing power term (two years ago), the yuan was undervalued by 3 times against the pound. My friend who is a technician in the construction industry was being paid in purchasing power terms only 10% less than is UK equivalent and income tax was lower too. I am sure James is enjoying himself on his BBC salary in the district restaurants and the noodle bars.

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  • 34. At 8:40pm on 27 Jun 2008, chamae7 wrote:

    Communist China's about-face with capitalism has shown the world how rampant growth can destroy the fabric of societies, both local and global. Yes, there are 300 mil people in China benefiting from this industrialization. This leaves only 1.1 bil folks struggling for survival there. Also, there is the cost to the environment as pollution and displacement rage unchecked. This financial advantage has come at a dear price to the families in Europe and America. While the rich investors reap rewards the middle classes are dwindling elsewhere. As jobs disappear to Mexico, India, Brazil and China and commodities soar in cost all over the world, we will watch as banking cartels - often disguised as the WTO or World Bank - tax the people of the planet to pay for their blunders and crimes. [ This will be akin to the US Fed bail out of Bear Stearns which Us tax payers will suck up! ] Buy locally!!

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  • 35. At 9:26pm on 27 Jun 2008, thompeg wrote:

    We should all do our own "little bit" to boycott the purchase products "made in China".
    We should never forget that those products can be made and sold so cheaply because so many of them are simply the result of "forced labour" by political prisoners : people whose only crime has been to carry a photograph of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, or who have shouted "Freedom Of Speech" or sung a song of liberty.
    The conditions in forced labour camps in China are well documented by various UN and International Human Rights Reports.
    If only those brave young people who were massacred by an evil regime in Tiananmen Square had succeeded, perhaps China's products sold to the free world would not be tainted by the torture, suffering and agony of the Chinese Labour Camps where goods are manufactured by political prisoners : in Tibet and in other parts of China.
    Chinese goods should be boycotted; and PRC should be treated as a pariah state.....a disgrace to the world community, in the same way as North Korea, Iran and other brutal and backward countries, whose regimes cling to power by force and evil.

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  • 36. At 00:03am on 28 Jun 2008, malaysian_chinese wrote:

    Please remember that such problems as happened to thousands of Chinese labours also happening somewhere closer to Mr. James' home, the Great Britain.

    In recent years, there is a sudden influx of Eastern Europeans especially those who come from Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria etc to the UK and these Eastern European workers are being treated badly by their British employers. I personally knew some Polish workers who worked so hard for just a basic salary of GBP 6.50/hour. Their working hours were appalling, not to mention their place to stay and other welfares

    Some people are passing too quick a judgement against other nations without actually realising that discrimination happens right at their backyard. I really advise my fellow British cohorts to clean the mess in their own home country before deciding what they can do about the whole world.

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  • 37. At 3:03pm on 28 Jun 2008, wantafairworld wrote:

    To comment 29 Yellowminshurts:

    You are a racist, aren't you? Following your logic, you actually should name yourself 'whitetrashgrumbles'. What do you think?

    Do you think ‘made in China’ is one-way profit made only by the Chinese officials? If the western business firms are all angels as you think, why don’t they sell those products at a low price as they are initially made in the export countries rather than increase the prices by 20 or 30 times? Why don’t they manufacture the products in their own territories by hiring their own expensive labour?

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  • 38. At 8:03pm on 28 Jun 2008, churchgore wrote:

    James said “V-V-VIP” instead of “VIP” in his bird-nest video.

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  • 39. At 9:31pm on 28 Jun 2008, Gaudiamo wrote:

    To yellowminshurts,

    I found your comment very ignorant and I think it's time you read more and learn some facts before posting again.

    1. "Who ask the Chinese to produce cheap goods and build many factories?" - This is called development, in case you don't know nearly all countries have/will go through primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. Unfortunately for many countries, they do not have the technology or the money to advance into a secondary economy, hence most of their populations are in poverty because they are fully dependent on their harvests.

    2. "China with aims of earning money and for corruption did this." - Seriously, do you think you can sustain your quality of life without earning money? The majority of China's population need money in order to support their families and earn a better quality of life, so obviously they have the aim of earning money to achieve this. Also, do you realise that corruption exists on a global scale? Of course, political corruption is a serious issue in China, but it is far from being the most corrupt country, and its government is working hard to tackle this; problems are not solved so easily when you have a population of 1.3 billion. You've clearly been misled by western media.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

    Next time, think again before generalising China in your comments, because you have little idea what the 1.3 billion population is like. Also, I would appreciate it if you do more reading and try to understand China better, because by only relying on western media, you're likely to be biased in your comments and some people might find what you say offensive.

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  • 40. At 1:17pm on 29 Jun 2008, KennethWu wrote:

    to post 30,
    How on earth is boycotting chinese goods not attacking the chinese people? Who's jobs depend on these goods? answer:the ordinary chinese people.
    If you want to boycott chinese goods, then i am afraid you haven't thought it through. When you buy a printer, are you going to take it apart and check every single component to make sure its not made in china? and if it does contain parts made in china are you going to return it to the shop in peices?
    As far as natural resources goes, its called trade, we pay them money, we get their natural resources. If we follow your philosophy, no one should buy african or south american natural resources because they are there for the people of the land. How on earth would that make Africa better. Sure they may have natural resources but they don't have the capital to develope it. By trading with them, they will eventually gain the capital and be able to develope their own resources more. Its called international economics. And your protectionist and isolationist policy just doesn't cut it in the modern world.
    Also on your Tibet comments, if you can't back it up with academic sources don't make ignorant comments. The same with your Sudan and Burma comments.
    oh PS, thank you for generalising the British born chinese as all being the same (kind of racist don't you think?)
    I love how people claim that chinese society is closed minded, and yet people readily agrees with the interllectually restricted views of post 30. I am going to end this post as i did before. ROFL

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  • 41. At 04:27am on 01 Jul 2008, drmarkmark wrote:

    Just brain storming.
    Will it make any difference if the proposition is not Made in China, but
    Made in USA, made in UK, Made in South Africa...
    Or if the verb is not MADE , but

    Thought in China,
    Copied in Mexico
    Polluted in India
    Consumed in USA
    Profitted in France
    Credited in Italy
    Sinned in New York,
    Blamed on USSR ( though non exist)

    for human civilisation to advance to here and now, we are still not very good at being fair and objective. And in fact very very poor in making arguments clear and convincing.

    May be it is the genitals instead of our brains that control our belief and actions most of the times.
    ( I was hoping it was the otherway round.)

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  • 42. At 1:34pm on 02 Jul 2008, KrSund70 wrote:

    To Post 35 thompeg:

    Your position and outlook on China's production is down right farcical. Apparently all Chinese goods are tainted because they are all made by political prisoners and oppressed advocates of democracy. And apparently all Brits eat fish and chips 3 times a day. They puree it and feed it to their babies too. Give me a break.

    Article in my Post 8 clearly shows what is going on here, pure economics. Western companies seeking cheap labor and large profits actively pursue countries where wages are low and conditions tough, AND actively wish and act to keep them that way. So it is not Beijing that maintains your so called "slave labour," but those companies who are happy and willing to supply you with cheap goods so that they may line their pockets. Spend more on quality assurance, wages, worker conditions, worker training, and you'd get a better product, but also a far more expensive product.

    For once, this James Reynolds post has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with supply and demand, open markets, and globalism, and the causes and effects thereof. For you to turn this into another avenue to slander the Chinese, who toil away for a minimal wage so you can save a few pounds on your jeans and Levi's can get richer at the same time, is insulting, ignorant, laughable, and pitiable.

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  • 43. At 5:50pm on 02 Jul 2008, objection2it wrote:

    In Canada there are very few Chinese made products for sell, because in Canada the Chinese have no Canadian experience to work in many of the companies and factories in the country.

    Only Chinese made in Canada comes from China.

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  • 44. At 1:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The American industrial engine which generates much of the world's wealth has exported many of its most tedious, low paying, dangerous jobs to China because that is where the risk/reward ratio is greatest. Their competitors in other industrialized nations have had no choice but to follow suit or go bankrupt. How and why has this happened? The explanations are simple but they include several reasons. For one thing, Ameican workers fought for and won enormous gains through an industrial war waged in the courts, in public opinion, and in the legislative bodies that took about a hundred years. The conditions under which American factory workers and Chinese factory workers exist are poles apart. So are the factories themselves. In the US, semiskilled and skilled factory workers earn about $25 to $40 or more an hour not including their benefits such as medical insurance, paid vacation and holidays, paid sick days, unemployment insurance, pension plans, workman's compensation, profit sharing, and a host of other things. Their managers make even more. In China they earn about a dollar or two a day...period. In America, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which is the Federal Government's arm watches what goes on in factories and can fine factory owners for infringements of tough rules. Even a fire extinguisher mounted on a wall at the wrong height can bring a fine. Municipal building departments enforce strict building codes, electrical codes, fire codes, and can fine factory owners for infringements or in extreme cases, shut them down. In China anything goes. If there is an industrial accident in the US there will be civil law suits that can run into millions of dollars and if it is the result of negligence, there can be criminal penalties including jail sentences. In China an injured or killed worker is simply replaced with no fanfare. In the US, emissions of hazardous chemicals into the air and water are closely monitored by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and if there are violations of the strictly enforced rules, fines and prison sentences can be imposed. In China, you can do what you like. That is why China's environment is on a whole, the most dangerously polluted hazardous to health in the world with India catching up fast. This is the price China has tacitly agreed to pay for quickly transforming from a failed feudal agrarian economy isolated from the world to an industrial society. In other words, the export of jobs and factories is a way around the protections Americans and Europeans won at great cost and sacrifice over a very long time. Yet remarkably with all of this and much to my own surprise, according to the US Secretary of the Treasury in an interview on C-Span a few months ago, the US still manufactures two and a half times as much as China does.

    What most Chinese and probably even most Americans don't know is that the decsion to "open up" China was made around 1973 as the result of a visit by Henry Kissinger and President Nixon. They realized that China, then a country of about a billion people who were impovrished, devoted 90% of their labor to a failed agricultural economy which still had periodic famines, was isolated from the rest of the world, and knew how to build the hydrogen bomb was a threat that could not be allowed to continue on. Mao Tse Tung once told Khrushchev to launch a nuclear first strike agaisnt the US. He said he didn't care if a four or five hundred million Chinese died, Communism will survive and be the victor. By engaging China and bringing into the world, the threat has been neutralized. China now has a stake in the future and survival of humanity. And there was good reason to hope it would work. 5000 years of Chinese mercantile trading culture could not be erased by 25 years of Communist dogma.

    The US and Japan have moved on to a post industrial level beyond China. American and Japanese products are often the result of inventiveness. This is why the concept of the rights of intellectual property is so important to Americans. China will have to accept that these laws must be enforced if it wants to continue along the path it has been going. The theft of American intellectual property robs Americans of he income they deserve which allows them to buy Chinese products. Often, the physical work associated with these ideas except for the most critical and demanding tasks are exported to where labor and life is cheap. Europe on the other hand, the recipient of a similar American policy after WWII has not moved on. The American economic hothouse which now nurtures China was taken down in Europe and moved. It was no longer needed there because Europe had been sufficiently rebuilt and the Soviet Union sufficiently neutralized that the threat of Western Europe falling prey to the Soviet evil empire was over. Europe is under the dangerous delusion that it created its own wealth under its own power and initiative and can continue on supporting its lavish social safety net and its vast maze of bureaucratic regulations and restrictions. But it must now compete on a level playing field with the US and the rest of the world. Europe is caught in the trap that if it does not take down that expensive restrictive construct it will be committing economic suicide but if politicians there try to, they will be committing political suicide. Only in Britain did Margaret Thatcher recognize the inevitable and take steps to mitigate what would happen when the US hothouse was taken down and she was hated for it. This is why Britain was the only major economy in Europe which did not suffer badly in the last US recession. Sarkozy in his own clumsy way is trying to do something similar. But the worldwide economic downturn coming up will make the last one look like a brief shower. This one is the perfect economic storm and it is headed straight for China and Europe. There is probaby nothing that can be done about it now.

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  • 45. At 10:52pm on 10 Jul 2008, cyndiyu wrote:

    the world is interactive. westerners buy low cost home appllicance , clothes, ect. chinese buy high cost machineries without which some of the infrastructure could suffer. Temporily it is win-win situation. however chinese are paying their bills by swallowing pollutent.

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  • 46. At 04:42am on 26 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    most things that i consume are made in china...

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