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Keep an eye on China

Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008, at 2:48 PM

Protests, verbal and otherwise, continue toward China as it prepares to host the Olympic Games.

The Olympic torch has been endangered numerous times by protesters.

Sports journalists are now complaining China's trying to censor their stories.

Meanwhile, General Motors sells cars there -- Buicks are among the most popular cars in China, according to auto magazines -- and Chrysler is preparing to import Chinese-made vehicles here. Other types of American firms -- and companies from other Western countries as well -- are making vast economic inroads as well.

So are we slowly, bit by bit, encouraging democracy in a Communist country? Will, or can, materialism gradually transform a society?

Or is American industry groveling at the feet of a country in some ways every bit as repressive as Russia of Cold War days? And is the U.S. more or less encouraging China's ways through financial support?

I'd like to see louder support of China's dissidents from the U.S. government, no matter how it may affect future riches. It probably won't happen under any future administration.

Frankly, I suspect U.S. industry sees China as another source of cheap labor. Let's hope that's not true. Enough American jobs have been lost.


Comments
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Communist and Socialists seem to think Capitalism will always fail, yet history shows just the opposite. China has changed immensely from the time of Mao and will continue to change as the citizens experience more of what capitalism provides.

We always need to exert pressure for human rights, but cutting them off from our economy is not the answer. Russia and the Cold War Days was referenced. Strength, pressure and capitalism changed the political landscape there,so why would we change our approach now.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 5:41 PM

Because there are 1.4 billion Chinese to contend with. Nearly 5 times the population of the United States.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 6:56 PM

We must not forget Human Rights. The Chinese people are very hard workers, but for what, they do not even come close to having the freedoms that we do and the Tibetan People.I live in Bloomington Indiana I'm a transplant from Shelbyville,the Dalai Lama's brother lives here and the Dalai Lama comes to visit and teach here at least once a year.It pains me so to know that we run off to countries that no longer want us there and yet we keep sticking our hands down the pockets of China for more money when China is commiting genocide.Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.The Chinese have ordered the "Re-education of Tibetan Monks" which means they have to denounce the Dalai Lama or die.I feel we should not support the Olympics, and I know people are going to say that the Athletes have worked hard to get to go, but think of the athletes that live there that are made to compete, at least we still have the freedom of choice even if it feels like we may not if things do not change.

-- Posted by redcat00 on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 9:09 PM

The United States depends too much on China and it is to the point now where China is supporting our economy and acts as our personal bank to bail us out of financial trouble. How long this last . . . sooner or later China will take advantage of the situation if they have already. You would be surprised how much of American businesses are being bought out by Chinese investment firms.

I am afraid that the demise of the United States is already occurring and we are just sitting here and allowing it to be handed over on a silver platter.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 7:20 AM

The Asian Countries are taking over The United States Without firing a shot. They said they would do it and now they are!!! The American Way of Life is comming to an end and Materialism is the driving force For this change. The See Saw May be tipped against us now but we can bring our end back down. We need to stop Buying anything not totally made in the U.S. If We Cant find that then do without .It will not be easy but that is what must be done if WE Plan to survive as A Country Solely Led By it's People!!!

-- Posted by kendadk on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 7:41 AM

http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/64718.htm

American exports to China have more than doubled since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. In 2005, total exports were $41.8 billion, up 20% over 2004. Exports by American farmers have increased dramatically; China is our 4th largest market for U.S. farm exports (after Canada, Japan, and Mexico). However, over the same period (2001-2005), U.S. imports from China have increased from $102 billion to $243.5 billion.

China is the third-largest merchandise trading nation in the world. Its 2005 global trade surplus exceeded $100 billion. In 2005, the United States took about 23% of China's exports and ran a trade deficit with China of $201.6 billion. This is our largest bilateral trade deficit worldwide; it has become a source of friction. The deficit is due to a number of factors:

China's trade surpluses -- plus foreign direct investment and portfolio inflows -- mean that China's holdings of foreign exchange reserves recently exceeded Japan's and are now the world's largest.

The U.S. is the world's largest economy, with Gross Domestic Product of $12.7 trillion; China is the world's fourth-largest economy, or roughly 1/6 the size of the U.S. with four times the number of people, and a GDP of $2.3 trillion. The economy has grown more than 9.5% a year on average for the past 26 years; it grew 10.1% in 2004 and 9.9% in 2005. Estimates for 2006 range between 9 and 9.5%.

Behind the impressive numbers, China faces stark economic challenges. It remains a poor country. With 1.3 billion people, its per capita GDP is about $1,700; U.S. per capita income in 2004 was about $40,100. More than 200 million Chinese live on less than one dollar a day and urban incomes are about four time those of the 800 million rural residents. Rural Chinese also have worse health care and education than their urban compatriots. And rapid economic growth has come at a high cost to the environment: land degradation, falling water quality, water scarcity, serious air pollution, and widespread deforestation. In addition, the social security system is rudimentary, and fails to adequately protect about 80% of the population, including workers who lose jobs at failed state-owned enterprises and must transition to new jobs in the growing private sector. China must create about 2 million new jobs a month to keep up with the number of workers entering the job market.

China is the world's second-largest energy consumer after the United States, although per capita energy consumption is still only one-eighth that of the United States. China's energy consumption is expected to continue growing, with some experts predicting it will double by 2020.

It is quite ironic that we are waging a "War On Terror" yet our best financial friend is the LARGEST dictatorship in the world. We sought to free opressed Iraqi's and all we do is intensify that situation in China. Ever wonder why the world doesn't like the largest hypocrite on the face of the Earth?

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 9:28 AM

So true darrick_04 . . . but it was easier for Bush to go in and beat up on Iraq (or at least he thought) than it would be China (numbers alone would make that scary). Bush would rather play the coward and not deal with real issues while using Iraq to cater to his own little agenda. Who knows, maybe China is giving his some money or incentives so we will let them lube up and bend us over.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 11:01 AM

China scares the carp out of me. Here we are wasting OUR resources in Iraq, so to speak, just so we don't look like losers to the world. I'm sure this pleases China's leaders. I'm not caring very much about the Olympics either.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 4:33 PM

spellCheck: carp = crap :\

-- Posted by mmp84 on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 4:36 PM

I think we should cut China off completely from us until they can fix their social and human rights problems. I cant understand why we would want to fund the horrible things that go on in that country, and why are we trading with communists in the first place. OH I know, so we can buy cheap trinkets at Wal-Mart.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 9:07 PM

Anyone have any ideas as to how we go about starting a grass root action to try to put a stop to Communist China from taking over our lives?

-- Posted by redcat00 on Thu, Apr 17, 2008, at 6:17 PM

I think first we might have to start a grassroots effort to stop our own government from running our lives, because they are the ones letting China do it.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Thu, Apr 17, 2008, at 8:15 PM

There is a commercial that comes on TV every now and then about the dangers of cigarette tobacco. It gives very strong impressions on problems the tobacco can cause to people, and what is in it. It is very informational and straight to the point, saying "Wake up People".

If we can get people, communities, churches, or what ever groups or organizations to start up something like "THE PEOPLES VOICE" or "AMERICA SPEAKS OUT" type of organization that can bring out AMERICAN PEOPLES ISSUES to the public about things that are affecting us (What the Govt. seems to be turning a "Blind Eye" too), Then maybe it will be spoken about so much that they have no choice but to (MAKE BETTER) or (FIX) the situations. This organization could recieve donations of paper, T-shirts, pins, signs or anything that can advertise to get the word out. Create a new phrase like: "Let America help America too" or "Helping Hands Help Americas' Homes"

And lets start organizing, and looking at what we can really do for our country. If their was a representative in every state, that had someone in every city to help with organizing and getting the message out, then this could become something possitive and prosperus. Of course it would be good to have people that are good speakers, and are use to speaking to people. But everyone should be able to present there concerns to the oranization, so the organization can work on getting the message out. Every city needs to have a place where people can meet to discuss their concerns. Or a box could be place in areas {Permmission asked}once a month for people to place comments in on issues their city, state, or country may have and they wish something can be done about it. (Just a Thought)

I do not like depending so much on other countries for our food, toys, clothings, and automobiles. I think we (America) should make "More" "Majority" of our own supplies/products here. That gives us more Jobs made here in America, and if other countries want to buy products and supplies from us fine; That's more money coming to America.

I also believe that Businesses that started up in America, and go overseas for cheaper labor, should be taxed or fined by America; and should not be allowed to sell their products in America. Or have the company taxed at a higher percent per product/supply that comes in. (That part was just a thought too.)

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 11:40 AM

I'm voting for "Momof3&3step&1gran" for our next president. So far what she has said here makes more sense than anything I have heard from anyone running for president.

Kudos to you!!!

I'm behind you how and when do we get started!

-- Posted by redcat00 on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 11:15 PM

Thanks for the compliment.

I'm not a good speaker, I would totally clam up talking in front of a big audience. But I would definetly be willing to help with organizing, and meeting with others on important issues that American people want recognized and talked about through out America so something Good can be done to benefit American peoples jobs, homes, food, way of living and our country. Also with our children as well, They are slipping through the cracks: dropping out of school, and some that come out of school have no drive, to do anything with their lives. Their needs to be more youth programs that can help children and young adults find something that they can be good at or do in life for a career, or future.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Apr 19, 2008, at 1:57 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.