Thursday, August 16, 2007

China Bashing - A Diversionary Tactic

With all of the recent reports of hazardous toys, defective tires,
tainted food and now pig virus, there is growing concern among Americans
about the safety of Chinese imports. However there is something else,
even more insidious growing as well -- China Bashing.

If you browse the comments that have been posted over the past few weeks
in association with blogs and news articles about Chinese imports you
will find that China bashing is fast becoming the sport of the day. And
the phenomenon seems to be gaining popularity in the UK and Australia as

In addition to the legitimate reports of product recalls and bans, there
has been a rise in the eRumors and false stories that negatively
stereotype the Chinese people and culture. Unsubstantiated tales of
"eating rats" and "boiling cats alive
<>", that
would have previously been questioned, are not being widely accepted
without question as fact. It seems that legitimate concerns over
consumer safety are turning into fear and that fear is turning into
something ugly. Way too many comments are including phrases like "those
people" and "what would you expect from them".

Don't misunderstand me. I have written and will continue to write about
the potential safety issues posed by un-inspected Chinese imports. And
I am not a fan of the Chinese government -- their human rights record or
their trade policies. But I am a friend of the Chinese people and an
admirer of their culture. What I am reading now on some of the blogs
and social networking sites is the type of rhetoric reminiscent of
another time in history when a troubled nation was brainwashed into
believing that a specific group of people was the cause of all of their
problems. This troubles me deeply.

Don't let yourself fall for this diversionary tactic.

Yes, there are real problems with some of the Chinese imports but ask
yourself how long have your government agencies known about this? And,
why don't they do a better job of inspecting imported goods in general?

After all, China is not the only nation that exports goods to the US.
A large portion of the fruit and seafood that is sold in US supermarkets
in the winter is imported from Chile and other South American nations
and virtually none of it is inspected. Why?

Ask yourself, why lobbyists in Washington are fighting so hard against
"country of origin" labeling. Why does the Bush administration grant
delay after delay in the enforcement of this law?

Why did it take 500 reports of children swallowing magnets before Mattel
took action to recall these toys?

And even if you wanted to only buy "Made In the USA", why can't you find
sneakers, toys, kitchenware or virtually anything else with that label?

And why is all of this coming to light, right now?

Ask questions, become a savvy consumer and know your enemy.


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