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ypsidan04
31-03-2005, 03:01
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050330/ap_on_sp_ol/oly_athens_venues

The facilities would be leased or opened for commercial use to help pay back some of the $14.2 billion Greek officials said were spent on the most expensive Olympics in history.

The most expensive Olympics in history? Okay, but China is planning on spending more than twice that amount in Beijing in 2008. Somewhere in the low 30 billions. How can China afford that? I'll tell you what part of the reason is (facts taken from "Dude Where's My Country?"):

Their government limits the media, the Internet, workers rights, religious freedom, and independent thinking. They also have a corrupt judicial system which ignores rule of law. Just a great place to do business. There are 400 McDonalds in China, and twice as many KFCs. (and that number is growing. The Chinese have an unexplainable love for fried chicken) The trade imbalance between the US and China is the largest ever. We get from China 6 times the amount that China gets from us. WalMart alone is a bigger Chinese trading partner than the whole of Russia and the whole of Great Britain. Both Governments make a mint from the trade relationship. But the US is willing to overlook the fact that the Chinese government lynches people in so called Mobile Killing Vans (I didnt believe it either, but the source is Amnesty International). No, they dont lynch people. Lynching is when a suspected criminal is killed without trial. They just kill your average citizens with little or no probable cause. I guess you'd call that government-sponsored murder.

That's what I wrote once on another forum.

Everything is made in China these days. I'm pretty sure you can buy American flags made in China. :rolleyes: With the possible exception of Saudi Arabia, China has the most restrictve government of all the countries that we have at least a neutral opinion of (n/inc. Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Libya, Syria, etc.). I know that this is a polarizing issue. Liberals will say that we need to stop dealing with China until they come around to giving their people more freedoms (and perhaps ending the occupation of Tibet and allowing Taiwan complete independence - but that's another thread). And then conservatives/centrists (my grandfather for instance) will say that we need to deal with them, because dealing with them will force them to open up. I'm in the first group. Its true that things have gotten better in the last 10 years or so, but not that much. Certainly not proportional to all the money we've been pumping in to their economy. So I think it's a shame that we turn the other cheek on their strict controls and human rights violations (now or in the past) just so we can get some cheap nick-nacks at WalMart. I think that the only redeeming thing for awarding China the 2008 Olympics was awarding South Africa the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The first is being nice to a strictly run government and hoping they will change because of it. The second is awarding a now free country for changing their ways.

Anyway thats enough for me.

haku
31-03-2005, 03:43
[deleted]

ypsidan04
31-03-2005, 04:13
^^^ That was quite brief and self-assured. But quite honestly, I can see that happening. :none:

forre
31-03-2005, 05:02
Liberals will say that we need to stop dealing with China
USA can't afford to stop dealing with China. USA may give it a try and then will face a major economic fall. Yes, most of the things are made in China nowadays but it's American companies that make big bucks on that. Economic embargo? US troups to free Chinese people? Sure, give it a shot! :p

freddie
31-03-2005, 19:21
China will never become a western democracy and no one can change that, neither boycotting them or dealing with them will make China change, China will just follow its own course of development with little influence from other civilizations, like it has done for the past 5000 years.

No infuence from other civilizations? How about communism? That sure was a HUGE influence that completely changed their way of life. It certainly wasn't present in China thousands of years ago. Moreover they accepted western behaviour patterns and culture characteristics like christmas being celebrated, consumer society, acceptance of free economy and trade... so I'd say there's A LOT they've taken from other cultures, mostly western ones.

And I'd say that the sheer size of them won't make them a super-power yet. It's their downfall more then it is a strenght. No one wants starving population - and that's what they'll have at the current birth rate. 500 million healthy happy people are better then 1 billion starving ones. And the Chinese goverment knows that - that's why they have birth regulation policies that would decrese number of births in the country.

I'm sorry to say but China's bein HUGELY exploited by the western superpowers for cheap labour. And they're happy for even getting SOMETHING. It's better then working on the rice fields or factories where they'd get almost no money and be bread-line poor. Foreign factories give them real wages which are larger then they'd ever get from a Chinese employer, but they're still being used, since they'd get at least 10 times more in the west for same jobs. It's unfair but that's how the world works. 70% of all the riches on the planet come from EU +US & Canada. Which means there are billions who live literaly on very little. China being one of those, sadly. So tt doesn't seem like they'll be taking over the world anytime soon.

haku
31-10-2006, 19:25
Today at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens, big internet companies like Google, Cisco, Yahoo and Microsoft explain how happy and proud they are to work with China on censorship (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6102180.stm).

Always good to see the real ugly face of capitalism, which has nothing to do with freedom.

freddie
01-11-2006, 04:27
Yeah but think about it though.... what would you expect them to do instead? Totally boycott the whole market? What would that have achieved? The communist party wouldn't be bothered in the slightest while millions of chinese students would be deprived of technology that binds them together with the rest of us.

Not to mention it's fairly easy to by-pass Chinese censorship. For instance Wikipedia has it's censored version allowed through Chinese IP addresses. However there's a very easy way of by-passing these restrictions. A clever Chinese student can just type "Wikipedia mirror" in Google and read all about Tiananmen Massacre or Taiwan's authonomy since mirror sites aren't censored. I don't know if this is a loop-hole of which Chinese goverment officials are unaware of (which is highly unlikely... doubt they're that stupid), or they just can't be bothered.

haku
01-11-2006, 16:58
Yeah but think about it though.... what would you expect them to do instead?Oh i wasn't expecting them to do anything else, big companies are only out there to make profits, nothing else.

I think that what is happening in China is actually a welcomed reminder of what capitalism is all about. Since the fall of communism, there has been an imbalance in the way economic ideologies are perceived. For a time, capitalism has become synonymous of freedom and democracy when in fact they are not at all related.
Capitalism and the big companies which thrive on it don't care at all about freedom, human rights or simply workers rights, they don't have a problem with enforcing censorship for a totalitarian regime or helping to eliminate dissidents (Cisco for example is helping the Chinese police to track down dissidents online), and they obviously don't have a problem with exploiting quasi-slave workforce in developping countries to make even bigger profits.

The only goal of big companies is to make as much money as possible by exploiting people as much as possible, and what is happening in China as well as globalization and delocalization in general has been a vivid reminder of that to people in the west. For decades, national laws had allowed to keep capitalism in check and to protect people from abuse, but globalization has allowed big companies to roam free all over the planet and exploit people at will.
The publicity around the behavior of big companies in China is a good thing as it's fueling an healthy anti-capitalistic movement and bringing back some balance in the economic debate, more and more people are realizing that unchecked capitalism is a threat and that globalization needs to be strictly regulated so big companies won't exploit people and respect their basic rights.

freddie
01-11-2006, 22:08
Oh i wasn't expecting them to do anything else, big companies are only out there to make profits, nothing else.

I think that what is happening in China is actually a welcomed reminder of what capitalism is all about. Since the fall of communism, there has been an imbalance in the way economic ideologies are perceived. For a time, capitalism has become synonymous of freedom and democracy when in fact they are not at all related.
Capitalism and the big companies which thrive on it don't care at all about freedom, human rights or simply workers rights, they don't have a problem with enforcing censorship for a totalitarian regime or helping to eliminate dissidents (Cisco for example is helping the Chinese police to track down dissidents online), and they obviously don't have a problem with exploiting quasi-slave workforce in developping countries to make even bigger profits.

The only goal of big companies is to make as much money as possible by exploiting people as much as possible, and what is happening in China as well as globalization and delocalization in general has been a vivid reminder of that to people in the west. For decades, national laws had allowed to keep capitalism in check and to protect people from abuse, but globalization has allowed big companies to roam free all over the planet and exploit people at will.
The publicity around the behavior of big companies in China is a good thing as it's fueling an healthy anti-capitalistic movement and bringing back some balance in the economic debate, more and more people are realizing that unchecked capitalism is a threat and that globalization needs to be strictly regulated so big companies won't exploit people and respect their basic rights.

I agree with you up to an extent on topic of exploiting workers for cheap labour - but this is a very seperate issue from selling products in countries that enforce censorship. The first problem is indeed a global one as outsourcing is very lucrative, but at the same time one could argue for instance that workers at teh Canon's manufacturing plant in Vietnam get paid 10 times as much as they would if they worked in agriculture or heavy industries. And I already explained why technologically boycotting censor-happy countries is like beating one's head against a brick wall. It would achieve nothing, while at the same time starve many children of all the benifits of the 21st century.

haku
04-11-2006, 22:04
China is holding this weekend a major Africa-China summit (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6111256.stm) which is a key step in redefining the balance of power in the world.

After a very long period of isolationism, China is rapidly building an international network of alliances, especially in Central Asia and Africa. A key element of that offensive is the Gwadar port in Pakistan, this small ancient port is currently being completely rebuilt by China and transformed into a major deep water port, China has already built a brand new highway between Gwadar and Karachi to allow goods to travel fast between Gwadar and Western China which borders North Pakistan. Once Gwadar is completed in a couple of years, China will literally have a port in the Western Indian Ocean in direct contact with the Middle East and Africa (petrol and other natural resources from those regions will go to China through Gwadar).

And Gwadar will be more than an economic node, under the agreement with Pakistan, China will station a military fleet in Gwadar, allowing china to project its military to the Middle-East and Africa, a major geostrategic shift.

Interestingly, Imperial (and Soviet) Russia had always dreamed to reach Gwadar, that was the whole point of pushing south through Central Asia, the goal was to reach the sea between Iran and India, the old Russian dream of having a warm sea port… In the end, it's China that has succeeded.