Saturday, 14 May 2016

Why I'm Angry at China

I've always had a great amount of respect for the Chinese people, who have contributed so much to human civilization.  Heck, we wouldn't have modern civilization if it weren't for the Chinese.  So why should I be angry at a country that has given the world so much?  Because inasmuch as China helped to create civilization as we know it, the country is now acting in ways that are nothing but detrimental to civilization.  Now of course, I cannot blame the Chinese people as a whole for the wrongful acts perpetrated by their country.  After all, it is common knowledge that China is not governed by the will of its people, but by an autocratic and despotic regime whose number one priority is to maintain and expand its power.

Dictatorship, Occupier and Aggressor

Unfortunately, China has always been ruled by despots.  In the distant past right up until the early 20th century, the country was ruled by a series of imperial dynasties.  China's current ruling despots are of course the leaders of the country's Communist Party.  Unlike their counterparts in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, China's Communists manage to survive the end of the Cold War. They did this by abandoning communism in all but name and choosing to pursue a market economy. But unfortunately, democracy has not followed China's transition to capitalism.  The country remains an ironclad dictatorship where there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no freedom of religion and so forth.

It's bad enough that the Chinese people have to live under the boot of a dictatorship, but this same dictatorship also occupies and oppresses several non-Chinese populations.  China as we know it today and as it is internationally recognized does not just include the land that has been known as China for centuries.  It also includes Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet and East Turkestan.  These regions are the homelands of the Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans and Uighurs respectively.  But China's dictators have taken to plundering these regions and oppressing their populations.  Heaven forbid, for example, a Tibetan has a picture of the Dalai Lama lying around somewhere.  That person will most certainly be arrested and imprisoned for who knows who long.  In fact, some Tibetans have found the rule of China's dictators so unbearable that they have taken to burning themselves to death.  In East Turkestan, the northwest region of the People's Republic of China known in Chinese as Xingjiang, people in the mostly Muslim region were banned from fasting on Ramadan.  China's dictators have also tried to change the demographics of the occupied regions in order to create a Chinese majority in each of them so that they can legitimize their continued occupation.  And as if occupying and subjugating the peoples of the regions adjacent to China isn't enough, the country's dictators are hungry for even more territory.

As I'm writing this, the Chinese military is building bases in the small islands of the South China Sea. In fact, China's dictators have taken to claiming the entire South China Sea as their exclusive dominion.  They also continue to threaten the island of Taiwan, which in the last few decades has become a vibrant democracy - not for long if the dictators on the mainland have their way.  The fact of the matter is that as China's economic and military strength continue to grow, so will aspirations of the dictators who rule it.

No Respect for People's Health or the Environment

Historically, the Chinese have been among the most enlightened societies on Earth, so you would think that they would have the utmost respect for people's health and well-being as well as the environment, right?  Well, many Chinese probably do, but unfortunately, they're not the ones running the show in China.  Indeed, China's leaders lack little if any respect for the health of their people, let alone the environment in which they live.  So it's no wonder why clean air in China is a luxury most people in the country don't have.  In many respects, China is now the world's biggest polluter, yet whenever the international community comes together to agree on lowering pollution levels, China always gets a free pass.  China is also one of the biggest reasons that poachers of endangered species have been making a killing lately, both in a figurative and literal sense.  Things like the bones of endangered tigers or the horns of threatened rhino species fetch a high price in the Chinese marketplace, where they are used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines.  So if you happen to be an environmentalist, you're probably more angry at China than I am.

Killing People's Livelihoods 

One of the more common shots that people take at China is that they take away jobs from people in developed countries.  While it is true that businesses routinely move jobs to China to take advantage of the country's lower labour costs, one can't blame China exclusively for the loss of jobs at home. This is just a symptom of globalization and global capitalism.  As long as there are cheaper jurisdictions that businesses can take advantage of to cut costs, people in more advanced countries with stronger labour laws and higher wages will inevitably lose jobs to places where labour laws are more lax and labour itself is cheaper.

There are, however, a couple of economic trends for which I will single China out.  One is the seemingly endless growth of counterfeit goods for which China is a leading source, if not the leading source.  Everything from cellphones to expensive clothes is now counterfeited.  And where do many of these counterfeit goods come from?  Right from the Middle Kingdom itself.

If you're looking for a home, you might also have a reason to be angry at China.  This goes especially for those trying to find a home in Vancouver, Canada where real estate speculators from China have flooded the market and driven real estate prices to unbelievable highs.  The end result is that people who actually live in Vancouver or anywhere else where these investors from China are looking for property are priced out of the market.  I wouldn't be surprised if overseas buyers from China have a presence in every major city in the world where real estate is valuable.  In fact, when I was attending open houses in my home city of Toronto looking for a new house, I got worried every time I saw someone enter who appeared to be Chinese because I thought he or she might be an overseas buyer from China or perhaps a representative of one who would put an insane offer on a property I liked that would price me and any other Canadian would-be home buyer out.  Now just to be fair, inasmuch as I might hate speculators from China snapping up real estate and driving up prices, I also hate governments, especially here in Canada, who allow this to happen.

Can China Clean Up Its Act?

The answer to this question is, of course it can!  But it won't be easy.  The first obvious step is to remove the dictatorship that rules the country and which is the primary source of China's immoral and aggressive behaviour.  This will be extremely difficult as China now boasts the world's most powerful dictatorship in the world aside from Russia.  One would hope that the Chinese people will find a way to free themselves from their autocratic rulers.  Logic dictates that if they helped create civilization as we know it, they can certainly get rid of a few petty dictators, right?  Then again, they've tried before and failed.  Anyone who remembers the events of Tiananmen Square knows what I'm talking about.  Unfortunately, it will probably be up to external powers to remove China's dictatorship in the upcoming Third World War that I've spoken about in previous posts.  


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