It’s been a rough couple of weeks for China; I call it “growing pains”. Such is the inevitable effect of a rapidly developing and industrializing nation. I’m sure European and North American countries experienced similar difficulties during the industrial revolution.
The recent pet food contamination has been traced back to suppliers in China. More recently, I came across a Toronto Star article about a woman who purchased a couch with an apparent racist label attached to it. The furniture store and supplier have also put the blame on the supplier in China. Most people have already jumped to the conclusion that this was an intentional racist remark. But since I am fortunate enough to see a different perspective from my Chinese girlfriend Han, she is certain that it is a simple translation error.
I can just picture a Chinese guy working in the factory with a little English/Chinese translation dictionary from 50 years ago; he’s trying to translate the colour “brown” and he comes across a word that he probably has no idea is racist (If you read the article). Anyway, I hope people can see that there are always two sides to the story.
On a related note, my Father manages an auto parts assembly plant in the United States which is being closed down later this year because they are moving the operations over to China. It’s easy to blame the Chinese for taking away jobs from North America (Although I’ve never heard my father do this). But the Chinese and other developing nations have also had a huge hand in making the G8 nations extremely prosperous. People love to shop at Wal Mart, where the “lowest price is the law”. Most small towns in the U.S. do all of their shopping at Wal Mart; from their groceries to their undergarments to their hunting gear. Why do you think Wal Mart’s prices are such a bargain? Basically it comes down to Wal Mart’s efficient Supply Chain Management processes and the fact that most of the goods come from China. Do you think we would be as wealthy if we had to pay $600 for a pair of pants, or $350 for a pair of shoes? Developing nations make the products that the rich nations don’t want to make.
I am personally excited and at the same time worried about China and India’s growth. I’m excited about the balance of power with the world’s superpower the United States, but at the same time worried about a showdown with the United States. The overpopulation problem in those nations is also troublesome, as the world’s limited natural resources will be ever more in high demand. More dirty wars will be fought over these resources and our wasteful lifestyles will need to change for the world to accommodate everyone.