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5 Reasons To Stop China-Bashing: Tofu Bridges, Officials’ Orgies (Slideshow)

5 Reasons To Stop China-Bashing: Tofu Bridges, Officials’ Orgies (Slideshow)
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Earlier this year, Michigan politician Pete Hoekstra aired a racist, sexist ad during the Super Bowl against his opponent, Senator Debbie Stabenow. As Care2 blogger Judy Molland wrote, “the xenophobic ad portrays a young Chinese woman speaking in broken English about the growth of her country’s economy, apparently at the expense of the US.”

China and the “threat” its economy poses to the US have also been a subject in the presidential campaign. In July, Mitt Romney was reported to have invested millions in a Chinese company that was promoting itself as nothing less than an “overseas destination for outsourcing,” Care2 blogger Jeff Fecke wrote.

But while China-bashing may win brownie points (and votes) for a Romney-Ryan ticket, Peter Hays Gries, a professor of international and area studies at the University of Oklahoma and the director of its Institute for U.S.-China Issues, writes (in a New York Times op-ed) that it does the US no good:

[China-bashing] will be bad for America’s relations with China and could undermine our national security. Many Chinese are already suspicious of American intentions, and ideologically driven rhetoric from across the Pacific will only confirm their worst fears.

A look at some recent developments in China suggest it’s possible US politicians and the press are playing up (and not without racist overtones) the “menace” China poses. Five signs that China is having some (not unsignificant) struggles of its own that, due to the Communist government’s strict control on information and tendency to spin out propaganda in the names of “news,” it’s not so easy for the rest of the world to really know about.

(The photo illustrating this post, of a man with severe disabilities begging in the streets of Shanghai, gives an indication of the country’s treatment of the impoverished and disabled that warrants its own post.)

Click through for the top 5 reasons.

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Photo of a man with severe physical disabilities in Shanghai by Augapfel

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90 comments

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9:39AM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

these reasons don't seem related?

8:23AM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

(cont)

In fact, things ARE slowing down a bit for China on that front, as the value of the yuan appreciates and inflation rises making it harder to get those incredible deals in labor and resources.. not to mention this latest row with Japan. But in terms of the broadening of the country's thinking, nothing could have been better for it than the market economy they switched to in the 80s not long after Mao's passing and which continues today. They've only been in the world market game for what? less than 30 years? Their early advantage was price competition and we are seeing some leveling off there of late. Getting back to my point, in terms of the broadening of the country's thinking, nothing could have been better for it, in some ways, than what the market economy has brought. Through international trade, a comparitively large influx of foreigners, and the internet, China continues to make incredible growth on all fronts, not just financial. I am happy to see some positive articles, humanizing pieces in which OCCASIONALLY China isn't made to look like the forbidding enemy of all that's sacred - because that's just not the whole of it.

7:29AM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

The cold and foreboding impression of China that people gain mainly from the press and their endless barrage of "horror stories from China" disappears rather quickly once you actually come to the country. While people may not have the same freedoms of expression that you may find in America, what you don't see here every other month or year is some new wackjob with a gun gunning down innocent children or movie-goers or what have you. In spite of the goods and bads of modern China, coupled with its ever-growing modern city scape, the strongest impression that people who actually visit the country come away with may well just be the very typical good humor and simultaneous no-nonsense attitude of a people that at least on the surface, don't lend the impression at all of being "oppressed". That's not to say it doesn't occur - just that it wouldn't be nearly as apparent as all the English articles written on the country would have you believe!

China's faults need to be taken with a little perspective, and yes I do think there is a tendency to scapegoat the country and blame it for our own misfortunes. Don't blame China for people who bring their businesses here and leave US workers without jobs.. Whose fault is that? In the Nixon era China was criticized for being too closed and on the wrong side of the cold war. Now that they open up, they're criticized for being too successful (at least that's the perception). In fact, ARE slowing down for China a little bit on that

10:28AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

The Chinese don't wanna draw lines with the U.S although some chinese strategies such as supporting new growth within the U.S. actually work both ways. What happens when demand remains constant but stagnation seeps into the economies, who support the difference for the supply?

1:02PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Louise, I agree. I tried to send you a star, but apparently I am not allowed. :-)

1:01PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Free Tibet

1:00PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Free Tibet.

11:52AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

The people of China need to say no to this kind of trash. It's time for a change in the politicians of the world it seems.

3:41AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

The day china stops being cruel to its people and animals and introduces decent human rights I MAY think about supporting this, but not before.

12:33PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

A N M. I have to disagree with you about Americans bashing all countries. I dont' think they do and when ever there is a crisis Americans (even in this horrible economy) open their wallet and give generously. Americans donate alot of time to causes both here (VISTA/AmeriCorps and local charities) and overseas (Peace Corps). Yes there are SOME Americans who bash anything that's unfamiliar but they are the minority. I've traveled all over the world and have heard more then my share of America bashing by countries we helped.

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