[Marxism] China Irks U.S. as It Uses Trade To Embellish Newfound Clout (WSJ)
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 3 07:20:57 MDT 2005
>Washington's fear of China's expanding role isn't limited to its
>close and friendly ties with Cuba and Venezuela, which get scant
>mention here. In fact, China's international role indicates clearly
>that Washington isn't interested in capitalism, as advocates of the
>so-called "free enterprise" system teach its doctrines in colleges
>and in newspaper columns. They're not motivated by any other thing
>than private property and raw power.
Walter, capitalism *is* private property and raw power.
>The widespread claim that capitalism can provide a better standard
>of living for people is belied by the fear Washington expresses
>toward China for its practice of capitalist trade principles all
>over the world. Some on the political left argue that capitalism
>has been restored in China.
Yes, I think so myself. You can read my report on Martin Hart-Landsberg and
Paul Burkett's book-length MR article at:
Here's an excerpt:
In part 3, Marty and Paul look at the domestic consequences of the
transformation of the Chinese economy. This involved an increase in worker
insecurity as the number of SOEs fell from 100,000 to 60,000 between 1995
through 1999. This translates into massive unemployment. From 1996 to 2001,
some 36 million state-enterprise workers were laid off; over the same
period collective farms let go of 17 million workers. These are the
official figures. However, the government disguises unemployment by
considering only workers under 50 (for men) or under 45 (for women) as
officially unemployed. In addition, if your employer is a SOE that has
stopped operating, you are not counted. This also leaves out the immense
number of rural workers who are simply too marginalized to count.
Not only has unemployment increased, so has inequality. The Gini
coefficient for China rose to 0.46 in 2000. This surpasses the inequality
level in Thailand, India and Indonesia. Most observers suspect that the
coefficient may be as high as 0.50, which puts China in near Brazilian and
South African levels. (According to Wikipedia, The Gini coefficient is a
measure of income inequality developed by the Italian statistician Corrado
Gini. The Gini index equals Gini coefficient times 100. The Gini
coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means perfect
equality--everyone has the same income--and 1 means perfect inequality--one
person has all the income, everyone else has nothing).
Wall Street Journal:
>Chinese officials say they are not trying to rival the U.S. or stir
>trouble. Beijing's trade and investment agenda, they say, is designed
>to support an economy dependant on exports that also has a thirst for
>energy and raw materials. In addition, for decades, U.S. presidents
>have urged China to join the international economy and to take its
>rightful place on the diplomatic stage.
Did you catch the misspelling: "dependant"? Ha-ha!
>One reason for the slowdown, say trade experts, is that U.S.
>negotiators are forced to load up agreements with environmental and
>labor conditions to help them pass through Congress. They also have
>to try to protect sensitive U.S. markets by maintaining tariffs or
>quotas. China generally eschews such niceties.
Yes, China does eschew such niceties:
LA Times, May 13, 2005
The deaths of five girls draw attention to the practice, common in
struggling rural areas.
By Ching-Ching Ni
Times Staff Writer
BEIXINZHUANG, China Christmas was just two days away and snow was falling
when the five factory girls finished their shift. They'd been working for
12 hours, it was already after 1 a.m., and their dorm was freezing cold.
One of them ran out to grab a bucket and some burning coal. The room warmed
slightly. They drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, none of them woke up. They had been poisoned by the
fumes. But their parents believe at least two of the girls died much more
They charge that the owner of the canvas-making factory was so impatient to
cover up the fact that three of the unconscious workers were underage that
he rushed the girls into caskets while some were still alive.
"You see the damage on the corner of the box, the bruises on the side of
her head, and the vomit in her hair?" said Jia Haimin, the mother of
14-year-old Wang Yajuan, pointing to pictures of her daughter lying in a
cardboard casket stained with vomit and appearing to show evidence of a
struggle. "Dead people can't bang their heads against the box. Dead people
can't vomit. My child was still alive when they put her in there."
The case, made public months later by New York-based Human Rights in China,
highlights this country's often hidden problem of child labor. The Chinese
government officially forbids children under 16 from working, but critics
say it does little to enforce the law. Statistics are hard to come by, but
in some estimates, as many as 10 million school-age children are doing
their part to turn China into a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse. China's
one-child policy may have produced a generation of spoiled "little
emperors" in the nation's relatively wealthy cities, but poverty and
lopsided development have driven a disproportionate number of rural
children out of the classrooms and into lives of labor.
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