I am not a fan of the nation of China. Millions of jobs previously held by members of our extended American family are now performed in the Middle Kingdom. But there are plenty of other reasons to view the Great Panda with disdain.
We here on the West Coast were shocked to learn recently that China exported some of its air pollution to us, free of charge. I am sure they didn’t mean to send it over here, but nonetheless, I am not happy about it.
My bus to work every morning runs down the “Ave” next to the UW campus. Sometimes I wonder if I have magically transported to Beijing given the cacophony of Mandarin, Jin, Wu, Gan and Ping being spoken at the back of the bus. There is a simpler explanation. In 2012, 11 percent of the nearly 5,800 incoming freshmen at the UW were from China. The UW loves them because they pay almost three times the freight as students from Washington State. But they also crowd out Washington students who not surprisingly might like to attend college in the state in which they actually reside. Michael K. Young, the UW’s president, sees no problem with the current state of affairs. “Is there any advantage to our taking a kid from California versus a kid from China? You’d have to convince me, because the world isn’t divided the way it used to be.” Really Michael? Oh wait, I forgot we are all citizens of a world that no longer has any national borders. Do we even track trade between countries any more? Oh that’s right, we still do. And we ran a $300 billion trade deficit with China last year. So maybe we should concentrate on educating Americans who might strengthen the American economy as opposed to Chinese students who will strengthen the Chinese economy.
China sends more than 200,000 college students, or “sea turtles”, abroad each year. They are called sea turtles because most of them return to China to work, often for foreign firms. Business is the most popular subject for Chinese students studying abroad. Since U.S. universities are educating Chinese students in business so they can make the Chinese economy stronger, we should take it to the next level. The CIA should invite some Chinese hacker whiz kids to study at Langley so we can improve the Chinese security services ability to spy on the U.S. military.
When it comes to dangerous crappy products, the Chinese have no rivals. Where to start? Drugs, toys, pet treats, toothpaste (who doesn’t like a little antifreeze when they brush?), the list is long. I would say you need to have your head examined if you even considered eating any food imported from China.
Pure and simple, elephants in Africa would not be dying at the rate of one every fifteen minutes but for China. Eight out of ten households in China own at least one ivory product, with 2.7 pieces on average per household. Apparently 70% of the Chinese population thinks that elephants shed their tusks and then just grow new ones. It is unclear what proportion of the Chinese population believes in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or ghosts.
Not content to decimate the elephant population, the Chinese also have an insatiable appetite for any animal parts they can eat or grind up for traditional medicines. You name it, bear paws, tiger penises, rhino horns, and shark fins, all are highly prized in China. It boggles the mind to imagine what the Chinese wouldn’t eat if they though it might impress their friends or cure their gout.
China imports more coal and burns more coal than any other nation in the world. Their coal imports fuel one of their shitty exports (Not college students).
I know this post is sort of an extended hissy fit about the Middle Kingdom, but I couldn’t help myself. The loss of amazingly majestic intelligent animals like elephants just so some hump can have an ivory lucky charm is criminal. So if you share my feelings, do what I do. Make Chinese goods your product of last resort. Buy American. And support Elephant conservation efforts. I promise my next post will be more positive. Maybe.