“Imagine the potential for chaos if a foreign power — especially an unpredictable, potentially hostile state like China — had the controls to our electricity grid or, worse yet, the keys to the deadly nuclear materials located at our commercial nuclear reactors.” — Joan Claybrook, president, Public Citizen
With quotes like that little gem, Shanghaiist is beginning to wonder whether to start mourning the collective loss of reason behind this growing China-panic, or to keep screaming about all the ignorant, blinding Sinophobia across the Pacific. Thankfully, there are some publications that manage to keep their panic in check, and even make some notable attempts at actually thinking about the situation. Shanghaiist can’t even begin to explain how sick we are of the deafening, off-key “blame China” chorus coming from America, so we won’t.
Shanghaiist would like to remind America that most of those darned Chinese goods flooding the country are coming from U.S. businesses taking advantage of China’s cheap labor — there is no evil Chinese entity over here shipping all these cheap goods to America with the goal of undercutting American manufacturers. (The latest American industries outsourcing to China? Salmon de-boning and coffin-making.) But obviously, blaming the U.S. for something that is its own fault doesn’t make the politicians look very good. Shanghaiist couldn’t agree more with a Detroit Free Press article that states America is just going to have to adjust and face the realization that China inevitably kicks America’s ass when it comes to manufacturing, yuan revaluation or no. Stop whining, and start competing. (Shanghaiist is, however, annoyed that this otherwise well-written column attempted to state China’s population as 2 billion.)
In all fairness, Shanghaiist will be the first to admit that anything 70 percent Chinese government owned is a little scary. But Shanghaiist thinks it is a little over the top that anything involving a China-bid on an American company is billed as either “hostile,” “controversial” or both. (America also has perspective issues in remembering its own purchases in China’s state-owned assets, and exactly how China’s American investments stack up.) China is in a position where building up credibility and image is more important than America might like to admit. It isn’t always about politics, national security and sabotage.
Besides, why get all worked up and Sinophobic about a country that is so ready to throw around its money on pig sperm in space experiments and gyms with valuable jade artifacts on display?
UPDATE: China’s Haier just dropped its controversial $1 billion bid for Maytag.