Shanghaiist is going to give Senator Clinton the benefit of the doubt — that she actually knows better but is just being the politician that everybody expects her to be. But the following infuriatingly pandering comment puts Senator Clinton right up there with the lovely Senator Schumer on this Shanghaiist’s “too-political-for-America’s-own-good” list:
“We have to have tougher standards on what they import into this country,” she said. I don’t want to eat bad food from China or have my children having toys that are going to get them sick,” said Clinton.
Of course, USA-Today/Gallup polls indicate the senator leads the Democratic field by 22 points, and her comments merely play upon the growing anti-China sentiment sparked by the recent recalls. And this Shanghaiist would be the first to rattle off a whole slew of terrifying anecodotes and statistics to illustrate just how badly China’s consumer products/pharmaceuticals regulatory bodies need improvement. We are certainly not about to defend a system that kills at least 200,000 Chinese every year from fake medicines alone that make their way into the market some way or another.
But. As we have said over and over and over again. Where exactly do people think all of those “Made in China” goods are coming from — some mysterious company called China? Who is the “they” that Senator Clinton is referring to, other than American corporations who have gone to China to cut costs and are exporting back a huge chunk of everything America is importing? Why are people getting angry at China for subpar American branded products? Yes, China most certainly has some serious consumer safety problems that must be addressed. But if that’s the case, why are all of these American corporations manufacturing their products in China, and are they really doing what must be done to mitigate the risks of doing so?
Just when Shanghaiist thought it was no longer safe for our health to make any attempt at following US politics, John Edwards managed to muster the courage to say something semi-honest:
“We should have a Consumer Product Safety Commission that’s not looking out for big multinational corporations, but is actually looking out for the safety of our children here in America,”
Wow. Hold corporations accountable, and do something in the interest of people? Or for the children of America, or the beloved dogs and cats of America, it doesn’t really matter. Shanghaiist is just glad somebody finally said it.
Yes, we understand that feeling threatened as undisputed world hegemony must be a little scary, creating the kind of fear that politicians love to take advantage of. But take a close look at the competition at hand — yes, China is growing very quickly, but this rate of growth is unsustainable and inefficient in more ways than one, leaving China to deal with a whole new set of quickly worsening problems associated with advanced economic development, on top of a number of fundamental shortcomings, without having established the foundation to do so. China has a long way to go before it can think about truly threatening America’s position in the world and world domination, if China really is as obsessed with taking over the world as US politicians would have us believe.
Photo from Michael Totten.com.