Belching about China

I sometimes read opinions about China from individuals who should stay quiet.  Leo Hindery wrote one for The Huffington Post, which  is an example of an American castigating China from a Western cultural point-of-view.

These biased voices bother me and probably bother many Chinese too. Of course, Hindery has a right to voice his opinions, but most Chinese don’t understand that the American government has no control (at least we like to think so) of what appears in the American media.

Xu Xiao-dong, in Zhouzhuang, China, an artist in his shop earning a living without help from the American labor movement.

Since the media in China is the official voice of the government, many in China see the Western media the same way. Hindery says he is eager to see the “American labor movement smartly and creatively provide all the help to China’s workers that it can responsibly offer” to help Chinese workers earn more money along with better benefits. Considering what the American labor movement did for the US auto industry, that is a bad idea.

Due to Western meddling in China  during the 19th century, there were two Opium Wars  forcing British, French and American opium into the country along with Christian missionaries, which led to the Taiping Rebellion started by a Christian convert ending in 20 to 100 million killed. Then there was the Boxer Rebellion, a peasant uprising caused by meddling Christian missionaries, greedy Western businessmen and pompous politicians.

In fact, due to the West forcing China to open its doors, more than two-thousand years of Imperial rule ended leading to four decades of chaos and anarchy between 1913 and 1950 where millions more were killed.

My opinion is to let the Chinese fix China and leave the American labor movement out of it.

See China’s Labor Laws


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

16 Responses to Belching about China

  1. Some of the sources I get my information from are linked to the posts I write.

    Other than that, I’ve been reading about China for more than a decade and the books, articles and experiences traveling to China along discussions with Tibetans, many Chinese including retired high-ranking Communist officials are too numerous to list and I wouldn’t know where to start. Also some of the sources inside China would rather stay in the shadows.

    I’m also married to a Chinese woman. Being part of an extended Chinese family that reaches around the world and into China is another source for learning.

  2. Some of the sources I get my information from are linked to the posts I write.

    Other than that, I’ve been reading about China for more than a decade and the books, articles and experiences traveling to China along discussions with Tibetans, Chinese, etc., and retired, high-ranking Communist officials are too numerous to list and I wouldn’t know where to start. Some of my sources would rather stay in the shadows since they live in China.

    I’m also married to a Chinese woman and her family. Being part of an extended Chinese family that reaches around the world and into China is another source for learning.

  3. Im looking for more information on The British East India history, can you point me in the right direction?

  4. Belching about China « iLook China…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  5. Ronald says:

    Mr. Lofthouse,
    You should have mentioned that bleeding heart little brat Leslie T. Chang and her hypcritical book Factory Girls. I love how a Harvard grad is getting rich off of writing about the strife of Chinese labor, yet 1) she’s never worked a day of manual labor in her life, and 2) she totally ignores the primary SOURCE of this strife, which is the AMERICAN COMPANIES who outsource to China.
    All these western journalists types think they are so great, but at the end of the day they go back to their cushy, elitist lifestyles and collect their paychecks from the very corporations that keep slave labor in China alive.

    • I haven’t read her book. Don’t plan to. Can’t read everything that someone writes about China. Tell me about it. What does she have to say about China?

    • What you say is true about Western journalists–most anyway. There probably are exceptions–usually are.

      However, those factory workers are not “slave labor”. Most come from the rural areas of China and earn more money in those factories than in the villages they came from. What a factory worker earns in a few months may equal what he or she would have earned in the village in a year or more.

      Those workers could have stayed home but they actually earn enough to send yuan home to help the family left behind and the factory workers still manage to save–sort of like the illegal immigrants that come across America’s southern border–twelve million of them, who are working in the US for what most American born citizens consider slave wages, but slaves are not paid. The factory workers in China and the illegal aliens in the US earn money and that is their choice–no one forced them. They could have all stayed in their primitive village and worked the fields.

      Most of the factory workers in China are provided free-living quarters in dorms with a food allowance beyond what they are paid in those factories. Yes, compared to US workers, the pay is low in China but the cost of living and the living conditions in rural China cannot compare to the US.

      Back in the villages, the families pay no rent or mortgage, and the factory workers can always quit and go home to the village. The villages are collectives and the land belongs to no one, everyone, and the government.

      The real crime is all the people in the US who collect food stamps and other social welfare support and drive cars, live in houses and have TVs. As long as the US government pays Americans not to work, why should they. Let the illegal aliens do that backbreaking work for low pay.

      In 1950, when the Communists came to power, China was broke, bankrupt. Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists took all the gold and treasures to Taiwan and left nothing behind but hundreds of millions of people. Those people left in China created a miracle building the country that we see today. They worked hard and sacrificed and there is still a lot of work to do.

      Mao made some horrible mistakes with his Great Leap Forward and his Cultural Revolution so China had a slow start to improve things for 1.3 billion people. Compared to where China was in 1976 when Mao died, that country has come a long way without any help from America or anyone else.

      In fact, if it weren’t for China, the global economic crises would be worse–much worse and many of those bleeding heart Americans might be suffering as they have never suffered before. I wonder if any of them could survive without a soda, pizza and a bowl of hot buttered popcorn while watching American Idol. Imagine giving up TV and the iPod.

      In 1950, China was generating 0.005 kilowatts of electricity. In the last thirty years, China rebuilt their major cities and started building new ones and provided electricity for about 550 million Chinese who never had it

      As I write this, China is extending the electric grid into the rural areas to villages that have never had electricity before. China is adding another 20 to 40 thousand kilometers of rail and paved roads to reach those villages too. There are experiments taking place to see how China is going to replace the old primitive villages with modern buildings. The government plans to subsidize the cost of appliances for the peasants, sp the rural areas will have refrigerators once the electricity arrives.. It takes time to build a modern nation from scratch. What took the US more than a century, China has done in thirty years. I wrote a post that compared how long it took America to develop. If China and America had started modernizing at the same time, when China finished, America would still have another 75 to 100 years left to catch up.

      Let the American bleeding hearts bleat like the sheep they are–The Chinese will ignore them.

      If the projections of growth and modernization in China are correct, in ten to fifteen years, China will be richer and stronger than and the US will be a beggar nation–broke and in debt unless Americans start to sacrifice by working as hard as the Chinese are doing now.

      How many American’s do you think would do without as the Chinese are doing? The Chinese don’t miss anything. How can you miss something you never had? Most Americans are soft and spoiled.

      Did you know that more than 30% of China’s university graduates are engineers and technicians but in the US, less than 5% graduate with those tough degrees while more than 30% in the US are earning university degrees to be shrinks?

  6. I agree with your thesis that China doesn’t need the help of the American labor movement. They’ve already helped GM and Chrysler enough. 🙂

    You mention “French and American opium” above. My understanding is that the opium was grown in India and forced on China by the British. I’m by no means an expert on the opium war, but I have studied China extensively for a couple of decades, and this is the first I’ve ever heard of French or American involvement.

    Would you care to post a reference documenting French and/or American sources of opium? Thanks!

    • The Portuguese were the ones who introduced Opium smoking to the Chinese.

      You are correct. The opium was grown in India, but the first Opium War was fought with British and French troops against China. The French demands were separate from the British but the two nations joined forces in waging war against China to open the country to opium trade.

      The British government was not directly involved in the drug trade. What they did was use their modern military power to insure that Western merchants had the freedom to sell opium in China.

      After 1757, the British East India Company struggled to control a monopoly on opium production and trade in Asia. Then William Jardine found a loophole and broke the British East India Company’s attempt to control opium trade, and Jardine, Matheson & Co was born. Jardine opened the floodgates for other merchants to join in the opium rape of China. However, he was the first and he become the richest man in Britain because of that. After his death, his company survived. Jardine Matheson Limited (which is still around) stopped dealing in drugs in the 1870s and built the first railroads in China.

      There are several mentions of the United States and its role in the opium wars that appear in the following quote (there are other sources for these facts):

      “One of the reasons that the Chinese found themselves again engaged in war with the Western powers had a lot to do with the trade arrangements that the countries had made with China. Each country and government, including the United States, France, Ireland, and Britain, had signed a treaty with the Chinese government that gave them certain rights when trading. Each treaty was up to be renegotiated after twelve years. Britain was unhappy with the amount of privilege and attention they were receiving and they sought to turn the tide in their favor by demanding that the Chinese renegotiate their treaty with extra rights. A few of the things that the British wanted were legalization of the Opium trade as well as the opening of all merchant ports to the British and for all English treaties that were signed by the British to be considered to be more valid that those which were written in Chinese.…Starting in June of 1858, the British and French (along with Russia and the United States) began to make demands on China that they sign more treaties which would grant the foreign western countries more trading demands.” Source:

      The treaties that each of these nations, including the US, negotiated with China allowed merchants from their respective countries to do trade in China and that included opium.

  7. apalmini says:

    The Chinese don’t need our help. Nice post.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: