Sunday, October 3, 2010

Should we be buying products made in China?

Reading the Weekend Post on Saturday a report about a two legged pig in China caught my eye. Apparently a Mr Wang Xihai has a pig that was born without its rear legs and he has taught it to walk on its front two legs and is now a local celebrity. The mind boggles - of all the things to report about China, the Weekend Post chooses this useless snippet and dedicates 170 words to a two legged pig.

If I had the luxury of writing 170 words to tell the world something of importance about China - This is what I would write:
China condones the murder of baby girls:
On the garbage dumps that surround Beijing, scavengers from time to time will find a newborn baby girl amid the stinking refuse. Sometimes she is still alive. In China, couples are permitted one, at most two, children. Too frequently a girl is a disappointment. Thrown away.   Every year, say researchers, perhaps a million girl foetuses are aborted and tens of thousands of girl babies are abandoned. Left to die from exposure or disposed of like rubbish. BBC news

Or I might choose to write on the damage that China is doing to the environment.
China condones the murder of our planet.
Chinese cities are wrapped in a toxic gray shroud and only 1% of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death and ambient air pollution alone is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. In most industrial cities, people rarely see the sun. Children are being killed or sickened by lead poisoning and other types of local pollution. China has a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.China is choking on its own success and China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain. New York Times

Perhaps I would choose to write about China's abuse of Human Rights.
China imprisons and executes people without a fair trial.
Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. An estimated 500,000 people are currently enduring punitive detention without charge or trial, and millions are unable to access the legal system to seek redress for their grievances. Harassment, surveillance, house arrest, and imprisonment of human rights defenders are on the rise, and censorship of the Internet and other media has grown. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians, and of Falun Gong practitioners and Christians who practice their religion outside state-sanctioned churches continues. While the recent reinstatement of Supreme People's Court review of death penalty cases may result in lower numbers of executions, China remains the leading executioner in the world. Amnesty International

One thing for sure - if I had the luxury of reporting something newsworthy about China, something that would make people think - it would not be about a two legged pig. Our newspapers have become more of a form of entertainment than a source of information. They should be a voice to tell the world what is happening and a catalyst for positive change. The media has the power to inform and influence our buying decisions.

But then I wonder if consumers have a conscience?? Do you? Are you condoning what is happening in China by supporting its economy?


  1. Why does the Western world not do anything - perhaps because china own 40% of their banks.

  2. It's all about money, money, money. In addition to all of the above, China's cruelty to animals is also well documented, yet ignored when it comes to business deals. The world needs more consumers with a social conscience.