The world will tremble

Because I can’t garden at the moment (too wet), I have time to think. Always dangerous.

In particular, I’m thinking about China. And I’m not liking it.

Today, a Chinese company bought a controlling stake in an old and much-loved British cereal brand. No doubt this is good for the company. It may even be good for UK jobs (though – call me a cynic – I doubt it).

A fairly unremarkable thing, on its own. But taken with the current Chen Guangchen story, and western nations’ general pusillanimity where China is concerned, it sends a shiver down my spine.

Napoleon was right: China has awoken, and the world is fucking trembling. Not in a good way, sadly. I’ve been to China, and I gotta tell ya: I didn’t like what I saw, and heard, and felt. Chinese people are delightful and charming. Their country’s politics, and some of its cultural precepts, utterly suck.

None of us can afford to ignore this, or wish it away – not any more. The unpalatable truth is that China’s economic power is so enormous that its tendrils are reaching far into our lives – wherever we live. In financial terms, China more or less owns the USA at this point. Chinese managers (and thus Chinese politicians) may already own the firm where you work.

Which means Chinese politics and Chinese culture are coming to your life – soon – wherever you are. Chen Guangchen is not some odd blind guy in a far away land with no relevance to you. In a very real sense, he IS you.

You may not be worried. Maybe you’re even ranting, as you read this, about western cultural imperialism and the terrible damage western nations did to China not so very long ago. In which case you have a point. We have much to be ashamed of.

But don’t rant too long, or too ardently. Above all, don’t be a fucking idiot and equate our sins with theirs as if there were some genuine moral/political equivalence.

Ask yourself merely this: How many Americans are queueing at the Chinese embassy in Washington asking for political asylum? Has that happened ever…. even just once?

[Postscript: This post may well condemn to a co-ordinated hack, or at the very least a denial-of-service attack. This is how China deals with views it doesn’t like – within and without its borders. If so, thanks for listening… and you know who done it]

PS Since I’m on the subject, I’d like to note here formally that I value my membership of the anglo-saxon political club higher every day. However often we fail to reach them, we set the highest standards for human dignity and liberty the world has ever seen. In particular, I admire beyond measure the constitution of the USA. Just knowing that it exists, somewhere over the Atlantic, as a last refuge for lovers of freedom – whatever happens – helps me sleep easier.

8 Responses to “The world will tremble”

  1. Kath Says:

    Agreed to a point…but isn’t that the way of evolution? At one time French was the language of business. As witness I present my US Passport which still has many French phrases on it. Now the language of business is English…some day it may be Chinese or Spanish or….

    China can buy the world as Britian nearly conquered it and to what end? The British Empire slipped away country by country and the same would happen with China. Why do you think the Republican party in the US is so opposed to immigrants,legal or otherwise,because then old white men won’t rule.

    Yes,I am a bleeding heart liberal feminist idiot American, but I can live with that.

  2. Soilman Says:

    I don’t care who’s my boss, Kath. I don’t care who’s ‘running’ the world… in principle. What language they/we speak and what food we/they eat is fairly unimportant.

    I only care that I’m working for (and answering to) somebody whose values I share. If/when China runs the world, that won’t be the case.

    Not even close.

  3. Rampant_Weasel Says:

    how about we put a eu trade embargo on china for their human rights abuses?
    surely a massive shot in the arm for western manufacturing?

    just a thought 🙂

  4. mike pitt Says:

    china also owns much of Brazil. It’s a danderous sitution when one nation becomes so powerful with so much control of other countries,that goes for any country including the usa

  5. Northsider Says:

    China and India are fastly becoming the new Europe Soilman.

    In China they give everybody piece of land and tell you to grow your own vegetables.

    They also have the majority of the pollution and consequently the UK is said to have the cleanest rivers for 200 years.

    Britain’s (and Ireland) got little manufacturing, millions on the dole and lots of leisure time to work on our allotments if you’re are lucky enough to get one.

    Do we want manufacturing, alienation,anomie,pollution and jobs, or a country that relies on imports, clean air and lots of enforced leisure time?

    I am trying to be ironic and wonder if there is a ecological alternative to Capitalism? Any thoughts on Green politics Soilman?

  6. Kerryn Says:

    Well China keeps trying to buy out australia, they are making overly high bids on our farm land and buying it all up, why? who knows maybe they plan to plant crops there and bring over thier workers so they have food for their country, if i recall they own some of our mining companies, so besides bying up all our land they also “rape” it of the natural resources and take it over to china to produce cheap products they sell back to us, yes they are flooding our markets with cheap products, they keep trying to get our stock market (buy it out and merge it with theirs, I didnt even know that was possible!!!), the sadest thing is majority of us are letting them, their products may only work out to save us $100 but we still rush to them rather than supporting local goods and suppliers, if it was up to me australia would not sell its land and ore for a couple of greens and a approval from another country, china doesnt play by our rules why should we play by theirs, why are we so stupid that instead of preserving what we have we give it to the highest bidder?? personally i dont wish to be owned by any country let alone one which dictates the way china does.. dont get me wrong i have nothing against them as people, but i get a very uneasy feeling when someone offers you 2 -5 times the average cost of something why invaid a country when they are so willing to just let you buy them out?

  7. Soilman Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Kerryn. We could all stop this nonsense immediately if we were just willing to support our own local industries and pay that little bit more to do so.

    Spotted this little gem today. It’s no more ghastly than British holiday resorts in Spain, but somehow more sinister…

  8. Kerryn Says:

    lol i always find it funny why people would travel around the world just to stay in places which reminds them of home, or are full of people from thier country… the simpsons really hit the nail on the head when they went to china and found the American fast food place and got the most american food they had on the menu, i know when ever i get around to leaving australia for a holiday i plan to go some place where i have to sign like a wiredo to get my point across and even than the meaning could be lost in translation and i dont reconise any of the accents around me oh and dont get me started on what i want for the food 🙂 no meat pies and sauce for me, i think ill have some monkey soup instead???