Monday, September 05, 2011

'The Chinese Invasion'

 Almost every American-themed trinket sold in the Smithsonian Institute is made in China.
 San Francisco is importing its new bay bridge from China.
 New York City awarded Chinese state-subsidized firms contracts to renovate the city’s subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River, and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium.

David Sirota, in an op-ed published in Truthout September 2, cited that spate of “mind-blowing” recent news headlines as evidence of “the Chinese invasion.” To that list, he added a reminder that the Martin Luther King monument in Washington was designed by a Chinese sculptor and assembled by low-wage Chinese workers.

Imagine the contradiction: a memorial for a civil rights leader who deplored “starvation wages” and died supporting a sanitation union’s strike is built by non-union serfs from China! The Chinese invasion, Sirota wrote, is caused by an America “no longer willing or able to invest in its own future.”

He attributed this shocking situation largely to our “golden age of big-money politics,” in which multinational corporations are “buying off our lawmakers.” But you can’t buy what’s already been sold.

Our China policy reflects the way most of our leaders really think, based on what they learned in the best universities about the sanctity of free markets. President Obama’s embrace of free trade and free investment agreements is consistent with what he imbibed at Harvard and Chicago.
That line of thinking has penetrated even some union leaders. At the June International Labor Conference in Geneva, a representative of the All-China Federation of Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), a component of China’s state/Party power structure, was elected to the governing body of the ILO, thanks to a decision of a divided Workers’ Group.

The International Union of Food and Hotel Workers (IUF) statement on that development was headed: “ACFTU representing workers’ interests….—that cannot be serious!

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