Monday, June 20, 2005

More on China

Henry Kissinger, the former academic and US Secretary of State, writes on why China can't and shouldn't be contained. This piece is spot-on in every major way and I suggest it to anyone who still thinks China is akin to the Soviet Union. I'll give you an example. I came across this piece over at No Right Turn. Heres my problems with it:
- China is identified as a "totalitarian shithole". People use this word when referring to Iran as well. In both cases it is wrong, although understandable. They are authoritarian regimes, and in the case of China, it should be seen as closer to the East Asian tigers (Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea etc) before their democratic transformations. Totalitarianism seeks to remake the individual and China gave that up after Mao.
- The author argues that we shouldn't be trading with countries unless they accept the bare minimum of not torturing people or detaining them arbitrarily. Well i guess this means we can't trade with most developing countries then. $112.4million in exports went to Iran. Should we stop this too?
- The idea that China wants a free trade deal with New Zealand so that it is seen as acceptable by international trading community is sort of wrong. After all, they have joined the WTO and most are happy with their progress on adhering to commitments. I think its larger than that. Being the first Western nation to have a free trade with China will led people to believe it is a market-based economy when it reality that transition is still occuring. Our market is tiny and won't have a major impact on China. This allows us to be a suitable test case.
All i'm arguing for here is to have co-operative relations with China. Theres nothing wrong in pushing for human rights, but lets accept that China is a legitimate government who we can deal with. Particaption in the world economy and the huge volume of trade that results from this is remaking China. Lets not hold back the prosperty of 1.3billion Chinese.

Btw, first edition of inaugural edition of the Kiwi Carnival is up.

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