Is It Time to Stop Doing Business with China?
I almost fell off the chair when I saw Lawrence Van Gelder’s little squib (reprinted in full nearby) in The New York Times, reporting that the Chinese have edited “Pirates of the Caribbean” because one of the characters “vilifies and humiliates the Chinese.”
Imagine! The premier pirates of American films and other intellectual property not only have pirated yet another blockbuster, but also have edited out a Chinese character because it was “in line with Hollywood’s old tradition of demonizing the Chinese.”
Is it time to rethink doing business with China? I am not talking human rights and animal abuses such as:
• Gendercide—the aborting of female fetuses and abandoning of baby girls—sometimes still alive—on garbage heaps, which resulted in a 1997 estimate by the World Health Organization that “more than 50 million women were estimated to be ‘missing’ in China because of the institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing’s population control program that limits parents to one child”;
• The condoning of all forms of prisoner torture, with the exception of “kuxing,” which creates lasting scars and disability;
• The routine jailing of writers and journalists whose reporting the government disagrees with;
• The destruction of millions of sharks, skates and rays every year for “finning”—cutting off the fins for shark fin soup and discarding the rest of the body—not only causing the animal to bleed to death or drown because it cannot swim without fins, but also threatening the very survival of species that many in Southeast Asia depend upon for protein.
I am talking about greedy buccaneer Chinese businesses and groups that plunder the world’s intellectual property, flout public safety in its myriad exports and threaten your very health and life—and those of your family, your children and your pets. It’s a given that the term “Chinese business ethics” is an oxymoron. Let me count a few of the ways.