The decimation wrought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 2022 Feb 24 has been immense. Ukraine has crumbled, its economy severely damaged and its people scattered across the EU and the Western world. On one hand Ukraine has a bully neighbour intent on destroying it, while on the other Western countries have continued to provide Ukraine with enough weapons to continue its fight, the result being even more destruction of Ukraine. Ukraine’s predicament has had many other global implications, almost all bad.
Inglis RBF175RA fridge, brand name logo, right side lamp shade. Photo by Don Tai
Over twenty years ago I moved into my house, replete with an avocado coloured fridge, an Inglis model RBF175RA, and a bunch of other old appliances. Through the years most have been replaced, but this fridge lives on. Getting older, the fridge has had trouble controlling its temperature, but today I repaired it with a new cold control thermostat replacement.
Doing business in China is a minefield. Even international companies that sell clothing, such as H&M, can get inadvertently caught up in Chinese politics, and then crucified by Chinese netizens. What country you are from, what you say, who you are, can be either now or in the future used against you and your company by China. It is unbelievable, really. China is on a mission to change the world to become China friendly in every way, and will pummel anyone or any country that stands in its way.
This image was banned on 2 QQ (Chinese) social media forums. This is a label from a carton of 30 Burnbrae large eggs, made in the USA. Photo 1 by Don Tai
I do not intend to be subversive on Chinese social media, nor very political. I also do stay away from sensitive issues on QQ, a Chinese social media messaging and forum site. This image ban, however, really took me by surprise. I teach some English on the Chinese forums, so I thought I’d show them a typical Canadian product label in English and French. I tried 3 times, and the QQ bot banned me all three times from posting to 2 separate QQ forums. Very odd.
She’s 16 and very cute, though she has a temper. In fact, she is correct. The adults of the world are ruining the environment, and her generation and beyond will need to repair it. While the outcomes are irrefutable the contributing issues are complex. While there is no excuse for wrecking the environment, there are reasons why adults are not more proactive.
People need jobs or they cannot live. Many of these jobs involve natural resources. Canada, for example, has oil in the ground that has been traditionally extracted and sold to customers around the world. If we stop the burning of oil completely, these jobs will disappear and people’s lives and families will be destroyed. While this can change, in the long run, we have no mechanism to do this yet.
China is well known for its ability to detain foreigners from exiting the country. It is often used to settle business conflict between foreigners and Chinese companies. The Chinese company contacts the police to say that a foreigner has not paid or lived up to some business dealing and Chinese border control puts a ban on the foreigner’s exit. These are called “exit bans“.
Bian kong, “边控“， short for bianjing kongzhi, “边境控制” is a system that can bar a foreigner from leaving China. We normally call it an “exit ban”
So many articles have come out of China that view China as the victim, and the US has been picking on China and Huawei. In China this victimization is played up in the news and, with the absence of varying views, believed by most Chinese people.
On the surface they seem to have a persuasive argument: China is up and coming, the US is a “has been” country that refuses to step down, and therefore is trying to contain China’s rise. The US is racist. There is a clash of civilizations. The US is a bully. The US under Trump is against international trading and international order.
-attitude without strategy
-common complaints against China:
discriminatory trade barriers, forced technology transfer, militarization of outposts in the South China Sea, pressure on Taiwan, human rights and religious freedom, government-sponsored cyber-enabled economic espionage, and Chinese interference in other countries’ political systems.