Seriously, I do wonder if there isn’t a strong antipathy against all things Official-Mainland-Chinese/ Chinese Communist Party and all its works building among Americans, in the wake of the almost-universal infection by the Wuhan Corona-virus epidemic. I mean – the damn plague started there, despite what all the official CCP agencies and bodies, and their sympathizers and hired media can and will insist. Bungling containment, concealing practically everything about the epidemic (the third devastating epidemic originating in China, by the way, the swine flu and the H1N1 virus being the first two) and then having the unmitigated gall to blame it on the United states – that takes the absolute cake, as far as I am concerned. It reminds me of the books I absorbed, growing up; most by English and American authors of the mildly popular sort (some fiction, some non) and dating anywhere in the first half of the 20th century whose detestation of Germany and Germans hung in the atmosphere of those books like a particularly dank fog. It was an almost visceral dislike, for all that we generally had been inclined favorably towards Germany before the turn of the previous century. Martin Luther, Johan Sebastian Bach, the Brothers Grimm, Schumann, Beethoven, Goethe, scientific, technological and medical advances all flowed to the rest of Europe and to the Americas, making us all the richer for it – but German ‘frightfulness’ in World War I, and the horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany burned through that enormous fund of respect and favorable opinion, leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of those old enough to have been exposed to them, either directly or at first and second remove. That bad taste may only now be fading with regard to Germany, but I wonder if it isn’t now about to be replaced with burning resentment of China, or at the very least, the Chinese Communist Party.
There is a certain unpleasant track record – ‘form’ as our English friends say, regarding Chinese-produced items; until now it may have been somewhat inchoate, unformed – but it is there. There was enormous harm done to communities across the US, when manufacturers moved manufacturing of everything from furniture, woven fabric, shoes, clothing, kitchenware, construction steel, computer chips, tools, and pharmaceuticals and so much else … to China. To initial advantage to the industrial bodies involved, because it was cheaper … at first. What doeth it profit us, as a whole, to have cheaper stuff at Target or Walmart … if the long-term result is the gutting of local industries, and the immiseration of working-class communities across the US over the last three or four decades? I wonder if those industries are now seriously recalculating the terms of the deal, in the wake of the Wuhan Corona-virus epidemic. I know that I am. I’d seriously be willing to pay more, for something American-made, which actually lasts. Lasts like consumer goods used to do, instead of being cheap and good for only a year or two … or less.
There are other indicia, along this vein: rumblings on various threads over the last couple of months; that American companies having goods manufactured in China were getting massively ripped off; counterfeit goods manufactured by the same factory licensed to produce the genuine article and sold under the legitimate brand, corners cut … all kinds of underhanded dealing, this averred by people – trusted, and long-time commenters who claimed first-hand knowledge through experience. Since I have never met any of these commentators face to face or have first-hand knowledge of their experience and qualifications, it’s a matter of faith on my part, to accept their statements. But I’ve been swimming in the pools of the internet since 2001; I believe I am a pretty fair judge of ripples and tendencies. This trend is a bit … worrisome. It was not a good thing, considered in retrospect, to hand over a great deal of our manufacturing capability to parties that we really could not trust. The startling realization that the Chinese authorities are perfectly willing to embargo pharmaceuticals, and things like surgical masks to American markets – that is an unwelcome eye-opener. Also, a knife at our collective throat. They that have power must be seen to exercise it, now and again. To encourage the others, you see.
A good bit ago – I think it was after the forced landing and sequestration of a US Navy P-3 Orion – I made a good effort to try and find non-Chinese-manufactured items, with only mixed results in the general marketplace. OK, then. Then there was the contaminated pet-food thing; it seemed that certain brands of pet food sourced from China had been boosted with an extra-added-secret ingredient … which killed dogs and cats fed it. And that was when I began to buy only US-sourced pet food. For extra measure, I passed on imported sea food – or indeed, just about any food item – sourced from China as well; if they would put dangerous crap in pet food, and cheerfully sell contaminated infant formula, what else would get into in food items for a profit? Only Texas-local for this family, especially after I read about steamed buns filled with cardboard and God knows what else. On another occasion – actually, several of them – The Gentleman With Whom I Kept Company for more than a decade and I went to a good few swap meets, looking for bargains. He was on a search for American-made tools; wrenches, screwdrivers and the like. Basic stuff, you would think. The Gentleman averred that most everything available in this depressing modern day was made in China, and it was absolute crap.
Additional indicators, of an unpleasantly authoritarian nature; small things, in the main, hitting the entertainment industrial complex where they live. Speaking out in support of Tibet as an independent entity seems to have cost Richard Gere professionally. It’s telling that the American manufacturers of big block-buster movies look more towards seeing that those movies appeal to a Chinese audience than an American one. Persecution of Christians, Falun Gongists, of the Hong Kong democracy protesters, of the Uighur minority … all of this and more is just another brick in the wall of distrust and dislike. Discuss as you wish.