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Originally posted by tekvicious at 2006-8-22 06:43
SO what? This is the way the Chinese have been forever!!!!!!!!!
Why are we acting like this is new behaviour?
Can't play ball? Let's just lower the net and not allow anyone over 5'8" to play, right?? That's basically what is done time and time again. Don't believe me? What happened to DaVinci code? Oh...it was just getting a bit to successful as a foreign film in China. So let's stop it.
Foreign cars? Imported ones? Welll...let's just start taxing 100% on those plus 50% for the broker fees (also government agencies).
Ohhh...you'd like to open a business as a foreigner? Well...it'll cost you about 100x the amount that it would cost a local. Or you must partner with a local (51% shareholder).
Changing the rules is a Chinese pastime (historically speaking) and it has been known to make for nasty endings (read, Opium Wars etc...).
While I'll agree with much of the post, I can't say this is unique to China. Even my own Canada has gone through bouts of protectionism in its past.Unfortunately some people do confound nationalism with patriotism, and protectionism is one of the consequences of that. In fact.
As for the Opium Wars, however, that is way off base. Those wars were for the purpose of forcing the Chinese government to open its borders to the Opium trade while the British government had banned the substance in its own country. Now had China banned foreing imports of opium while allowing its own people to produce it, then we could call that unfair trade, and even that would not constitute a reason to do what the British had done to China. The fact is, however, that there was no double standard; the Chinese government had banned the opium trade entirely, regardless of whether one was Chinese or foreinger. In fact, if there was any injustice, it was in this, that the Chinese government was more lenient with foreigners who broke the law than it was with Chinese (in the beginning stages, foreigners simply had their opium confiscated and sent on their merry way, whereas Chinese could get the death penalty.
Only later, as opium addiction was reaching epidemic proportions did the Chinese government really start to clamp down on foreigners too. Needless to say, the British didn't like the drop in profits. Even British newspapers of the time were expressing shame for and indignation against the Opium Wars. These wars were all about exploiting the addictive power of opium in order to profit from the Chinese people. The Chinese lost both wars, but they were in the right and lost a righteous war both times. The British won both wars, but they faught and won an unrighteous war. Might does not necessarily make right.