Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Year Without Made in China: One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni

Publishers: Wiley

Hardcover/235 pages/June 2007

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir
/Business

Watch the author on You Tube







When my daughters were younger they played a game around the house. The rules were simple, the first player to name 10 things in the room NOT made in China was the winner. Let me tell you, it was one of the hardest games to win. It was then it dawned on me how China had crept into our home without us even realizing it.

When we read articles about sweatshops and forced labor in China, not to mention the recent news articles about tainted food from there, my husband and I will go tsk, tsk at the news, resolving to buy less from China, but, truth be told, when it comes to prices Chinese products win hands down every time. So when I saw that business writer Sarah Bongiorni had written a book (A Year Without "Made in China") on her family's boycott of Chinese goods for a whole year, I knew I had to read it!

On Jan1, 2005 Sarah Bongiorni decided that she and her family would go without buying any Chinese-manufactured products for one whole year. What they already owned would stay and gifts or loans were fair game. As anticipated, it was very tough trying to locate non-Chinese goods and when they did, they were asked to pay exorbitant prices. There's a wonderful chapter in the book which chronicles her search for a pair of sneakers for her 4-year old son Wes. Despite her best efforts she couldn't find a pair of non-Chinese white sneakers, finally she had to buy an Italian-made pair of sneakers online for $68...a steep hike from the usual $15 that she would have spent at Payless.




Here are a few things she and her husband learned about China:

1. Toys, electronics, lamps, footwear, holiday decorations and increasingly, furniture and clothing are consumer areas that are almost completely Chinese dominated.

2. Even when something is tagged as "made in America" it is quite likely that it is made up of Chinese components or comes in Chinese packaging.

3. A lot of people think that China makes only shoddy and cheap things, but, no, there are a lot of increasingly high-end products coming from there, including Barbie-shaped chocolates and even wedding dresses!

4.Broken appliances are liable to gather dust because the spare parts are all Chinese made.

5.Even celebrating the Fourth of July - with its fireworks, flags etc. - was next to impossible without Chinese made goods.

Finally she learns that a normal life without Chinese products isn't possible. That we are so deeply tied to China that I can't envision how we could step back now

The book is entertaining and reads at a fast pace. The author livens it up with hilarious anecdotes,conversations and mini lessons in global economy and creativity. She's funny, outspoken and when she becomes frustrated with the complexity of her task, which happens a lot, you get frustrated along with her. You come away realizing that going without Chinese goods is a herculean task...are you up to the challenge?

Personally, I would love to buy more non-Chinese products, but not at the expense of my sanity. There is a chapter in the book which describes how the Bongiorni house became infested with mice. Rather than buy easy Chinese-made mice traps, they set about placing narrow-mouthed plastic bottles containing bits of cookies and candy, all over the house hoping that the mice would come for the treats and stay trapped in the bottle. Me? I would have bought the traps regardless of where they were made.

So, I guess the question is, are you worried about China taking over your homes and if you are, are you prepared to do something to stop it if you think it can be stopped? Are the recent "tainted food" articles just what American businesses need to realize that they can capitalize on Chinese weaknesses? Let me know what you think.

53 comments:

Asha said...

Lotus.I saw her in CNN in an interview! She says after 9 mnts of going thru' without anything Chinese,her young son cried for a little plastic pumpkin in Target on Halloween and she gave up and bought him that.So she cheated!!;D
It is hard to go without the cheap Chinese stuff.I bought a US made Pyrex dish with a plastic lid which shrank after one hand wash and does not fit at all.I use Saran wrap cover it now!
As for "tainted",recently US Spinach almost gave us all E Coli infection!!:P

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Asha!

lol, yes, you're right about the purple pumpkin...it's bad enough going on a no-China diet when you're an adult, but as a child and with China dominating the toy market, it must have been hell! I wish I could have caught the author's interview on CNN!

equiano said...

How interesting! I hope this gets published on this side of the pond, or that I can mooch it.

For me, it is not just an issue of boycotting China, but an issue of knowing how all the items we buy are manufactured/grown etc. If Bangladeshi workers are earning 60p an hour to make clothes for us in the west to buy cheaply, it is just as bad as workers in China. There are campaigns around this: try the Clean Clothes Campaign/Labour Behind The Label if you're interested in this.

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, equiano

Appreciate the visit and the links so much! I am not out to boycott China either, but I would definitely like to be a more "aware" shopper. I want to know my clothes are not being made in sweatshops or that animals aren't being killed in the testing of any products I buy. One thing this book has done is to make me more aware of where my purchases are coming from.

Sanjay said...

Great post as always Lotus. I thank you for unearthing such gems for your readers to sample as well. I saw a link to a story that CNN did by interviewing Sara Bongiorni about her book, but I did not read about it.
Now thanks to you I know. :)

I loved reading about your game with the girls.
I just wonder why ppl did not see this coming? China is perhaps unofficially the retailer to the world.

We have tried doing what the author and you have tried to do but as detailed it is rather hard. I guess the only solace I take is from the fact that I am a fairly frugal consumer and don't buy much, but the few times I do, it is hard to buy something not from China.

Also it is pretty much impossible to completely boycott things from China, I guess consume less or with more responsibility might help?

As for China taking over our homes in a figurative sense they do hold a considerable amount of US debt along with other nations and banks, so they do won part of our home (nation) in a sense.

The tainted food problem won't help people turn away from China for it may not happen en masse, also the price is a huge draw. We have resolved as a family that we will not eat any food from China. We don't eat much processed food so we will buy local as much as possible.
Hope that makes sense (its way past my bed time here) :-). Sorry about the long comment. :)

Anali said...

Very interesting sounding book! I don't want to stop buying products made in China and I guess it isn't really possible anyway. There have been times though when I specifically tried buying products made in America. That can be difficult too and still doesn't guarantee that the workers were treated well.

Being a conscious consumer is hard work and I don't know that I'm doing that good of a job at it. I try often, but to do it all the time would be nearly impossible.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Anali!

Yes, giving up Chinese-manufactured products is a huge challenge as chronicled by the author in this book. You could however use an approach which includes checking all the products you buy to see if they are made in a place other than China and if they are, try to buy the product made elsewhere provided it doesn't burn a hole in your wallet and that they (the manufacturing country) doesn't have a lousy human rights record. Trying to buy more American products is a great way to go too! Good Luck!

One thing I have resolved to do is to buy gifts from the Ten THousand Villages Store, that way I can avoid China if I want to, also, bottles of Californian, South African, Ontarian or Australian wine always make good gifts or, if all else fails, a nice book published in North America! :)

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

Thank you for the kind and generous things you say. I don't know if I am all that deserving, but thank you!

China is perhaps unofficially the retailer to the world.

It is, isn't it? And we in North America are not the only ones affected. People in Europe, Vietnam and Thailand will tell you that their markets are flooded with goods from China. So far, India has managed to keep China at bay but for how much longer I wonder?

Also it is pretty much impossible to completely boycott things from China, I guess consume less or with more responsibility might help?

Check your tags, check your labels and buy only if necessary is all I can say, but that becomes a bit of a laugh around the Fourth of July or Birthdays and Christmas time when every decoration available on the market is Chinese made!

The tainted food problem won't help people turn away from China for it may not happen en masse, also the price is a huge draw.

I agree, it is all about the price. I guess this is why we must look to the administraters to put more regulations on what comes out of China and into our markets because it does seem that whatever does come here is gobbled up. However, if I were to take up this challenge, I suspect food would be the least of my problems because I can always buy foods from the farmer's market.

Our dependence on Chinese electronics is what makes this a pain. Imagine, if I were to take this challenge up seriously I might not be able to own a telephone, or a coffee maker *shudder*

Thank you so much for the comment Sanjay, as always, I so appreciate your thoughts and input.

Hollydolly said...

Beautiful post as always Anjali. I too buy as much as I can from the "Ten Thousand" If I am buying something, I check where it is made. I will only buy from "China" if there is no other reasonable alternative and it is a true nessessity.I do not buy fireworks for that reason. When I look at was has happened, and is still happening in Tibet, I will go all out to find alternatives, or go without if at all possible.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sylvia!

Thank you so much! It's so nice of you to participate in the discussion and you always have something wonderful to contribute.

Yes, I did think about Tibet while reading the book and it occured to me that what Sara Bongiorni, the author, was doing for personal reasons what the Tibetan people and their supporters have been doing for political reasons for a long while now.

I'm glad you're a fan of Ten Thousand Villages too, isn't that a fascinating place? :)

Poodlerat said...

It's definitely true that expensive things are also made in China---I know iPods are shipped from there, and so presumably at least assembled there.

As for the mice, they should have just got a cat---it wouldn't have had to come from China!

All joking aside, it sounds like an interesting book.

Lotus Reads said...

lol, poodlerat, yeah, why didn't they get a cat? Perhaps it's because all the pet food is made in China these days?

tanabata said...

You always read such interesting things! Chinese-made goods, especially the tainted food products is big news recently. Scary really! Japan gets a lot of vegetables and other products from China but I'm trying to buy Japanese-grown instead these days where possible. Who knows what chemicals they're using even when they're not supposed to etc. Luckily the supermarkets here are clearly labelling where things are sourced from since so many people are worried about it recently. It'd be super hard to give up all Chinese made goods but we are trying not to buy anything that you can ingest. It's a start I suppose.

Gentle Reader said...

This sounds like a really interesting book, and timely! I'd love to stop buying so much stuff from China, but I don't even know where to begin. Especially since I still have a toddler in the house. I just finished another book along the same lines--Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about her family's year-long quest to eat only locally grown food. They grow their own food and buy food locally, in order to reduce their carbon footprint, and it's a beautifully written, non-preachy book with lots of information in it about how wasteful, environmentally unfriendly, and unhealthy modern food-producing practices are. Eye-opening, like this book you just read...

Parth said...

Interesting. Globalization is here to stay, and for good measure, whether you like it or not.

Tara said...

This book sounds fascinating - thanks for making me aware of it. This is just something I don't generally think about that much, but have been thinking about more lately after these stories about tainted food. I wouldn't even know where to begin to stop the influx of Chinese goods into my home.

Id it is said...

That must be an interesting read! I'll definitely try to get that one.

It's not so much 'China taking over' that is bothersome, but that it's just not a healthy sign; one nation taking over manufacturing for almost the entire world; that stinks of monopoly! All this while we are told that we are moving toward a global market and a global economy! There is definitely something wrong with that picture then.

As for the recent 'tainted food' headlines...no man, nor company nor nation can ever live down a quality control violation, even if you put a man to death for being responsible for the lapse! China will definitely pay a price for what's happened. However, I am curious to see whether the rest of the world uses this as an opportunity to step in and increase their hold on the manufacturing; something that has been a stronghold of China these past so many years.

Lotus Reads said...

@Nat ~ Thank you!

Yes, it's really interesting to see how this one country, China, has managed to send its products into every corner of the world. I don't think too many of us even realized just how much of our goods were Chinese until these tainted food stories made it to the media. For instance, I only just found out that even the communion wafers served up at Mass in Church came from China! Whoa, can Canada not even bake its own communion wafers??? Just this week Beijing acknowledged that 1/5th of its goods are substandard. This is a wonderful opportunity for American businesses to exploit Chinese weaknesses, either that or the government must employ stricter regulations on goods, especially foodstuff, coming from China.

Nat thank you so much for your comment and I hope you have good luck procuring Japanese grown food products.


@Gentle Reader ~ Yes, I would agree it's a timely book because everyone seems so much more aware of Chinese goods now than ever before. Author Sara Bongiorni had a toddler too and she really struggled when it came to clothes, footwear, toys, birthday decorations etc. because it appears that those markets are completely dominated by Chinese products. I love what you have to say about the Barbara Kingsolver book, I am going to head for your blog so I can read more about it.

Thanks for the comment, Gentle Reader.

Sugarlips said...

Lovely review :)

I was thinking what to start next and this book seems like really interesting. These days markets are full of made in China stuff, I can imagine what author must've went through :)

I hope you are doing great. Summer and moving is keeping me bz :(

Stay Beautiful...!!

Sugarlips said...

Btw...love your new pic :)

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Id!

You are right, it does stink of a monopoly, surely this isn't what globalization was meant to be, but then again, from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s, the economic rise of Japan was as worrisome to some Americans as the economic rise of China is today. Japan was taking over the high-tech market completely and pundits were concerned that Japan was on the verge of becoming the leading economy in the world, but we all know how that ended, atleast for now.

With regard to tainted food, I wish our labels were more explicit. Sometimes there is no way of knowing where a product has come from. The "made-in-Canada" label is stuck on a product when 51 per cent of its parts are manufactured here, including packaging and production costs. But what if the other 49% comes from China? We won't ever know that because the labels do not indicate the country of origin of the various components of the product!

@Parth ~ Globalization is a good thing, but this looks like China all the way, so isn't that a monopoly of sorts?

Happy Reader said...

Lotus - Where on earth do you find such interesting books? I love visiting your blog more and more each day :)
I agree Chinese products are so ubiquitous in the market that it seems more like a monopoly instead of globalization. Its amazing to think of the author's bold endeavour to go for a year without made in china. I have begun to think more about this after the 'tainted food' issue. But, honestly I don't know where to begin. I'm sure it would be real hard to give up chinese products, but this book might be a good start I guess...

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Tara

I know what you mean...I didn't think too much about China until my daughters started playing that game and also when the tainted food articles hit the media. People are so wary about Chinese food products these that if I had a food business I would promote it with the slogan "NOT made in China", I'm sure products marketed in that way would fly off the shelves! :)

HI, Sugarlips!

Great to see you! Yes, summer is treating us well, thanks! Have you moved into your new place yet? Thank you for noticing the picture! ;)



Hi, Chitts!

I think I read about this book in our local newspaper and was immediately reminded of the game my children used to play, so I knew I wanted to read it. Yes, it is quite a task getting China out of your house, especially now that you have a baby, but give it a shot, it will be quite the adventure. Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind words.

diyadear said...

yes, after coming to the US i too had started noticing that most clothes r from india/china n i used to keep digging for clothes from other parts(just cos i wanted a little diversity ;))n it sure was difficult.. yes china sure has been playin prominent roles in our lives n i dont c it may change that soon..

Angela in Europe said...

I don't know if I could do it because as you say, even high end products come from China. It used to be the case that only cheap stuff was made in China, but no longer. I don't know if it is fair to boycott China either. I know I have heard a lot about it in the French media, but I don't know if boycotting will make working conditions any better. Maybe we should be aware of what is going on and then put pressure on the companies to do a better job with employees?

gs said...

hi lr
i always enjoy reading your blog and i would like to think that i am a greater fan of yours than sanjay is.the us is overdependent on china for its goods-toys,furniture,fmcg,snacks etc to the point that it cannot come out of its grip even if it wants to.china is us's factory.strict regulation of incoming goods is a must.boycotting is not the answer.the us economy will collapse without china supplying it with cheap goods.quality control,traceability to ensure compliance with human rights and quality and environment requirements are essential for the us as responsible buyer.

Megster said...

Thanks for a great post Lotus! I shared it with my mom who wants to reads the book...she checks all labels to see if they're Made in China, and that influences her opinion somehwat:)

Jyothsna said...

Interesting. In a way China has conquered the world, and how!

Lotus Reads said...

@Diya ~ They definitely seem to have the monopoly on the garment industry here in North America.

@Angela ~ What concerns me is China's dismal human rights record and no clear account of what goods come out of its forced labor camps of which, if Amnesty International is to be believed, there are plenty. This is what puts me off buying Chinese goods and yes, if they improved working conditions in China perhaps I wouldn't feel so bad about contributing to their economy.

@gs ~ Great point and thank you for being a fan:) I am a big fan of your blog too! I agree, the answer is not a boycott because no one will suffer more than us (North Americans) if that should happen. I do wonder however, how long CHina will continue to be the factory for the world? If they want to sustain and build their economy they are going to have to stop manufacturing for the world and start creating their own high value products and building their own international brands. Taiwan, Korea and Japan were all in the business of manufacturing for the world at one time, but they've moved on. Wonder what will happen if China decides to do that, and it will, it's only a matter of time.

gautami tripathy said...

China is in India too...

Lotus Reads said...

@Megs ~ lol, your mom is way ahead of us it would seem :) I hope she likes the book! Another place to watch out for is restaurants, I think a big chunk of the seafood menu depends on fish from China. I will never look at an "All you can eat Seafood Buffet" with the same longing again! :)

@Jyotsna ~ True, it's a wonderful lesson, this book truly makes you sit up and take notice of how far we have let China in!

@Gautami ~ A tiny comment, but it packs a punch! :) I am sure China is in India, but not to the degree it is here, no?

gs said...

hello lr
unlike taiwan,japan and korea which are smaller countries by population,china is huge.the world's most populous.it believes in mass production.even for a small product like say an electric ceiling fan,the capacity created for production would be ten to fifteen times what anybody else would do.once you create such large capacities you have to produce in huge quantities even to break even.their manpower availability at low cost and high productivity enable them to do so.in my opinion,they would become the dominant economic power very soon.they are already moving to higher addded value products but their mass production will have to continue in the forseeable future.

Radha said...

Nobody can escape globalisation today, and i would think its a futile exercise to look for anything that doesnt have at least one chinese component in it. I would love to see the quality of products coming out of China go up; but till then our alternatives are few.

Radha said...

Btw, I bet the book was printed on China-made paper with China-made ink :-)

Gentle Reader said...

Hi again! Hope you don't mind but I'm tagging you for the Blogging Tips Meme, so check it out on my blog. And no worries if you can't play!

jenclair said...

Sara and her husband are friends of my daughter and her husband.
We met them at my granddaughter's 2nd birthday party, and Sara had made Mila a little "ballet tutu." Erin (my daughter) told us about their China-less experiment, but I'd forgotten about it until I read your post. When I told my husband, he just laughed and said he'd seen Sara on television talking about the book...and if I'd take my head out of a book occasionally, I might be able to keep current. Sometimes, it really is a small world!

Beenzzz said...

It seems pretty near impossible to put a product ban on China. I just think as long as I don't purchase pet food made in China (even though we have no way of truly knowing) everything might (with fingers crossed) be ok. I mean my pet kitty, Izzie, not for my nourishment. :)

Lotus Reads said...

hi, gs!

Thank you for your response! China is truly fascinating and the way that it's going right now seems to have most economists believing that it could be the world's next big economic power, indeed, China itself has predicted that its economy will overtake that of America's in 30-35 years time, but, with this one-child policy and with Mao's baby boomers becoming a part of the greying population(most will be in their 80's or 90's in 30 years) it seems to me that China is going to have a huge aging population on their hands with much fewer people on hand to work as cheap labor.

Also, who is going to take care of this aging population? Most people have only one child who will be expected to look after them but a major health problem could bankrupt the entire family. I wonder if this new generation will have extra money to spend on luxury or frivolous goods and will this impact China's huge economic growth ?

Lotus Reads said...

@Radha ~ lol, I checked, my book was printed in the US but I have no clue where the ink or paper came from! ;)

@Gentle Reader ~ Thanks, will probably include it with my next post or the post after that.

@Jenclair ~ You met Sara Bongiorni!?! That is pretty darn cool! And lol@ what your husband said, I feel the same way about myself sometimes! :) Is Sara's husband a Steve McQueen look alike? She keeps stressing in the book that he is. Of all the questions I could have asked you about your meeting with Sara...I sound so shallow, don't I? :) Anyway, thanks for sharing this with me, I think it's so cool you got to meet her!

@beenzzz ~ True, it would be impossible to eradicate China from our lives completely and there's no reason for us to do that either, I would just like to ensure I am not consuming tainted products and that the products were made using voluntary, not forced, labor.

Canary said...

Heyy.... Long time since u dropped by? Canary says hi :)

starry nights said...

Intersting book Lotus, It is so hard to find things not made in china,lately after the pet food scandal I am worried about eating any food made in China. It is going to be really hard but I think we have to make a conscious effort not to.

MyUtopia said...

Sounds interesting. Growing up in Detroit, the auto capital of the world, buying American was highly stressed.

The Prize Blog said...

Going Anti-china is not a long term solution. China, has had the economic advantage because of its immense cost-cutting factor, offcourse you can continue to buy non-chinese electronics but the fact is it affects your budget (finances)

gs said...

hi lr
you have a very valid point.the one-child policy can become counterproductive. however,currently,due to the economic boom,the standard of living of people has been going up with many having surplus cash.they are spending this money on conspicuous consumption.beyond a point, they would start saving and the savings as a whole would go up in china like say in japan.money would then be available for taking care of elders. also,the government is actively intervening in providing assistance to senior citizens.if either of these lose steam for some reason then the elderly could get into a spot.

Sanjay said...

If you don't mind me joining in, gs makes a good point.

The issue is not about money at the state level. China spends a lot on defense and is sitting on a huge amount of foreign exchange reserves. They can use some for some sort of a pension plan maybe?

At a local level, China has seen a lot of migration from their hinterlands to the coasts where there are jobs. But not all those who work there have a rosy life or a lot of extra money to spare. Yes some do. Also at this point if people did try to save, a lot of that money that goes back in to the economy would instead stay out. I am not sure the Chinese authorities would want that.

Their concern is order too, they want a populace working and spending not worrying too much about personal rights or strife in society. Not to question what gs is saying just that there is another side to this thats all. :-)

Destitute Rebel said...

This should be a good read,I always thought that chinese dominance was in manufacturing only but thats untrue. I had been operating a restaurant in Dubai for 2 years and even chinese, vegetables, meat and chicken are almost half price compared to the others.

Lotus Reads said...

@Canary~ How nice of you to drop by, I will visit soon. Summer and the activities that come along with it have taken over my life, but hopefully, things will go back to normal in September and once the kids go back to school.

@Starry ~ Hi, yes, I think we can cut back on products from China if we make, like you say, a conscious effort to do so!

@myutopia ~ True! But even if you want to be patriotic now, American goods are increasingly hard to find!

@Prize blog ~ Welcome! You are right. European and North American- made electronics are available, but,yes, they are so much more expensive.

@gs~

Thank you for your input, yes, savings is important because the Chinese government doesn't yet have a pension plan in place for its aging population and even if there is one, it is minimal. However, other factors affecting the economic boom, like cheap Chinese labor from the villages will also come to an end at some point. The villagers are easy to exploit at the moment, but soon they will become savvy and demand more wages, pushing the prices up. I suppose innovation is China's answer, they are going to have to go from imitation to invention if they want to maintain this strong economy, but it would be interesting to see how they go about that, because a savvy workforce would be a headache for government like the one in China!

@destitute rebel ~ Welcome and thank you for visiting! Yes, even here, people flock to the Chinese markets rather than the regular food stores because of the variety and the low prices. However, the tainted food stories have succeeded in keeping some people away. I lived in Dubai for 11 years, do I know your restaurant I wonder?

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

Thank you for joining in! When it comes to the business of economics, of which I know very little, I can use all the information I can get, so thank you!

I would like to see a govt pension plan for the elderly in China, there is not much in place at the moment according to the BBC (just in case someone quotes me!). And while the govt works on the pension plan they might like to put more money into quality control,water shortages, public health and pollution as well! True, lots of money is being spent on the military and we know why!

Yes, the migration of people from the rural areas of China to the cities has been the greatest population movement in the history of our world, hasn't it? I can only imagine the effect such a migration will have on the families left behind in the villages.

Thank you so much for stopping by Sanjay!

A Reader from India said...

Lotus,

You read an amazing variety of interesting books! Thanks for sharing this.
I remember reading somewhere that during Ganesh Chaturthi, more and more people are going in for Chinese-made Ganesha idols instead of the traditional clay figures. That was truely disturbing! So is the book's conclusion.

Lotus Reads said...

@A Reader ~

You're welcome, glad you were able to stop by!

Ganeshas made in China??? Why, that's almost as preposterous as a Chinese-made Swiss Army knife which apparently might happen sooner than we think. The Swiss Government has asked for tenders from different companies worldwide, and as of now, China, Taiwan and Bulgaria lead the pack!

Buffy said...

This is rather random, and doesn't really belong to this post...but I just had to stop somewhere and tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog.

Always nice to find new and interesting in the blog world.

(Victor) Xi Wang said...

HI, Lotus,
Thanks for sharing your idea with us.
To be honest, I am a Chinese student. I found a lot of ppl here just show their worries about "Made in China". You can say that China is conquering the world by their hight quality and low price products. But in China, a lot of researches show that neither Chinese government nor Chinese ppl gain the large piece of cake from the tag Made in China. It is the international companies who set up factories there. So far as I know, more than 70% products exported from China are manufactured in "foreign-captital" companies. I admit the government did little in investigation and supervising, but it is not proper to say the flood of "Made in China" is a desaster brought by Chinese ppl or Chinese government. Companies in US/Japan/Euro also contribute to that; they take away a very large piece of cake, anyway.

Anonymous said...

In response to Victor:
You are right about who exactly benefits from Chinese made products, but the rules of manufacturing safe products ought to be enforced by the country that makes them. It is known that the manufacturers change their formulas, stuff dumplings with cardboard, paint toys with lead paint- which by the way has been deemed unsafe for decades. It is criminal to knowingly poison the American public and then expect people to still buy their products without a second thought. I think the Chinese would fare much better if they spent their time, money and capital in making China safe and self-sufficient rather than trying to destroy their own environment.