Don’t Joke with China
Business and Economics, Kazakhstan, Photoblog4 Comments
Experts see the Chinese economy as a danger to Kazakhstan. We are currently working with the West to build a new railroad; however, a Chinese railroad already passes through Kazakhstan, which could have an adverse impact on the plans.
Today, China is Kazakhstan’s number one strategic partner. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the World Trade Organization it is our strongest ally.
China’s economy focuses on quantity over quality as it mass-stamps millions upon millions of products every year.
To protect themselves from hazardous materials used in manufacturing, countries such as the USA, Japan and Malaysia have banned many products from China. Research shows that clothing and toys (many painted with toxic materials) from China are a danger to children’s health.
The number of children with scoliosis and arthritis is growing. These medical conditions are caused by the improper configuration of the spine, which, in turn, is exacerbated by low quality Chinese footwear, which causes flat-footedness in teenagers. Fewer and fewer of these young men are then able to serve in the armed forces.
Dishware from China turns our food into poison because it contains asbestos, which is illegal here. Many mobile phones, whose labels say they are made in other countries, are, in fact, made in China, and emit excessive levels of radiation.
Taking all this into account, there ought be a list of goods that would be illegal to import into Kazakhstan. Yet we cannot imagine life without Chinese products. The problem is that our own light industry is underdeveloped and the clothing made in our country is five times more expensive than that which is sown in China.
For example, under Soviet rule, there was a factory in Taraz that used to work with leather. The factory provided the whole country with shoes. Today, we no longer have the opportunity to rely on domestic suppliers.
China’s economic development really took off in the 1970s and 80s, and was aided by the decline of the Soviet Union. During the tough years immediately after the break-up of the USSR, China started to market its merchandise in the former republics. Its small business strategy rapidly expanded. In the early 80s, one quarter of China’s population lived on the brink of starvation. By the second half of the decade, 95% managed to stabilize their economic situation. The high economic growth was facilitated by cheap labor but also by the Chinese people’s strong work ethic.
If we look back at history, we will see that China never took over other countries by force. The Chinese would export their goods, create dependence on them, and then destroy their adversaries without resorting to military means. Only the Chinese had such a policy.
Under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indians expelled the British, in part, by refusing to purchase their goods. Of course, we should not follow this example completely, but we can still take something from that experience.
In Japan, for example, Chinese citizens are legally prohibited from staying for life. If a man who is a Chinese citizen marries a woman who is a Japanese citizen, he will eventually be forced to move. In our country, it’s the opposite.
The whole world is afraid of China. Meanwhile, the Chinese get to freely transport their goods in and out of our country. According to official data, every year, between 50,000 and 60,000 Chinese cross our borders, and only 20-30,000 return to their homeland. They start working for large oil companies like Mangystau and Atyrau, even if that means taking positions as janitors. Chefs are also brought in from China. We need to monitor every Chinese person who enters the country and increase their service costs.
Photo: flickr user steve_easterbrook (CC-usage)