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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

May 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Vote: China, human rights and our appetites

The saga of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng grinds on. At great risk to his supporters, he was spirited to the supposed protection of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Then he emerged with a smiling Ambassador Gary Locke. A deal has supposedly been brokered where he could remain in China, safe from threats, and study. Then it emerged that the authorities told him his wife would be beaten to death if he didn’t come out. And China quickly reneged on the deal. Now, with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton trying to have a summit, a new deal might let Chen come to the United States. Or not.

What does this have to do with us? China is our largest import trade partner. Try to find something made in America, and not just an iPhone. China is our biggest creditor; we’ve fought wars and run up a disastrous housing bubble on debt sold to Beijing. China is also an authoritarian state with a monstrous human-rights record, protectionist trade policies and little regard for intellectual property rights. It is also belligerently confronting its neighbors over resources. America has worked for nearly 40 years to manage China’s peaceful rise and, we had hoped, evolution into a responsible member of the community of nations. It’s now the world’s second-largest economy, but the other problems remain.

As a “consumer” and, more importantly, a citizen, what do you think?

Our China syndrome

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

  • The epic drop in full-time jobs || Zero Hedge
  • Today’s jobs report in charts || CBPP
  • Labor force participation falls to lowest level in three decades || Business Insider
  • Inequality isn’t the key to economic success || GOOD
  • China is stealing America’s solar power manufacturing industry || Slate
  • Why the economy is headed for a stall || Robert Reich
  • How to end this depression || Paul Krugman/NY Review of Books
  • How creativity works in cities || Atlantic Cities
  • Is Wall Street meeting God’s expectations? || Wall Street Journal

    Today’s Econ Haiku:

    Soft rain falls in May

    Doesn’t dampen Facebook hype

    IPO not jobs

  • Comments | More in China economy and business

    COMMENTS

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    The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


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