Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back again

I haven't posted things here in quite some time. So, this is partially just a test of whether anyone reads the blog anymore!

In the past month, I've started school again and am hoping I can use Old Tales Retold to force myself to keep better track of goings on in China amid all the other stuff cluttering my head.

So... random comments on two bits of China news:

One, while I more or less supported Obama's tire tariffs a while back (or at least I think I did... check the old posts), I really can't justify the United Steelworkers' demand of action against China for subsidizing green technology.

The USW are incredibly forward-thinking in general when it comes to international solidarity. During the Vale Inco strike in Sudbury, Canada, steelworkers reached out to union brothers and sisters in places as far-flung as Brazil, Mozambique and Indonesia. Earlier this year, the USW signed an innovative deal with a group of Chinese wind energy companies "to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs."

But the new trade complaint, as a friend pointed out to me, essentially makes the argument that governments should not invest in green energy, at least not "too" much. Instead of attacking China for not meeting WTO rules, the USW should be forcing the U.S. government to invest more. No need to carry water for neo-liberalism.

And... (unrelated) comment number two: what's with this new anti-Japan stuff?

Sure, I get that the detention of the Chinese boat captain pisses people off. That sort of thing pisses people off anywhere in the world, rightly or wrongly.

However, leaving aside the overall debate about whether China is pushed around by or is itself pushing domestic nationalism, I think, as Han Han has argued, this case in particular seems more about Beijing looking for a distraction than anything else. Just a gut response.