13 thoughts on “The Single Most Important Thing About China”


  2. From a Devil’s Advocate view, not to normalize Cuba but exclude China, why do we trade with China then? If we talk numbers, China wins far and away for deaths and imprisoned. If we go per capita, they give fidel a run for the money, possibly beat him. Everything one can ise to defend an “emabargo” on china is in that article. You could replace the word China with Cuba and it would pretty much be the same. So, why not embargo China?

  3. Have you noticed how many “Cuban” products in Miami are made in China? A well-known Cuban American market with an internet website sells tostoneras, espresso makers, even la bandera cubana — all made in China. This is the same store that sells fidel toilet paper. Guess there’s no embargo/bloqueo against China when it comes to making American greenbacks from Cuban products made in China!

  4. Why not embargo China? We should never have normalized relations with China, but it’s too late now, not going to happen. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Cuba is very different from China, starting with the fact that it’s 90 miles from the U.S. From the linked article: “The answer is simple: Because China views America as its adversary. Because China sees America as the major obstacle to the realization of its goals. Because China believes it will fight a war with America early in this century — a war it has every intention of winning.” So here we are, playing footsie with an enemy.

  5. BarrioChino what the hell does that have to do with a post at Babalu? No one here has anysay in what a store sells. Stay on topic please.

  6. sorry ziva, but what did that article you link have to do with cuba? is cuba even mentioned? you could spin that article to say “look, this is the reality of china and we trade with them, so why leave cuba out?” the article ‘props’ up its economy.. i can see what barriochino is saying here, and its as related to the topic as that article, which never once mentioned cuba is.. you (ziva) took china and said look, they are a ruthless, totalitarian state, this is why we shouldnt trade with cuba (even though we trade with china, the subject of said article, which reiterated the fact they, china, are totalitarian).. barriochino is saying china, a totalitarian nation that used torture and imprisonment, just like cuba, subject of the article you linked which never mentioned cuba but you used to counter certain embargo arguments makes products consumed by cubans in the states.. spending $$ on those products is financing a ruthless regime, just like those who spend dollars and euros in cuba.. why is it wrong to spend money in cuba, but it is ok to finance the chinese regime.. to make matters worse, even a cuban flag, something which many wouold buy and display with pride, do so while helping a regime as cruel as the one they fled one.. whats good for the goose is good for the gander.. its hypocritical to use the argument “if you spend money in cuba you are financing torture” then turn around and buy products made in china..

  7. Daniel, it is not ok that we trade with China, and I never said it was. Do I think the U.S. is going to change that policiy, to our shame, no. I personally avoid buying Chinese, and it’s not easy. BarrioChino brought up the store. And like I told him, that has nothing to do with this post. There are Cubans who love fidel; does that mean all do? Do you see an ad for that store here? No.

    This is my point–all these years of openness with China and still it’s a totalitarian nightmare. Why does anyone think it would any different in Cuba? Two wrongs don’t make a right. You’re using backward logic.

  8. Daniel, thanks for making my point more clearly than I did. I thought it was ironic that “Cuban” products available in Miami are made in China. I didn’t mention the store’s name, but it is a good store that has been mentioned favorably in the past on Babalu for its participation in community events.

    We have friends and family in China and in Cuba. I can say this — the opening of Chinese economy has had positive results (incomes are up, food is no longer in short supply, all kinds of products are in the stores) and negative results (pollution, a growing gap between rich and poor). Politically, China has opened a little, not nearly as much as in the economic sector. Internet access is widespread, but many websites and blogs are blocked (not Babalu, yet!). That said, the long term, slow trend in China is toward political reform.

    Our Cuban friends have seen neither an economic nor a political opening. I don’t know if a China-style opening would make things better for them. I’m not advocating for this one way or another.

    Ziva, sorry you thought I was off topic. I didn’t think I was. Just trying to have a civil discussion about issues we care about.

  9. Gentlemen, discuss away, I have no problem with that but a store in Miami is selling stuff made in China. This is America, every store in the country is full of goods made in China, in a perfect world that would not be the case but a business has to compete to make money. I am aware of the fact that China is doing better economically, and some of that trickels down to the people. I keep hearing that China is going to change. I’ve been hearing it for over 20 years and so far it hasn’t happened. So when you say “slowly”, just how many decades are you talking about? There are still no Human Rights in China. The fact that they are no longer starving is good, but I’m not willing to settle for Cubans being well-fed slaves.

  10. China is arming itself, that is a crucial point you’re ignoring. China, like Cuba views the U.S. as an enemy.

  11. Ziva, my point is the following: it is difficult for one to defend one attitude towards Cuba when another is taken with China (as you recognize). And you make a very valid point: we opened doors to China and while the economic situation improved, they continue to violate human rights. US policy in this regard is very flawed. I believe government has no business interfereing with business. US business have to “obey” this policy towards Cuba, but if a business, for whatever reasons, decides to boycott Israeli businesses they are in violation of US law. Hell, if a US business decided to boycott China they would be in violation of the same law. If tomorrow the “embargo” is lifted and Cuban businessmen/ businesses got togther and organized a ‘wildcat boycott’ amongst themselves, again, they are in violation of US law (to be fair, the fine is minimal, in the the case of the boycott with Israel, many businesses recognized the boycott and preferred to pay a fine in lieu of losing businesses with the Arab nations). They are allowed to finance a regime like China’s via trade, but aren’t allowed to deal with Cuba.
    US owned hotel’s aren’t allowed to rent rooms to a Cuban delegation, but if they say the same to the NAACP it’s a civil rights case. Do you see how crazy it can get? I am not saying open doors or leave the “embargo” the way it is. I am saying the way it is implemented causes alot of “double standards”.

  12. Daniel, U.S. foreign policy decisions are made on country by country basis, and are obviously inconsistent, that’s a given. While we’d like all dictatorships treated equally, that’s not how it works. I think it was a huge mistake to engage China; we are by default arming our enemy. The article I linked shows very clearly that all the trade in the world has not made China more democratic, or less of an enemy. Cuba and China are not the same, our relationship with the two countries is not the same, and U.S. policy for each is based on those differences. That does not mean I agree with those policies or that I think they’ve served our nations best interests. We could discuss this for weeks.

  13. For those of you interested in possible scenarios playing out with China, let me suggest “Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States” written by Jed Babbin and Edward Timperlake.

    The books also describes how Venezuela and Iran can become part of this deadly mix.

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