Walter Rhett

China is Hiring

In National Affairs on September 5, 2010 at 6:55 am

Many are mad at American CEOs’ business practices and China’s heavy handed enforcement of state interests over human rights, and progress can be made in creating greater concern for the effects of business and state decisions upon workers and communities in America, China, and around the world.

Yet it is still remarkable that China, little more than a feudal giant a generation ago, has taken an unorthodox route to economic success and improved the wages and quality of life for millions of its citizens. This progress is undeniable and should not be taken lightly. No country in the world made an economic pivot the size and quality of China’s. In doing so, it rapidly created new jobs, massive new communities of quality apartments and houses, improved education, expanded consumer options, and raised wages. Many inequities remain on all fronts, especially in the countryside, and political issues with ethnic minorities are a sore point, but the progress made should point the way forward.

China’s downside is well documented, from intellectual piracy to retail knockoffs to defective manufacturing from sheet rock to children’s toys. But the very fact that this ad is run is a trimuph of free markets once thought impossible under the system of the old regime, and certainly never envisioned by Mao. Being cynical is one thing, and certainly we should be vigilant and push for change, for better ethics and business practices, but there is much to celebrate and lessons we in America can learn from.

Working for a state run China business is a means to have a profound impact on business practices within China and between China and the world, to create new dialogue and expand mutual understanding. This is happening especially in Africa, where China is expanding its extractive partnerships in natural resources and putting in place infra-structure projects.

In the cynicism expressed, there seem to be some old prejudices. Let not the old barriers block the new day!


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