By on May 15, 2009

Rick Haglund at MLive wonders aloud if the Chrysler treatment would be an option if it were a Chinese firm assuming the Fiat position. He’s been talking to pundits working on closer Michigan-China business ties, and they claim that a tie-up with a Chinese firm would be better for Chrysler than the Fiat deal already in progress. “They’re not putting in any cash, which is what Chrysler needs,” argues former AMC Chairman Gerald Meyer. And there’s no doubt that Chinese firms have cash. But, “there’s a xenophobia that’s clearly there,” argues Tom Watkins. And he’s right.

Even though Americans buy Chinese goods by the metric ton, they tend to be less-visible goods with fewer image implications than cars. And though the Chinese and American economies desperately need each other, the respective populations harbor deep suspicions planted by one too many outsourcing stories/embassy bombings/melamine stories/arms sales to Taiwan. Et cetera. If Chrysler dealers don’t like the market now, they should imagine what might happen at a (say) Brilliance/Chrysler dealer when the next human rights scandal/spy plane crash/Taiwan sabre rattling/TienAnMen massacre goes down.

Which is not to say this is a good thing. It would clearly be preferrable for Chrysler to be bought rather than handed off with the taxpayer’s cherry on top. Heck, seeing it end up as part of a firm that has money to invest in it might be exciting too. But why would the Chinese jump into the US? Their market is now bigger than ours, remember? And it’s still growing. Still, the Chinese invasion has seemed so inevitable for so long, it’s a little surprising that (thus far) none of the Chinese firms have made a move. But keep holding your breath, Volvo, Saab, Hummer and Saturn!

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52 Comments on “Where is China?...”


  • avatar
    taxman100

    China is a political, economic, and military competitor to the United States. There is no doubt that China could easily move back into the enemy category in the future.

    Just because the merchant class and one world government types only see things in terms of dollars and cents does not mean everyone should follow them over the cliff.

    Even Thomas Jefferson had to deal with people who cared more about trade and making a buck than the future of their own country.

  • avatar
    wsn

    taxman100 :
    May 15th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    China is a political, economic, and military competitor to the United States. There is no doubt that China could easily move back into the enemy category in the future.

    ————————————-

    GWB had that on his mind and was working on it. Then 911 struck.

    Americans account for 5% of world’s population. Most of the rest 95% are competitors. While a no-deal stance would hurt China, it would also hurt US’s chance against other competitors (such as Russia). It’s an entangled web, trying to contain one competitor may not be the optimal decision.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Bertel: I assume you think Chinese firms should be focusing on growing Chinese market share rather than dreaming of buying a crumbling empire in a relatively mature market. Or?

    Chinacartimes.com kind of says it all with this paragraph:

    “Auto Shanghai 2009 officially ended over two weeks ago. On the final Saturday I had a few remaining parts suppliers to visit and as a result had the distinct privilege of attending what was without a doubt one of the most crowded exhibitions I have ever visited anywhere. People were just wall to wall. Then it struck me: this massive sea of people are all potential customers.”

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    As I’ve said many times before, the US administration would rather see Chrysler die with Fiat than live with a post liquidation Chinese buyer.

    I don’t think anyone seriously thinks Fiat will succeed with Chrysler; they are simply terrified that a Chinese firm would.

    The Swedes are taking the same stance with their involvement in the futures off Saab and Volvo.

    Ironically the above mentioned failed automakers, at least in the case of Chrysler, are being kept out of the Chinese hands with borrowing from the Chinese.

    It’s enough to make someone want to be a childless countryless hedonist.

    However, China in the long term is facing demographic hell, and it has tense borders with Russia and India. Instead of leveraging its future with borrowing China has leveraged its future with a demographic time bomb, poorly planned, poorly built cities, pollution, and, despite its official political stance, dangerous amounts of wealth inequality. Also, if global warming comes to pass it will wreck havoc on China.

    America has a ton of land per capita, faces upsides if global warming actually does occur, and its only border even worth thinking about is with Mexico. The US is resource rich, and, despite relying on China for plastic shit, has a domestic overabundance of food and housing.

    China’s biggest threat to the US is that it will fall apart and become an unstable nuclear power like Pakistan.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    ***China is a political, economic, and military competitor to the United States. There is no doubt that China could easily move back into the enemy category in the future.***

    The biggest “enemy” of the United States is our own NSFW-‘ing desire to spend more than we earn.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Talk to me about China after it is possible for someone inside China to speak critically of the government without having to fear being locked up, or worse.

    Talk to me about China when it stops censoring the Internet.

    Talk to me about China when it has environmental and worker protection laws and practices at least as good as those of Italy.

    Talk to me about China when a woman is free to choose for herself whether or not to have a baby without regard to needing a state permit and without fearing a forced abortion if she gets pregnant without permission.

    It isn’t Xenophobic to point out these issues.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    @John Horner

    Thank you! I hate how we pretend that all countries are equal in making these kinds of decisions, as if there is no difference between a developed, first-world country that also happens to be a staunch NATO ally and China.

    Now, I don’t much like the Fiat deal either, but I’d object to a deal that involved selling it off to a Chinese “company” no matter what the terms.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    It isn’t Xenophobic to point out these issues.

    But pointing them out also doesn’t stop Americans from buying plenty of other Chinese goods. Meanwhile, if we’re passing judgement on China we should consider that the Chinese people actually buy Buicks. In spite of the many populist criticisms of US government policy that float around in that market. Does anyone think there would be a future for the Buick brand if it weren’t for China?

    I guess I’m just wondering if political or economic considerations are keeping Chinese firms from talking more openly about coming to America. At the end of the day, either would be a valid reason.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “But pointing them out also doesn’t stop Americans from buying plenty of other Chinese goods.”

    True, and personally I try to not buy Chinese made stuff when possible … but for many items there now is almost no other choice. Luckily that hasn’t happened with cars, yet.

  • avatar

    Bertel: I assume you think Chinese firms should be focusing on growing Chinese market share rather than dreaming of buying a crumbling empire in a relatively mature market. Or?

    Not really.

    On one hand, your assertion that “it’s still growing” is an understatement. The car market in China just has started to grow. As an auto market it is the size of a 4 year old. It will grow like gangbusters for many years to come. It has a population of officially 1.3B (unofficially 1.5b) people. That’s a market for 750m cars. The whole world currently produces a bit over 50m cars a year. To saturate China, the world would need 15 years – if the world would produce for China only. The market is that huge.

    On the other hand, China’s car export numbers are disastrous and are an embarrassment. (So there, I said something critical, right here in Beijing. If I don’t post tomorrow, I will have been locked up.) To crank up car exports is high up on their 5 year plan ( yes they still have one of those.) To quickly and successfully break into foreign markets, they need a foreign brand. Preferably one they already make in-country under joint venture. Volvo for instance would be the best choice. Crash tested, homologated, they can export them tomorrow if they buy the brand today. I don’t know about Chrysler. There is no Chrysler JV, except for the outdated Cherokees that are still made here. Buying Saab (= GM technology, in-country) or Volvo (in-country) cheap would be a better move than Chrysler.

    John Horner: Where did you get the harebrained story that a Chinese woman must get a permit to have a baby and is forced to have an abortion if she has no such paper? The one child policy is still in place, kindof. It’s being relaxed. If both parents come from a one child family, they can have two. If not, you pay a fee. Within those boundaries, they can go forth and multiply. Which they do with great abandon. No papers needed for nookie. My Chinese assistant and trusted right hand just got pregnant the second time, and her first child isn’t even a year old. She sure didn’t put in for a permit. She didn’t even ask the boss. I yelled at her: “Aren’t you supposed to abide by the law? What are you, an effing baby factory?” She just grinned.

    And in America, I would have gotten sued for that outburst.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    There is a difference between China’s internal/domestic human rights record (not particularly relevant) and its aggressive foreign stance (very important), even though the two are connected.

    There’s also a difference between a competitor (Europe, Japan, Korea, etc) and an enemy.

  • avatar
    mel23

    China in the long term is facing demographic hell,

    True, but their hell might be our hell too. Due to their ‘preference’ for male babies, there are and will be large numbers of males with no mate. Somebody did a credible study in eastern Europe about what happens in this situation and found that these lone males become very jingoistic. Given the closed nature of China, and thus easy manipulation of the people, this has potential for lots of trouble.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Turn left at Japan.

  • avatar

    Due to their ‘preference’ for male babies, there are and will be large numbers of males with no mate. Somebody did a credible study in eastern Europe about what happens in this situation and found that these lone males become very jingoistic. Given the closed nature of China, and thus easy manipulation of the people, this has potential for lots of trouble.

    This is another myth that won’t die. It’s BS. Not supported by numbers. Look at the China population pyramid of 2005 and what do you see? A pretty even distribution of sexes. There is a tiny overhang of males. But nature always produces a bit more males than females, apparently in preparation of war. (See below)

    It is true, in the cities there recently were slightly more males born through selective abortion – which has become illegal. That won’t be felt until in 20 years (they start sex pretty late in China.)

    What’s more, in the countryside, there is a huge number of under reported female babies. Farmers often keep making babies until they get a boy. That boy is then proudly registered in the hukou or family register. The females literally grow up off the books.

    According to the CIA Factbook , a source that shouldn’t be suspect of prettying-up Chinese numbers, Armenia leads the charts with a male/female ratio at birth of 1.16, followed by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and India – anybody making an issue out of this? China is 5th with 1.11, a smidgen away from the world average of 1.08 . This demographic timebomb is an outright lie.

  • avatar
    skor

    It’s interesting that you ran a picture of a Chinese cyclist for this article. Consider the following:

    1991 — 15.1 million bikes were sold in the USA. 6.5 million of those bikes were imported(mostly from China) and 8.6 million were produced in the USA.

    2000 — 20.9 million bikes were sold in the USA. 20.2 million of those bikes were imported(mostly from China) and .7 million were produced in the USA.

    See here: http://www.ibike.org/library/statistics-data.htm

    What’s gonna happen when the Chinese start exporting cars? More importantly, will they be willing to extend credit?

  • avatar
    97escort

    The most important thing about the booming Chinese car market is the effect it has on oil consumption. In the Post Peak Oil world in which we now live, it means oil prices will be pushed ever upward as the Chinese fill the tanks of their new cars.

    Our car market will be affected even if we save oil here. The Chinese growth will outweigh our recession and force oil prices up and American car sales down.

    This is an entirely new situation for American consumers and auto producers.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    It will be interesting to see how China politically evolves over the next twenty years. They like their politburo fossils to be exceptionally old over there – Hu Jintao is the “kid” in that crew and I believe he’s well over 60 for instance – and hence the outlook and policies of the country reflect that relative antiquity.

    Eventually, Father Time will take its course on the old guard and China will nominally be run by a clique of people who grew up in Deng Xiaoping’s Rich is Glorious Internet China instead of Mao’s Cultural Revolution No Phone China. It will be the difference between Andropov and Gorbachev in world-view from the top collectively. No one knows what China is going to end up being (could end up being a plural…”the Chinas”) in the 21st Century.

    In the short term, if China decides to let its currency “float” they will find it is much more rewarding to take all their dollars and buy American assets (stocks, MoP, companies, real estate) instead of American debts. Uncle Scam is f*cked at that point because there is no other nation in the world that even has the capacity – much less the want – to throw a trillion our way every year. I mean, the USA is going into the hole this year with foreign creditors that in dollar amounts is larger than the economy of France.

    Completely unsustainable

  • avatar
    Demetri

    “Talk to me about China when a woman is free to choose for herself whether or not to have a baby without regard to needing a state permit and without fearing a forced abortion if she gets pregnant without permission.”

    I commend them. Personal freedoms end when another person’s life becomes involved. Everyone who raises a child should be licensed. How many problems would be solved if stupid people, or messed up people, or dirt poor people would stop cranking out the damn kids.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Otherwise, I agree with you. I don’t want to deal with any country that doesn’t support freedom of speech and doesn’t do anything about some of the labor conditions that they have.

  • avatar
    Nicodemus

    The picture looks more like japan, since I don’t think mg rover sold cars in china

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Bertel asked where I got the idea China forces women to have abortions for violations of the one child policy. So, here are a few sources.

    NPR:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9766870

    Time Magazine:
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1615936,00.html

    Perhaps those two are considered liberal biased, so how about Fox News:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44751,00.html

    To US centric for you? How about Reuters:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE53T04D20090430

  • avatar

    Bertel asked where I got the idea China forces women to have abortions for violations of the one child policy.

    No, I asked you where you got the patently false idea that a Chinese woman must get a permit to have a baby and is forced to have an abortion if she has no such paper – as originally stated.

    By the way, I can access all 4 stories (and “stories” they are) here from China – isn’t the Internet supposed to be censored?

    To get back to cars, I’ll tell you a true story. Someone from VW HQ – a woman to boot – came to China to review the advertising. She was appalled to see the picture of a Chinese family with two kids and a dog riding in a Golf. “Don’t you know that there’s a one child policy in China?” said the lady from Wolfsburg. She was gingerly or not so gingerly told that in China, two kids and a dog were a sign of affluence … And that was years ago.

    Price of a dog license in central Beijing: $150. Only one per family.

  • avatar
    Brett_McS

    Chinese families can have as many children as they can afford, with the rule that after the first (or second, in the country), none of the children get free health care and education. So wealthy Chinese parents may have several children.

    The problem with the imbalance between boys and girls in China was relatively slight until recently. The widespread introduction of high resolution ultrasound has resulted in girls getting aborted at a terrifying rate. It will be a big problem in the near future. Hopefully, attitudes to female children will improve with more westernisation.

    Apart from all that, the idea of not trading with a company or person in a particular country because you don’t like some of the government’s policies is nonsense on a stick. Trade is the best way to help ourselves and make friends overseas.

  • avatar
    tdwatkins

    It was my quote in the article about “xenophobia”
    I have been traveling to China for 20 years and have a life long interest in the country, culture, people and have written extensively about these issues. Below is an op-ed you may find of interest.

    Will Americans pay U.S. price for U.S. goods? Press Release :The Detroit News 2009-5-13

    Can we continue to think we can demand the “American wage” and expect to pay the “Chinese price”? If we want to buy goods cheaply, they cannot and will not be manufactured in a high-cost state or country.

    Thinking about the American wage and China price situation echoed through my mind as I shopped at Meijers recently when trying on a pair of brand-name jeans that cost nearly identical to what my mother paid 45 years ago. My guess is the jeans of my youth were woven at a mill in the Northeast or South. Today, they are produced in China or some other low-cost country. Hence, the low-low price.

    The American wage-Chinese price manta continued to pulse in my mind as I went to Best Buy and looked around. There were televisions that cost less than the first set I purchased in the 1970s. China price, I thought.

    Advertisement

    Could those who have lost jobs and blame globalization and free and unfair trade hear my thoughts? Then I cringed as I saw a guy with the union jacket and “Made in America” baseball cap walking down the same aisle as me. He brushed past me, putting a super-sized flat screen TV in his basket, chuckling and saying, “These things are so damn cheap, it is almost like they are giving ¡¯em away!”

    As he hurried home to hook up the big screen in time for the NCAA Final Four, the “Made in China” stamp was boldly displayed on the box.

    Americans have benefited from the lower cost of consumer goods and low interest rates because much of the stuff we buy comes from China and because the Chinese have underwritten $1 trillion of the U.S. debt. These facts are of little comfort to a person out of work, losing a home, family and hope.

    Are we willing to bring the manufacturing of electronics, toys and clothes back to the United States and pay two, three or four times the price — so American workers can enjoy an “American wage”? And will we pay the American price?

    Twenty-seven years ago, Vincent Chin was beaten to death in Detroit by two laid-off auto workers wielding a baseball bat, mistakenly blaming a Chinese-American for the loss of their jobs. The bat killed Vincent Chin but it was a societal attitude and xenophobia that, allowed to fester, enabled hatred to breed and the ignorant to do something stupid and deadly.

    With unemployment rapidly rising and people casting about for someone to blame, we need leaders from every walk of life to help eradicate the xenophobia and scapegoating that often rears its ugly head as employment plunges.

    Today we are living through an unprecedented global, transformational economic shift that defies predictability. We need to enter into a new covenant with the American worker — to provide the 21st-century equivalent to Henry Ford¡¯s $5 workday.

    Clearly, families are hurting across America. But the Chinese did not create America¡¯s economic problems. Blaming them will not pay the mortgage, put food on the table or pay the college tuition tab.

    We should hold our elected leaders, Wall Street and the captains of industry, along with ourselves, accountable for allowing the American Dream to be sold out to the lowest price.

    How do we, or do we, continue expect the American wage, while we pay the China price?

    Until we have an answer, it is costing the people of America greatly.

    Tom Watkins is a Metro Detroit business and education consultant on American and Chinese issues who was Michigan¡¯s superintendent of schools from 2001-2005 and president and CEO of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Fla., from 1996-2001. He can be reached at [email protected]

  • avatar

    Brett:

    You appear to have knowledge of China which others lack. The ultrasound technology was a problem for a short while. But not on a terrifying rate. It was a problem in the big cities amongst wealthy people who could afford it. That led, for a few years, to selective abortions and bratty sons. Now, the practice is against the law, doctors aren’t even allowed to disclose whether its a boy or a girl. Trust me, that gender gap is a myth created by rabid bible thumpers.

    Tom Watkins: Bravo.

  • avatar
    King Bojack

    If we start allowing Chinese to produce and import cars here will we do dick to stunt the rampant IP theft that occurs from their companies?

  • avatar

    Price of a dog license in central Beijing: $150. Only one per family.

    Price of a dog license in the Detroit suburb where I live: $5 if the animal is neutered, $10 if it’s still capable of breeding. The city limits ownership to three dogs and/or three cats per citizen – it’s not clear from the city’s web site if that’s three per resident or three per household. My guess is that limit wouldn’t withstand an equal protection challenge in the courts since they only restrict the number of dogs and cats, not birds or other animals.

    They also require you to pick up your animals’ feces, which I’ll start doing when the city cleans up all the shit left in the parks by the Canadian geese.

    Americans are at heart, libertarians. Our attitude is that unless there’s a damn good reason for it, we don’t need no stinkin’ laws and that the default position is that we’re allowed to do it.

    Others prefer more ordered societies that assume permission is needed before action.

    I don’t expect anyone whose financial interest lines up with Chinese interests to be at all critical of China.

  • avatar

    Tom Watkins is a Metro Detroit business and education consultant on American and Chinese issues who was Michigan’s superintendent of schools from 2001-2005 and president and CEO of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Fla., from 1996-2001.

    Only in America could someone who has virtually no experience in the private sector try to market themselves as a business consultant. On the other hand, folks like that have been economically successful at bellying up to the public trough, so maybe they do have something they can teach to others.

    Mr. Watkins is a lifelong bureaucrat and politician of the Democratic variety. His experience in the private sector amounts to working for Plante and Moran for a year in the early 1980s. Other than that, his resume lists strictly non-profit and public sector jobs. His academic degrees are in criminal justice and social work, not business or economics.

    Youth Living Services, Inc. – non profit
    Wayne (mental health) Center – non profit
    Plante and Moran – private sector
    Wayne County Charter Commission – elected office
    Deputy Campaign Manager, Gov. James Blanchard, D. Michigan – political position
    Deputy Chief of Staff, Gov. James Blanchard, D. Michigan – political position
    Deputy Director, Mich. Dept. of Public Health – political position
    Director, Mich. Dept. of Public Health – political position
    Special Assistant to Wayne State Univ. President – public sector
    CEO of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Florida – non profit
    Michigan Public Schools Superintendent – political position

  • avatar

    Tom Watkins … was Michigan’s superintendent of schools from 2001-2005

    So Tom, just for conversation’s sake, just how well did the Detroit, Pontiac and Flint public schools do in 2001-2005 when you were in charge of public education in Michigan? Did the graduation rates go up?

    What’s a better course for success for a young person, hitching their wagon to the Democratic political machine like you did, or being a member of the lucky sperm club like Deputy Dir. of the Mich Dept of Econ Dev, Andy Levin? Yes, I’m sure that his law degree and brief career on the staff of the AFL-CIO had much more to do with Levin’s appointment than his father the congressman or his uncle the senator. Likewise, I’m sure your job as school superintendent had more to do with your extensive credentials in education than with your political activities.

  • avatar
    Brett_McS

    Bertel, my understanding is that the problem is to do with the recent availability of ultrasound in the country areas, where the culture has had less western influence. Laws typically don’t trump culture, and doctors find a way to tell the parents the result “unofficially”. I say “terrifying” because even a slight variance in a country the size of China is going to produce many millions of “spare” males. (I travel to China on business, hence my interest. I have no first hand knowledge of these issues).

  • avatar

    How reliable the figures are I have no way of knowing, but I’ve seen that there are as many as 60 million young adult males in China with virtually no hope of finding a wife. Some have taken to importing wives from North Korea (if you were a North Korean, you’d marry to improve your life too).

    Some have argued that the single most destabilizing element of society are single young adult males without sexual outlets.

  • avatar

    Brett:

    I’ve lived here for years, I have the necessary quanxi, and a general feeling of what is worrying the people and the leadership here. Trust me, that purported male/female imbalance isn’t it.

    First, it’s not supported by science. Consult the statistics of male/female births according to the CIA Factbook and you will find China (1.11) pretty much in-line with the world average of 1.08. Especially if you factor-in the rampant under reporting of female babies in the countryside, which is a fact: “If one follows the birth cohorts for a few years, girls suddenly “appear” in the demographic statistics at higher age groups. Among school children, the number of females and males is much more balanced in China than among the newborn. This can only be explained by underreporting of female births.”

    Second, it is not supported by personal impression. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t registered a lack of – ahem – available females.

    Third, it’s not reflected in politics. There are more pressing problems. There are between 150m and 200m migrant workers in China, with a pretty much even male/female ratio. However, they live to a large degree segregated, due to the nature of their work. A predominantly male construction worker living in a dorm near the construction site has little contact with a predominantly female domestic service giver. Married migrants often see their partner once or twice a year. This creates problems, which are known. The biggest reason for worry is a high unemployment rate amongst migrants. There are more than 30m jobless migrants. People looking for work frankly pose a bigger problem than people looking for nookie. And yes, it worries the leadership for good reason.

    Lastly, I’d like to direct your attention to United Nations statistics of total population by gender and country . This is my favorite list, because it is astounding.

    There are three times as many men in Quatar than women, twice as many in the UAE, there are 14m men in Saudi Arabia to 11m women. And all the while we thought they keep women by the numbers in harems. Ever heard of social unrest in these countries because they can’t find a wife, let alone the four they are entitled to?

    On the other side of the spectrum, in the Russian Federation, women outnumber men by 10m. Are they taking to the streets, demanding a guy? Armenia leads the worldwide charts of too many male babies with a male/female ratio at birth of 1.16, but there are 1.4m men to 1.6m women. Where do they go and why? Do Armenian women stage protests because their men are deserting them, obviously by leaving the country? Where is the public outrage about the vanishing men of Armenia?

    Personally, I find the fascination of certain sectors with the purported male/female imbalance in China astounding. To me, it has as much credence as the tale that the vagina of an Asian woman has a horizontal orientation. I just checked, it’s not true. My personal theory (and I admit, it is my personal theory) is that the story comes from rabid bible-thumping anti-abortionists, who revel in lurid tales of mass abortions and infanticide. Are they raising a stink about India, which has more male births than China? No. Why? Because it’s the land of Mother Teresa?

    If you are looking for demographic timebombs about to explode, go to my country (Germany) and that of my wife (Japan.) There, for the last 40 years or so, people have largely refused to produce any offsprings at all. I’m exaggerating, but not at all as much as the folks who dream up the Chinese boybomb. Both in Japan and Germany , the projected age distribution resembles a mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion, which is about to go off.

    Two of the largest economies of the world are about to die of old age. And we worry about tales of baby boys not getting their girl in China. Pseudo statistical kiddie porn.

  • avatar

    is that the story comes from rabid bible-thumping anti-abortionists, who revel in lurid tales of mass abortions and infanticide. Are they raising a stink about India, which has more male births than China? No. Why? Because it’s the land of Mother Teresa?

    Could you come up with a more cliched, trite stereotype? I’m Jewish, and hardly a fundamentalist Christian bible thumper, and I think that at least some abortions should be legal. I think that someone from a particular central European country should be careful about stereotypes. Do you know any evangelical Christians? They’re not the boogeymen you think they are.

    As for India, I’ve seen about as many news stories run in the west about illegal abortions of female fetuses in India as have run about a bulge in the single male population in China. I think you may be displaying some observational bias based on your attachment to China.

    If you are looking for demographic timebombs about to explode, go to my country (Germany) and that of my wife’s (Japan.) There, for the last 40 years or so, people have largely refused to produce any offsprings at all.

    What? You don’t consider all those Muslims having babies in Germany to be Germans? Who’d a thunk it?

  • avatar

    I think that someone from a particular central European country should be careful about stereotypes.

    Should they? And which particular central European country might that be?

  • avatar
    Brett_McS

    Bertel, you are certainly right about the non-lack of ‘available females’! They usually come knocking on the hotel door at about 10:30pm. Thanks for the inside info on the birth issue – it’s somewhat reassuring.

  • avatar

    Brett: I see you are in China a lot, and you enjoy it. First hand experience beats rehashed propaganda.

    According to China Profile (a good and reliable site)the female birth deficit (including the underreported ones) has peaked in 2003, and the situation is recovering, due to the previously mentioned measures.

    As an echo effect, around 10m eligible women will be missing in 2025, and from then on, it will recover.

    In a land of approximately 1.5b, 10m barely register. There are a lot of unmarried and attractive women over 30 in China, which currently don’t find a man, because according to local customs, they exceeded their shelf life. Hopefully, that little blip will help them tie the knot.

    More disturbing, by 2050, there will be not a single European country among the 20 most populous nations.

    (China demographic trivia: The ones who knock on your door after 10:30 typically come from the “off the books” variety. Officially, they don’t exist. Aren’t you glad? And do you know why they knock after 10:30? After 11pm, they would have to register downstairs.)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I think that someone from a particular central European country should be careful about stereotypes…

    You don’t consider all those Muslims having babies in Germany to be Germans?

    I must admit, this is one of the more discreet violations of Godwin’s Law that I’ve seen in awhile. I’m just waiting now for the references to goose stepping and ovens.

    By the way, when Herr Schmitt comments “If you are looking for demographic timebombs about to explode, go to my country (Germany),” he’s referring to its well documented zero-population growth rate. The too-American-to-be-Nazi CIA World Factbook reports Germany’s current population growth rate as being -0.053%, which is to say that it is less than zero. He wasn’t snubbing the Turks or the worshipers of Allah, he was just stating a statistical fact.

  • avatar

    I must admit, this is one of the more discreet violations of Godwin’s Law that I’ve seen in awhile. I’m just waiting now for the references to goose stepping and ovens.

    Funny how the definition of Godwin’s Law has expanded so that any reference to Germany or the Third Reich, no matter how relevant, can be dismissed out of hand by citing Godwin.

    I apologize if my comment was too cryptic or subtle.

    My point was that plenty of people stereotype contemporary Germans based on the events of 1933-45. It seems to me that should make today’s Germans a little more sensitive about stereotyping others. If Bertel wants to unnecessarily insult Christians by calling them “bible thumpers”, he can’t complain when someone calls him a goose-stepper.

    BTW, Pch101, the next time you hear someone accusing Israel of acting like Nazis, I expect you to loudly protest.

  • avatar

    He wasn’t snubbing the Turks or the worshipers of Allah, he was just stating a statistical fact.

    The question is whether those statistics include Turks and other Muslims who live in Germany. Since Europe (the entire continent, not just Germany) does not have a strong track record in terms of accepting minorities as equal, it’s a legitimate question. The simple truth is that Muslims in Europe have a much higher birth rate than do the “natives” in the countries where they live.

    Europe is now post Christian and effectively childless. The demographic time bomb in Europe is the expanding Muslim population. In another generation or two Europe will be Muslim and much of what we regard as European will no longer exist. European Muslims do not seem to be assimilating European culture and European values.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Since Europe (the entire continent, not just Germany) does not have a strong track record in terms of accepting minorities as equal, it’s a legitimate question.

    Right. The CIA is impacted by the legacy of Nazism. Godwin strikes again.

    It’s a statistical factoid. They have a census, just as we do. They do other demographic projections and sampling, as we do. There’s no great conspiracy here.

    On the whole, the population of countries such as Germany has not been growing. Nobody who actually pays attention really disputes this. Since kids in western countries tend to be born in hospitals or under professional supervision, the data on child births for western countries is pretty accurate and not difficult to get.

    You’re chasing your tail on this one. Here’s today’s headline — the war ended 64 years ago. You didn’t fight in it, Herr Schmitt didn’t fight in it and I didn’t fight in it. Enough already.

  • avatar

    Right. The CIA is impacted by the legacy of Nazism. Godwin strikes again.

    You’re the one who keeps bringing up Nazis. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

    Here’s today’s headline — the war ended 64 years ago. You didn’t fight in it, Herr Schmitt didn’t fight in it and I didn’t fight in it. Enough already.

    I’m trying to figure out how, in your eyes, one can ever discuss history. It’s almost as though the only nation whose historical misdeeds can be discussed or referred to in perpetuity is the United States.

    On the whole, the population of countries such as Germany has not been growing.

    Since Muslims are pretty much the only population in Europe that is growing, their percentage of the population will increase. They’re just right wing hacks as far as you’re concerned, but Mark Steyn and Bruce Bawer have written extensively about the increasing Islamization of Europe. Steyn and Macleans magazine were the targets, btw, of an attempt by Canadian Islamists to use Canada’s Orwellian Human Rights Commissions to suppress free speech. Bawer, a gay American who has spent considerable time in Europe, is hardly your stereotypical right-winger.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Oh great, a rant against islamists.

    I find it ironic they’re the same type of fundamentalists that support your existence so that you may be annihilated in the coming apocalypse, and also draw up racist crap about the brown plague.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    BTW, on the subject of china, the country’s largest problems have to do with the usual initial growth of capital, and subsequent stratification of society due to lackluster gov intervention.

    It’s really quite the conservative/libertarian wet dream in some regards because there’s a distinct lack of democratic governance to temper the excesses of market greed.

  • avatar

    The German population count is totally agnostic, in all aspects, be it citizenship or religion. If you live there, you count. This being Germany, the count is very precise. They don’t even need a census. You must register where you live. The data is real-time. Their computers are frighteningly effective.

    Germany’s policy regarding citizenship is a totally different (scandalous) story. But in the interest of avoiding thread drift, I shall leave it at that.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Ronnie Schreiber:

    “If Bertel wants to unnecessarily insult Christians by calling them “bible thumpers”, he can’t complain when someone calls him a goose-stepper.”

    It’s okay Ronnie. Bertel was careful to distinguish that they were rabid Bible thumpers, as opposed to the much more reasonable plain old Bible thumpers. Kind of like labeling anyone who does not fall in line with Obama’s politics as an extreme right-winger, as opposed to the ordinary variety, or a flaming gay as opposed to the more pedestrian type.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’m trying to figure out how, in your eyes, one can ever discuss history.

    How is wrestling your (obvious) demons with the former Axis powers “discussing history”? Last I checked, history didn’t begin in 1933 and end in 1945. Rehashing the same few references repeatedly suggests a lack of knowledge of history, otherwise there would be a few more examples cited that don’t involve the same old bogeymen, over and over and over again.

    The point is that Herr Schmitt’s nationality didn’t really change anything, yet you dragged it into this. That was pretty much on the verge of racism, a classic ad hominem attack that targeted his passport instead of his point.

    I didn’t even agree with him about many of his points, but they were made based upon his business experience there, not so much on his nation of origin. Do you honestly think that most of those Westerners who do business in China really hate the place?

    And his point about Germany’s population growth was accurate. He wasn’t talking about those who are having the babies, but pointing out that on the whole that they don’t have them fast enough to increase the population.

    That is simply a fact, and it cannot be refuted. If you look at the data, you see low to no growth and periods of no growth and loss. No demographer would dispute that. You’re only arguing as you are because you’re trying to infer that he’s a racist, despite an astounding lack of evidence on your part.

  • avatar

    I find it ironic they’re the same type of fundamentalists that support your existence so that you may be annihilated in the coming apocalypse, and also draw up racist crap about the brown plague.

    If I have to choose between folks who believe that God wants them to love me and folks who believe that Allah wants them to kill Jews, I’ll worry about the apocalypse at a later date. There are plenty of dispensationalist or dual-covenant Christians who believe that God’s covenant with the Jews is eternal and reject supersessionism.

    It’s not clear if you’re accusing me or evangelicals of racism against “brown” people. It’s pretty stupid to accuse me, or philojudaic Christains of racism against those of Middle East origin. If Arabs or Muslims are “brown”, then so are Jews.

  • avatar

    The point is that Herr Schmitt’s nationality didn’t really change anything, yet you dragged it into this. That was pretty much on the verge of racism, a classic ad hominem attack that targeted his passport instead of his point.

    What “race” are Germans?

    Why do you have no concern for Bertel’s slurs at Christians? Is religious bigotry less heinous than racism?

    As I said before, when you are as loud protesting those who accuse Israel of acting like Nazis, saying that Jews, of all people, should know better than to persecute others, I’ll believe that your opinions are intellectually consistent rather than politically expedient.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Why do you have no concern for Bertel’s slurs at Christians?

    He was criticizing the evangelical missionaries in China, not all Christians. Please, there’s no comparison between that and you having a hangup about the German people in general. War’s over, time to move on.

    when you are as loud protesting those who accuse Israel of acting like Nazis

    Now you’re paranoid. To my knowledge, I have never referenced Israel in any way on this forum, which is not surprising given their lack of presence in the car industry. (This website is supposed to be about cars, you know.)

    If you have a link that shows otherwise, then produce it. Otherwise, enough with the straw men arguments, which have no bearing on anything that I’m talking about.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Ronnie Schreiber:

    “Why do you have no concern for Bertel’s slurs at Christians? Is religious bigotry less heinous than racism?”

    It’s sad when it takes a person of a different faith to point out that derogatory remarks have been made about another religion.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    If I have to choose between folks who believe that God wants them to love me and folks who believe that Allah wants them to kill Jews, I’ll worry about the apocalypse at a later date.

    You can do what you want (even frame it as a choice when the point is it’s not), just as I can point out it’s ironic.


    It’s pretty stupid to accuse me, or philojudaic Christains of racism against those of Middle East origin. If Arabs or Muslims are “brown”, then so are Jews.

    No they’re not. Ashkenazi jews look white, which I guess is good enough these days.

    It’s sad when it takes a person of a different faith to point out that derogatory remarks have been made about another religion.

    As just with race, one of the these days, believers would likely shrink to small enough of a base that the abrahamic religions would start sticking together against the heathens.

    Predictable, really.

  • avatar

    That thread about alleged xenophobia has been hijacked by real xenophobia, racism, and intolerance. Enough. Thread closed.

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