International affairs are very remote to people living in Coral Springs. We are not near any military installations and we don’t have a Veterans of Foreign Wars pavilion in our city. So for the most part the latest incident involving 24 of our servicemen in the China Sea, does not have a direct impact on our lives for we do not know anyone of them personally and international politics is just that. International. Nothing to do with us. Well perhaps if we really knew the stakes, we might just want to get involved. It is the line in the sand approach. If the line is not drawn or keeps moving back, pretty soon, the communists of China will expand their political hold and influence on other nations as well. This is not Russia where eventually the people will demand changes and communism will fall. This is China, the country with the largest population in the world, and a country that does not value a single human life. China has no human rights. Justice to them has no meaning, and they will try to win at all costs. China trades with us, if you call it that. For trading with China is a one way street where we import most of their products and they import very few of ours.
History gives us many lessons to learn about these types of situations. Before World War II the Allies allowed the Nazis to invade Poland hoping that Hitler would stop there. Their line in the sand was once again erased and redrawn. All that it taught Hitler was that threats do work. In the end, how many millions of lives could have been spared the suffering of the war had the lines not been erased. By giving in to the Chinese, we have shown that their actions will bring good things to them. Maybe the next time the stakes are higher. Perhaps they might attempt a threat of a nuclear strike against Taiwan. Maybe next time we will give the Chinese even more. After all, we certainly have shown them that when it comes to pushing and shoving, we can be pushed and shoved.
The Chinese have no respect for international law. That is why they held our servicemen in what can be described more of a prisoner of war attitude rather than a nation that is trading with us. This is the nation that we have extended the Most Favored Nation status. The People’s Republic of China has shown us their true face. As a communist nation we all know that their people are oppressed and that we can expect no fairness with their policies. To the Communists in China, there is no compromise and certainly no human rights. Clearly, our policy towards them should be similar to that of Cuba, for if you ask me, China is a bigger threat to the United States than Cuba is. In China, there is no such thing as minimum wages and no unions to guarantee peoples working conditions. They utilize children in their workforce and have no ethics or moral standards in business. This allows them to produce the cheapest products in the world and we buy most of them, right here in the United States.
Isn’t it about time we do something about this? Certainly Washington can’t be relied upon as lobbyists and financial interests cloud their thinking. If this country truly is a ‘People’ place, than the people can decide on some of these policies. The people can decide who we can buy from and who we can sell to. It is time that ‘we the people’ not do business with China. We can stop purchasing products made in the People’s Republic of China. It is unpatriotic to allow them one penny of our money or aid.
There are stores that sell a good deal of Chinese products. Wal-Mart , K-Mart, and Target are but a few. We should return products that were bought over the last month that are made in China, and refuse to buy new ones. Pretty soon, these stores will look to other countries to manufacturer products that they sell. The Chinese government will feel the true voice of the United States of America: The People.
People say that if we don’t buy their goods someone else will buy them and use it to their advantage. With the United States being the largest consumer of products, I say it is the other way around. There are many countries out there that really deserve our money that we can buy from. Maybe we should be buying more from Mexico and Canada, and the developing Latin and South American countries. At least we know that their people will get the benefits of our hard earned money. At least buying on our side of the world makes our side of the world that much stronger economically.
If you see a product that says Made in China, don’t buy it. Pay the few extra cents and buy a product Made in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, India, Africa, South America etc. I am saying that it is unpatriotic for you to buy the product. It is unthinkable given the set of circumstances that now exist with China. Every penny that you give them supports their ruthless society. So let’s stop giving them the pennies until they behave like a nation ,more fitting to be living in the year 2001. We should send a message to the Chinese Government that we are not going to take it anymore. Remember your ABC’s :
Anybody But China
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Your views are interesting, but wrongly placed. If we look back only 10yrs ago, and place this story and the possibility of our EP-3 bumping a Soviet MIG out of the sky, there would be no plane and no service men, they would have been shot down. Tragically, this is still a reality and a risk that the US must face when playing the spy game. We have no legal right to spy or invade anyone’s air space, and when caught must be willing to except the consequences. Fortunately, China is only asking for a formal apology, we owe them that much. If they confiscate the plane and interrogate the men, this is the business of the spy game……..would we have played any differently? – CG
Did you know that the US army currently has a “beret” contract with a Chinese company (don’t know the name of it)?? They are planning to supply each member of the army a black beret and could not find a US company that could meet their demand. I believe the total cost is somewhere around 250 million dollars…I thought this might be of some interest to you given the current state of affairs! — O.R.
OR- Here is the Black Beret article that appeared in the Washington Post:
ARMY GIVES CHINA THE ORDER FOR THOSE BERETS PENTAGON BYPASSED LAW FOR QUICK BUY
Friday, March 9, 2001 Section: A Edition: FINAL Page: A1
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Pentagon bypassed a “buy America” law to meet the Army’s rush demand for 3 million black berets and awarded contracts to firms manufacturing the headgear in communist China and other Third World countries.
The beret purchase has become a contentious topic inside the Army special operations forces.
Former Army Rangers, whose elite units exclusively wear the black beret, are lobbying members of Congress to overturn a decision by Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, last October to issue the black headgear to all soldiers.The Rangers are hot because China, in the midst of a huge military buildup, is regarded by U.S. military planners as a potential adversary as it broadens its influence in the Pacific, and threatens Taiwan, an old American ally.
“I think it’s embarrassing for our country for our soldiers to wear uniforms made in communist China,” says a Senate defense aide. “We’ve got to help Gen. Shinseki find a way out of this.”
Protests have grown so fierce that President Bush asked the Defense Department to reconsider. But it’s not clear whether the Pentagon will. An Army spokesman says the department has not asked the Army to supply any information. Asked yesterday by a reporter about the commander in chief’s review, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said: “I have not asked the Army to do anything particular about that.”
Three ex-Rangers yesterday completed a 700-mile protest march from Fort Benning, Ga., the Rangers’ headquarters, to Washington. They will hold a rally tomorrow at the Lincoln Memorial.
Gen. Shinseki says unearned berets for everyone represent the Army’s transformation into a lighter, more agile force for the 21st century.
As it turns out, his urgent deadline to have every soldier in the Army wearing a black beret by June 14 spurred the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency to waive the so-called “Berry Amendment,” a federal law that for years has required the Pentagon to buy clothing made in U.S. factories of 100 percent American components. The agency then awarded contracts totaling $23 million for 1.3 million black berets to seven companies, five of which are producing the headgear in low-wage Third World plants. The Army eventually plans to buy 3 million black berets.
The decision is not a happy one with American apparel makers, either. They say Gen. Shinseki’s “arbitrary deadline” prevented them from tooling up to meet the Army’s huge order. The four-star general wants each of the 474,000 soldiers wearing the black beret by June 14, the Army’s 225th birthday.
“It’s a disgrace,” says Marc Lamer, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents a U.S. manufacturer. “This had to be done this way because this guy decided on a quick deadline.”
Mr. Lamer, who represents a firm that protested the contract awards, says only one American manufacturer currently has the machines to make a one-piece wool beret, as the Army demanded. Such tooling is no longer in production and what is left is scattered around the world, he says.
But Mr. Lamer says that if the Army pursued a “normal type of procurement” with sufficient notice instead of one month, U.S. manufacturers would have had time to purchase the needed equipment and submit bids.
“Their justification for doing all this was the urgency, because they had to have berets arriving by April,” he says. “There was no time for an American manufacturer. The deadline was simply the chief of staff of the Army deciding he wanted them when he wanted them.”
A Defense Logistics Agency spokeswoman said yesterday, “In this case, since the total capacity of the only known domestic producer of a specified beret could not meet the required delivery, the waiver was granted to allow for foreign acquisition.”
The spokeswoman confirmed that thousands of U.S. Army berets are being made in China as well as Romania, Sri Lanka and other countries.
An Army spokeswoman had no immediate comment yesterday.
Under the “Berry Amendment,” virtually every piece of military clothing is made in America with American components.
Mr. Lamer’s client is Michele Goodman, president of Atlas Headwear Inc. in Phoenix.
She originally protested the Pentagon’s decision to bypass the Berry Amendment. But she withdrew the case because her firm makes a two-piece sewn beret, while the Army wants a one-piece beret.
Ms. Goodman says that, with more time, her company and other apparel makers could have persuaded the Army to accept a different type of beret.
“The machines they use now to make the one-piece are antiquated. They are no longer made,” she says. “Eventually, the Army is going to have to go to something different. This was a very good option.”
She says her beret would cost about $4.75. She says the ones made in China cost $7.
Steven Lamar, director of government relations for the American Apparel and Footwear Association, says the Pentagon rarely waives the Berry Amendment. Usually, it’s done when no U.S. company makes the item.
“Our concern was they shouldn’t be waiving the Berry Amendment to fill this item,” he says. “The urgency for this item is arbitrary. It’s not like, `we all need berets because of this military action we’re going to do.’ “
The Army previously has purchased all its berets for airborne, Special Forces and Rangers from one manufacturer able to handle the relatively small orders.