The Financial Times & Sherman Katz plot a course toward year zero 2049. Political Observer comments

Headline: How to tame China’s rogue state capitalism

Sub-headline: The west must focus on the scale and scope of Beijing’s industrial subsidies

How to define ‘China’s rogue state capitalism’ ? Meaning just State Capitalism minus the the hysterical descriptor ‘rouge’? The fact that China is totalitarian regime, and that its workers are slaves to that state, is to be addressed how? What pressure can the ‘West’ ,still in the watershed of an utterly failed/collapsed Neo-Liberal experiment, go about such a campaign? Mr Katz studiously avoids the Human Rights question:

Headline:Suicide at Chinese iPhone factory reignites concern over working conditions

US-based Chinese workers’ rights organisation has claimed that a factory worker at a firm that produces Apple’s iPhones in China, died after jumping from a building on Saturday.

China Labor Watch (CLW) said that Li Ming, 31, jumped to his death from a building in the city of Zhengzhou, in the east-central Chinese Henan province, where he had been working for Foxconn.

The death has triggered comparisons with a wave of suicides in 2010 and 2011 at Foxconn factories in China amid concerns over working conditions.

CLW posted video footage that it said showed Mr Li, who the organisation claimed was was working for Foxconn through an agency, lying lifelessly on the ground after his leap. The footage, seemingly filmed from a nearby high-rise building, shows a body lying in the snowy ground, as four people stand nearby.

CLW said that it had spoken to Mr Li’s father, but that it was still not clear why he had jumped from the building. The organisation told The Telegraph that he had been working for Foxconn for two months and lived in factory dormitories.

Foxconn’s spokesperson did not respond to messages asking for further information about the incident.

2009

In July 2009 a 25 year-old male Foxconn communications department worker named Sun Danyong committs suicide by jumping from his apartment building. He allegedly lost a prototype iPhone and was beaten up by security guards.

2010

Foxconn’s annus horribilis for employee suicides. The company, embroiled in accusations of “sweatshop” conditions, disputes some cases, but it is been estimated that at least 14 company employees took their own lives during the year, most throwing themselves from buildings. The iPhone 4 is released in June.

2011

In May 2011 Foxconn erects nets around its Shenzhen factory buildings, designed to prevent suicide jumps. A PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, is hired to deal with negative publicity. The nets seem to work, with fewer suicides reported after they go up, but at least four employees die by throwing themselves from buildings.

2012-2013

In January 2012 Foxconn factory workers protest about conditions in Wuhan. September 2012 sees the release of the iPhone 5. Three Foxconn employees, all in their early 20s, are report as having killed themselves by throwing themselves from buildings during the two-year period.

2017

The year of the iPhone X: Apple’s first $1,000 smartphone. On January 6 Li Ming dies after falling from a building in Zhengzhou, where the X is manufactured.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/07/suicide-chinese-iphone-factory-reignites-concern-working-conditions/

Mr. Katz offers a Technocratic ‘solution’ to China’s ‘rogue state capitalism’ :

For instance, the trade ministers of the US, EU and Japan share profound concerns about China’s model of state capitalism. They and their staffs have met six times since December 2017 to discuss a joint effort to strengthen subsidy rules and establish new rules governing SOEs. However, US president Donald Trump’s insistence on negotiating his own deal with China means their efforts have so far attracted little political support in Washington.

This “trilateral” group is discussing incentives to encourage China, and other World Trade Organization members, to comply with the existing rule that all countries must disclose full details about their subsidies. They are also considering possible penalties for nondisclosure.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5e19006-aef9-11e9-b3e2-4fdf846f48f5

2049 is the year in which China is set to become the  “leading manufacturing power” in 10 key industrial sectors’ :

The WTO operates on a consensus basis, which means that a single member can block reforms. So China will have to be persuaded that it should go along with the measures being proposed. In the past, it has done so when a large number of countries has supported new measures. It is a good sign, therefore, that the trilateral group is expanding to include Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.

It is unlikely that the US-China trade talks will address subsidies and SOEs. So the deliberations of the trilateral group are our best hope of taming China’s rogue state capitalism. The Trump administration should get behind them.

The ‘West’ faces a clear and present danger of a China, as industrial powerhouse, while America is in precipitous economic, political decline!

Political Observer

 

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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