More recommended reading

September 16th, 2007

Head on over to Mutant Palm and read his The Return of Fu Manchu series. It’s a great, and very healthy, dose of perspective on the China product safety saga. Just a quick little snippet, the last paragraph of Chapter 2, in fact:

There isn’t alot of distinguishing between the various actors in China in alot of these reports. Often, it’s just “China” that is the source of the problem, and little or no mention that many Chinese people are the victims as well. According to Brendan O’Neill at Spiked, it echoes some less than stellar moments in Western history regarding China:

The idea of the Chinese as a pollutant has a long history. Today, the Chinese are seen as an environmental pollutant; in the past, as the American author Jess Nevins points out, they were seen as ‘physical, racial and social pollutants’. In the mid-nineteenth century, Western commentary was full of irrational fears that the Chinese might pollute the white racial pool with their inferior racial qualities, or pollute Western societies with their strange cultural habits. There was, in Nevins’ words, a ‘Western fear of the supposed limitless hordes of Chinese overrunning white countries’ (9). We can see the re-emergence, even the rehabilitation of these fears in the idea that the Chinese are now a ‘toxic pollutant’ whose toys might undermine Western children’s health and IQ levels and give rise to a new generation of cretins in the US and Europe.

This isn’t about China, or the Chinese, or Communism. This is about the Return of Fu Manchu.

Now, go read the rest.

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