appreciation of yuan, national interest and morality

From "Mobo Gao" <>
Date Fri, 3 Dec 2004 11:00:01 +1100
Thread-index AcTYywkHgyaqYSCjT7i5i02uGnsJJw==

Dear list members



I know academics are not immortals living in the cloud and they have to have tenures, publications, grants and so on. They therefore need to be defending the “national interest”. In this particular issue US specialist on Chinese economy, foreign affairs, so on and so on will have to defend the US national interest such as protecting US jobs and industry and so on, as I have seen some prominent China scholars have been dong. Fair enough. However, would it not be difficult to talk about human rights for the Chinese and universal values at the same time? On what ground do we hold the moral high ground? I know: democracy!


In this case, would defending the US national interest not be morally (either intentionally or unintentionally) responsible for the predictable suffering of the Chinese poor, now or later, more so later? It goes like this (see China weighs dollars and sense of revaluation for details)


  1. The US consumers buy commodities made by migrant workers in sweat shops in China at increasingly lower prices (you would think it should be the other way round!)
  2. The US government directly and therefore the US consumers indirectly borrow from the Chinese government directly and therefore the Chinese poor indirectly to spend on these commodities (Chinese purchasing of US bonds and US dollars reserve)
  3. At the moment the exchange rate of US and Yuan is about, say, 1:8.38. The pressure is on by the US to appreciate Yuan as they did on Japan in 1985. Millions of dollars are flowing into China now, expecting this to happen
  4. Under the pressure with the help of our academics the exchange rate becomes, say, 1:6. US dollars will flow out of China like plane loads
  5. The outcome: Foreign firms made loads of money either way and US consumers enjoyed all the sweat shop commodities for nothing.
  6. The poor Chinese? We all know (perhaps we don’t) what is and will happen to them. There are millions of them of course.


You don’t agree with this? Let me know.