Archive for July, 2011

Boycott Chinese Products? Here’s Why

Posted in Economics, Opinions, Politics with tags , , , , , , on July 31, 2011 by Ian Pham

This is just a brief note on why we should start boycotting Chinese-made products.  The first reason is obvious, the Communist government in Beijing has been executing a policy of aggression and expansionism towards all of its neighbours.  They’ve made clear their intentions to occupy all of Southeast Asia Sea, sending in their navy numerous times to harass and terrorize the fishermen, researchers, and coastguards of nearby nations.

It is already known what the Chinese Communist does to their smaller neighbors, well here’s a reason that’s closer to home for us.  The People’s Republic of China has made many aggressive acts towards the United States of America, they may be more subtle than the occurrences in Asia, but they are not invisible.  Numerous cases of plagiarism and espionage have been reported by the U.S. against the People’s Republic of China.  The Beijing government has been criticized for hacking, intrusion, and computer espionage against many major American companies.  As a result, staggering quantities of American intelligence has fallen into the hands of the Communist Chinese.

Digital espionage and theft of valuable information is just the start of the intrusive and aggressive acts against the United States.  Many of you may recall the whole episode of Chinese currency manipulation against the U.S. dollar.  It was only months ago when the U.S. had to confront the PRC for their manipulation of the Yuan, pegging it to the American dollar to keep Chinese prices low.  This resulted in the stagnation of the American economy, keeping the U.S. recovery at a standstill for the longest time.

The last reason I am presenting to you is a safety matter.  Many recent reports have shown that many raw materials imported from the PRC are very toxic, dangerous to the health of our consumers.  Chinese-imported toys are said to contain harmful chemicals such as lead, which can cause major health problems to the children who play with them.  Furthermore, there have been reports of respiratory problems caused by the chemicals and materials found in drywall imported from China.  These problems may not be construed as acts of aggression, but they are definitely health hazards.

As a result, I am led to believe that the Beijing government’s approach to consumer safety is similar to their approach to international politics, reckless, irresponsible, and shameless.  For this reason, I am asking you to just consider this one thing: when you’re about to purchase something, check where it is made before you take it to the register.  There are many reasons to boycott Chinese made products, I have just outlined only a few for you.  Obviously, you are in charge of what you buy or not buy, all I ask of you is this: check the tag.

Vietnam Protest Update

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by Ian Pham

The protests in Vietnam are still going on, every sunday as a matter of fact.  Even now, the people in Vietnam continue their display of national unity against the PRC.  Paracel and Spratly are an integral part of Vietnam, something that the people will never let go without a fight.  The Chinese government think they can move in on these islands easily, but they are sadly mistaken.  The Vietnamese Communist Party may be afraid of the Chinese, but the people of Vietnam are not.

No one can tell how long these protests will go on for, either way, it is good for the country.  It is rare for the government to let the people come together for a peaceful demonstration, and I judge them for not letting the people express themselves to the fullest extent.  This patriotic display has the potential to spark some substantial change in Vietnam’s political landscape.  Furthermore, this fledgling movement has the potential to change this uneven relationship between Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.  If the people of Vietnam were bred, nurtured, and utilized to build and defend the country, then this coming war with China may not be so inevitable after all.

The Communist Party in Vietnam are worried that if they were to utilize the strength of the Vietnamese people, it will ultimately lead to the fall of their autocratic rule.  That is one way of looking at it, but they should consider the positives.  Exiting in a peaceful and progressive manner would greatly reduce the amount of bloodshed that would surely come from a violent revolution.  There are numerous scenarios of how the Communists could fall in the near future, and doing so with the modest support, or at least the sympathy of the Vietnamese population is much better than being ripped to shreds by a revolutionary force that has lost all sense of emotion and mercy for this tired and spineless regime.

Vietnam’s Communist government is riddled with problems, both politically and economically.  The deplorable human rights record, double-digit inflation that is only getting worse, intimidation and aggression by the Chinese military, and discontent among the population back home.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, and any of these can act as a catalyst that sparks the eventual collapse of the Vietnamese Communist Party.  This is the situation and the Communist Party are presented a choice.  Either they get dragged out kicking and screaming by a bloody revolution (or worse yet, a Chinese invasion), or go respectfully (and I use that term loosely) and let the people decide peacefully.  It will take a tremendous amount of courage for them to do the right thing, but in the end it will save their lives.  They should think about that.

For Vietnam, Unity is the Strongest Weapon

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , on July 17, 2011 by Ian Pham

It is no secret that the People’s Republic of China has spruced up its military muscle by leaps and bounds over the past two decades.  The army, as well as the navy have been given a complete overhaul.  With technology purchased from Russia, and even more acquired (stolen) from the United States, the Chinese Communists have gained enough military muscle to become the new juggernaut of the Eastern hemisphere.  Well, that’s the word going around anyway.  I admit that China’s army is technologically advanced, outnumbering Vietnam’s army dozens to one, but that does not mean that one should get discouraged or fall into despair.  Vietnam has all the means and potential to take on China, as you will soon see.

For a country like Vietnam, being the underdog is nothing new.  For centuries, millennia even, Vietnam has always had to endure the relentless advances of its gargantuan neighbour.  Since antiquity, reaching up to this day, China has tried to capture Vietnam.  They succeeded sometimes, only to fail in the very end.  Vietnam has fought against China since the dynasties of Qin, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing, and everything in between.  Even the Chinese Communists have tried invading Vietnam in the past (1979), with varying accounts of success (they never reached Hanoi).  I’ve talked about all this before. but perhaps it is time that I elaborate on what I’ve said.

How did a small nation like Vietnam manage to stand up to a monster of a rival for such a long time?  There are many factors that can be considered in any case, but the one pivotal ingredient for every slice of victory achieved is simply this: Unity.  Regardless of the times, and regardless of the enemy, it was through unity that the people of Vietnam were able to defeat their enemies in countless battles across the reaches of time.  As a unitary force, the Vietnamese people have defeated the forces of Khubilai Khan, the colonists from France, and even the United States of America.  If the people of Vietnam were united today, the Chinese Communists will surely fail in their invasion of the country.

For those of you who feel nervous at the thought of China’s growing military muscle, fear not.  As I’ve stated in the past, military hardware can only go so far.  In the 60’s, the soldiers of North Vietnam fought against the full might of the United States military, coming out victorious in the conflict.  Now think about America’s army then and China now, not so bad right?  On the other hand however, we must also look at the leaders of Vietnam then and the leaders of now.  Realistically, from one’s personal observations, the leaders in the Vietnamese Communist Party have no chance of defending the country.  The VCP has become so corrupted, rotten to the core.  They have betrayed the country so many times in the past, that it is just not possible for any one man to make a true change for the better.

When I speak of unity, it falls into the hands of the common people of Vietnam.  It is from them that a truly fundamental change will come to the nation.  It is possible that their may be some infighting within the Party, and it is also possible that someone brave, pure, and capable might rise in the wake of this coming war.  However, one must be realistic in dealing with this China situation.  We cannot rely on the Communists of Vietnam to defend the country.  In order for Vietnam to prevail against China, we must be united at the foundation.  For the past several weeks, Vietnamese from all over the world have come out to protest against the Chinese invasion.  The government in Vietnam may try to suppress them, but it does not matter, for if the Chinese were to invade Vietnam, the VCP will be the first to go.

It does not matter what flag the people choose to run in this time of conflict.  From California to Paris, from Tokyo to Hanoi, the people of Vietnam have spoken.  The government of Vietnam may try to suppress the patriotism of the Vietnamese people, but in doing so, they are only digging their own graves.  Furthermore, in failing to defend Vietnam’s sovereignty, they are further diminishing what little legitimacy they have left.  Change is coming, that is undeniable.  Governments rise and fall, but the people are forever.  When united as one, there is nothing we cannot do.  Fearless, strong, and free, we will prevail.