Entre nous, China worries me

Worries me too, but as much as you try not too, almost everything is made there


China has always worried me. I had a policy of trying not to buy anything from china many moons ago.
Its latest attack n democracy in Hong Kong is another step towards its domination of south East Asia.
Russia is even more daring by killing opponents in our streets and interfering in elections is the west.

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That’s the issue IMO Mark. They have corporate America by the throat.

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I found this interesting - not so much the speculation on future reserve currency, but how China works so strategically:

Chinese policymakers… have slowly been laying the groundwork on many fronts… the People’s Bank of China is far ahead of other major central banks in developing a central-bank digital currency [that} will facilitate the renminbi’s international use, especially in countries that gravitate toward China’s eventual currency bloc.

There’s a dual carriageway near us that has come to symbolise something of the cultural differences here. Our visitors often comment on how little traffic there is on it, and I had an interesting talk with one - a highways officer in a local authority - who told me it could never be built in the UK because they had to prove high traffic flows first. Indeed, he worked in Northumberland on the dualing of the A1, the main artery between London and Edinburgh, which cannot be funded because there’s not enough traffic.
But the French don’t think in that way. For them it has to all be dualed because it is the shortest route between Paris and Brest - it is strategic, not reactive; it is shaping the future, not accommodating the past. And of course, unlike the UK approach, it has half an eye on the fact that support for independence in Brittany now is at about the same level as it was in Scotland 10 years ago.
France seems to me between the anglo-saxon and chinese approaches - right-wing Brits and Americans often describe France as ‘communist’, and the French state is indeed enormous - more than half the whole economy - though obviously not as big as China’s - whose ‘belt and road’ project is actually a bit like our dual carriageway: it’s not about the world as it is now - it’s making the world we will have to live in soon.


[quote=“Geof_Cox, post:6, topic:34419, full:true”]

I’ve always found it incredible that the A1 between two major cities such as Newcastle and Edinburgh was only very partially dualled. As a result, it takes a good 3 hours/ to travel between the two (120 miles). It’s only been “on the cards” since the 1960s. But at least local MPs (esp. the one for Berwick constituency) and prospective PMs can campaign on this fabled dualling of the A1 ad vitam æternam…

Apparently the dualling took a “major leap forward” last year according to the local MP, like the dualling of a few miles… Oh well, maybe now that Northumberland is almost exclusively Tory (3 MPs out of 4 + Conservative County Council) something might actually get done on this issue, even a few extra miles would be a major victory…

[quote=“Geof_Cox, post:6, topic:34419, full:true”]
Indeed, he worked in Northumberland on the dualing of the A1, the main artery between London and Edinburgh, which cannot be funded because there’s not enough traffic.[/quote]

Crikey, what sort of volume is needed then?! Surely, the heavy traffic between Newcastle and Edinburgh would qualify for a dualling. Aren’t the M6 and M74 on the other side almost completely dualled?

That said, I’m not fussed personally, I much prefer taking the train to Edinburgh, from Morpeth or Alnmouth but it’s tough for regular road users, lorry drivers etc. (and those stuck behind them for miles on end!).

I, for one, find it totally unacceptable that China continues with its belt and road policy, building infrastructure that it would not allow in its own country and making poorer countries so indebted that China becomes their virtual master.

A more cynical approach suggests that now they have been elected nothing further will be done - until just before the next election when a major announcement can be expected :smirk:


Both carriageways will be dedicated to Newcastle bound traffic on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays and Edinburgh bound on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Sundays will be a free for all.

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Back in the early eighties I used to drive from Grenoble to Turin quite often. Leaving Turin on the way home all the road signs directed you to a toll plaza that had about a kilometre of autoroute after the toll. A clever case of toll now build later.

I’m simply not sufficiently up with this topic to be more than aware that China has hegemonic intentions and policies and to reflect on those but what interests me is your comment on the situation is the word “unacceptable”.

Something ‘unacceptable’ must have consequences. What is the consequence to you of this unacceptablity? Unacceptable how? It can’t be boycott of their manufactures. That’s now impossible.

It won’t be boycotting their manufacture, it will be bringing manufacturing into the country which was originally ordering the Chinese goods.
The frailty of ‘just in time’ has become evident during the pandemic and the Suez Canal fiasco only adds weight to the argument.

Re-establishing a manufacturing base, then? A very worthy idea. Consult Mr Dyson about the viablity of this notion.

Not sure I’d take Mr Dyson as an example of anything much…

Getting rid of JIT and using local labour will just make the items manufactured unaffordable. Corporate greed has painted the West into a corner.

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He designs things 100,000s people [individuals and businesses] buy and he has, despite his declaration once never to do so, moved manufacturing from UK to Malaysia. Not quite China but delivering the same benefit to his business. We don’t like him for this but he’s not bothered about that.

The huge chocolate factory [one of the major UK brands, I forget which] in the suburbs of Bristol moved production to eastern Europe

  • common EU food hygiene regs useful at the time, I s’pose. Lots of local protests, of course but the bottom line is what shareholders regard as sacrosanct.

Now developed into 'shops, offices, homes [Now selling 3 bedroom homes from £395,500 ] ....'.

Another one gone east, Hoover. Wonderful building, pity about the business. Now a Tesco.

(Fort Dunlop - Wikipedia)

The biggest one also known to me is Fort Dunlop. "By 1954 the entire factory area employed 10,000 workers. At one time it was the world’s largest factory, when it employed 3,200 workers.[[1]]

They were still making tyres in 1968 when I went there for a job interview.

It is now, as always with these places ‘shops, offices and homes …’ Producing nothing, unless there’s an office in there with the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk beavering away.

The way the world is now, re-importing manufacturing to western europe on any meaningful scale is pie in the sky.

That was the Frys (mint cream) factory at Keynsham . I went there once, probably in the late 60s, with my dad. He was the manager at another Cadbury subsidiary (Pascal Murray of Murray mint fame in Mitcham). Came back all chocced out…

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Murry Mints. The “Too good to hurry mint” ! I remember them!