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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion -> 
One’s poison is another’s trump
    2017-02-20  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Winton Dong

    dht620@sina.com

    IN his posthumous book “The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century,” published in 1989, Canadian media researcher Marshal Mcluhan (1911-1980) provided a strong conceptual framework of the technological advances and transformation of social life associated with the rise of the World Wide Web in the 21st century.

    According to his theory, the whole world will become a global village and humankind will move from individualism and fragmentation to collective identity in this new age. Just like what he said decades ago, we are now living in a globalizing world and people in different countries are much better connected than before. For example, during the weeklong 2017 Spring Festival in China, four blockbusters, namely “Journey to the West: the Demons Strike Back” (with a box office of 1.15 billion yuan, or US$167 million), “Kung Fu Yoga” (870 million yuan), “Buddies in India” (570 million yuan) and “Duckweed” (410 million yuan), dominated the Chinese New Year cinema market.

    Out of the four films, three have Indian elements and actors in their plots and casts. Due to globalization and fruitful exchanges between the two Asian countries with a combined population of over 2.5 billion, on either side of the Himalayas, bilateral relations have been greatly enhanced in recent years. In China, Indian yoga masters are busy setting up fitness studios here and there and more Indian students are enrolling in famous Chinese universities. On the other hand, Chinese products, especially electronics brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Lenovo, even outsell their strong U.S. and European counterparts in India. Moreover, with the assistance of the Indian Government, a Chinese veteran who had been stranded in India for 54 years successfully returned to China last week.

    One’s poison is another’s trump. While many other countries including China and India are supporting globalization, the new U.S. administration led by President Donald Trump has shifted to the niche of anti-globalization and protectionism. With his doctrine of “America First,” the president has ordered a quick withdrawal of the United States from the TPP, issued a travel ban against the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, demanded for a wall to be built along the border of the U.S. and Mexico and abruptly cut off a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull since taking power on Jan. 20 this year.

    As the U.S. president, Trump surely has the right to make decisions. But he will also suffer from his own miscalculations and poor judgments. Such protectionism and unilateral measures have not only outraged other countries especially its former allies, neighboring nations and the Muslims, but also aroused antagonism within the United States. According to an order issued by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Government has suspended enforcement of his travel ban against the Muslim countries, signaling an extraordinary setback for the White House.

    In my opinion, President Trump’s practice has many similarities with Chinese emperors during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) who hoped to seal their borders off from the rest of the world and be self-sufficient. In 1793 (China’s GDP at that time claimed more than 20 percent of the world total), George Macartney (1733-1806), special envoy of Britain, paid a visit to then Chinese Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) and offered several advanced British-made cannons as special gifts, requesting mutual communication and bilateral trade with China. However, his request was refused. Britain and other Western nations later kicked off wars and used their strong weapons to force open the door of China. During the Second Opium War (1856-1860), allied forces from Britain and France burned the Chinese imperial palace Yuanmingyuan, or the Winter Palace, in Beijing and found that those cannons from Britain were still there unused and covered with thick dust.

    Frankly speaking, the United States is itself the greatest beneficiary of globalization during the past years. With General Motors as an example, the U.S. car manufacturer sold 3.04 million vehicles in its home country in 2016. Meanwhile, the company delivered 3.87 million vehicles in its largest market China last year and the figure is expected to further increase in 2017. If Trump holds high the banner of protectionism and kicks off a trade war with China, both countries will suffer. However, it is obvious that U.S. companies have much more to lose than their Chinese counterparts. Chinese consumers may easily shift to buying German cars instead of U.S. cars, or buy an Adidas shirt instead of a Nike shirt. Can any U.S. company such as Nike, GM, Ford, Tiffany or any others find alternative and affluent markets other than China and endure the total loss of the biggest market in the world?

    Several days ago, a foreign netizen posted a photo of a shirt on the Internet with a slogan on it. The slogan read “Make America great again.” Turning over the shirt we will find in its lining that it was made in China. Making America great again does not necessarily mean that every product consumed by American people should be made in the United States. Such a methodology not only goes against the basic economic law of comparative advantage, but also hurts the interest of U.S. consumers.

    Time and tide wait for no man. Globalizing with others or being globalized by others. That is a question for President Trump and his administration team.

    (The author is the editor-in-chief of the Shenzhen Daily and guest professor of Shenzhen University with a Ph.D. from the Journalism and Communication School of Wuhan University.)

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