China’s public enemy #1: Norway

They were warned …

Several months ago, a Chinese political dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was given the Nobel Prize.  China was outraged … tried, pretty much unsuccessfully, to have nations boycott the Nobel ceremony.  They swore revenge.

Most people have long forgotten about the Nobel ceremony, but hand it to the Chinese to give their dissident more headlines by bringing their righteous revenge on Norway.

Among other things, China has held up imports of Norwegian salmon, in addition to harassing Norwegian businesses over permits and such.

Over the Nobel Prize?

Granted, the Nobel Peace Prize has lost a lot of its luster as it has grown more and more political.  Some people who have worked tirelessly for peace get passed over because the politics aren’t quie right, or their cause isn’t the flavor of the month.  However, the Chinese are again entering into a classical overreaction that does a few odd things:

1.  Instead of helping the world to forget about their dissidents wallowing away in prison, China manages to do things to remind people about the repression.

2.  It reminds nations:  while any nation at any time might go into a hissy fit over something and start holding up imports on the docks … most nations generally don’t do this unless it is for those rare big moments.  China will do this at the drop of a hat over trivial matters.  Thus, if you do business with China, you had better be prepared for problems when some newspaper in your country writes a scathing commentary on human rights, or the ombudsman talks down about the lack of progress on freeing dissidents.

China’s economy is growing like gangbusters, and it will likely surpass the American economy in 5-10 years … but that assumes that the Chinese economy keeps growing from foreign investment … just when it lookslike they have hte world by the balls, they throw a temper tantrum that sheds more and more doubt about the long term stability of doing business on the east side of the Wall.

The United States used to do things like this … back in the early 1800s, when they didn;t like a government, they would try tarriffs.  It failed miserably.  America is often accused of not seeing the global perspective.  I see China is making the same mistakes over and over again.


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