China: when will we learn? Whether it's the Olympics or trade matters, promises haven't been kept by key Asian player.

Author:Modic, Stan
Position:Straight talk

China is in its 4,705th year of existence. Astrologically, it is celebrating "The Year of the Rat." For many U.S. machine shops owners forced out of business and Americans who have lost their jobs, due in large measure to China's economic and social shenanigans, the astrological description may be most appropriate.


According to the web site,, Chinese associated with the Year of the Rat are charismatic, intelligent, and quick-witted. But on the negative side they are exploitive, deviant, calculative, and secretive.

China's behavior in winning and then hosting the recently completed summer Olympic games in Beijing is only the latest example that the Chinese have no intention of keeping their promises either to their trading partners or their citizens.

When will we learn?

Chinese officials promised to establish protest zones for their citizens to voice dissent, but then prohibited their use. More than 70 licenses to permit protests were requested. None were approved. Visiting journalists were promised they could report what they saw. It didn't happen. I could go on but the atrocities are well known.

It's nothing new

In the early 1980s, I led a group of U.S. industrialists on a study mission to China. We visited plants and met with bankers, industrialists, factory managers, and workers. This was after President Nixon came knocking and China claimed it was opening its doors to do business with the world.

They were all but begging for foreign investment to help build a manufacturing infrastructure. To a person, they swore China had changed; things were different. Investment started to flow in.

Then came the Tiananmen Square massacre of marching protestors by government tanks. It was obvious China hadn't changed its stripes at all...

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