Published on 31 October 2017
Here’s a video about China and the United States, and their views on human rights and illegal immigration. There’s a spiffed-up Summary after the video …
VIDEO BY ALICE
SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
It’s Alice. I Am of the Stars.
I’m here to talk a little about human rights and human trafficking in China and in the United States. The ‘take’ that I have so far is what you might call only a beginner’s ‘take’.
I became interested in China’s annual reports on the United States’ infringement of human rights a few years ago. I was just looking over the most recent one this last month. (1) This is my précis:
I think China states that America falls down in human rights with regard to equal pay for women, discrimination against minorities (to do with economics, especially), and also, as I recall, with regard to crime and violence in the streets, and drug use and the drug trade and so forth.
There may be other things. But the underlying understanding that I got from looking over that report was that, in China, I feel, they greatly value an orderly society, a harmony in society, and like that. To my mind, it feels like they look aghast at the disorderliness of the American people.
And I will say that the people here are very different in their social values, from the people of China, apparently … from the Chinese ideal of values. People in the United States value more the liberty to go exploring and figuring things out, and making a way for themselves, and so forth. They value their freedom to pursue their happiness, and like that.
To my mind, a natural consequence of this value of liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the disorderliness that we see in this society.
In addition, we offer a chance for other people, from other parts of the world, to become citizens. That results in cultural diversity. And in some geographic areas it results in discrimination, because people who are all of a particular race or culture, or like that, are confronted … suddenly sometimes … with people whose culture is very different … or perhaps their physical characteristics are very different. And then there’s a commotion as the cultures become accustomed to each other.
In the cosmopolitan areas it’s different. There’s much more exposure to diversity. And so people don’t react so much to diversity when they see it. Unless you’re in an area like South Central Los Angeles, where everybody is de colores, and so then a white person, a Caucasian, comes in, and they look very different. Or if you’re in West Los Angeles, it’s the exact opposite, you know?
We have here a randomness, a drive to individuality, the Horatio Alger story, and these create less harmony, in a way, but more tolerance for diversity, in another way.
So then I thought: I’ll just see what the United States has to say about human rights, and so forth. So I checked out the “CIA Factbook.” And there, there’s a section on Countries … each Country. I especially looked up the United States first, and then China … among others.
For each Country, there are various sections. After Government and so forth, there’s a section that has to do with global problems with some portion of which the particular country is faced.
If we live in the United States, we all know about the United States Government system. So I looked up the last section, labeled “Transnational Issues,” as I couldn’t quite fathom what it would be about. (2)
What it said is the we, in the United States, are facing problems with the drug trade. Also it said we have problems with money laundering, which is a concept I’m not too clear on.
It didn’t mention crime and violence, but everybody knows that there are problems with crime and violence here, and in other parts of the world.
Then I looked under China. There the “CIA Factbook” indicated intertwined global problems, especially human trafficking. (3)
So then I looked up a very recent congressional report on human trafficking (4) and a horrifying State Department report on human trafficking all around the world (5) … and I got a notion about what that entailed. It had to do, not just with children being sold for the sex work trade, but also children being sold into hazardous occupations that involved the use of chemicals that might be damaging to the body, and so forth. And sometimes, children die because of their exposure to difficult work conditions, and so forth. I’m not sure of the mortality rate; I didn’t go into it that far.
I was thinking this over quite a bit, because here we have a conundrum. China is stating that the United States falls down on human rights. And yet China is very big on human trafficking.
And so I looked a little more into human trafficking in China, and found out there were a lot of Korean refugees that pleaded to be admitted to China. Then, in the “CIA Factbook” for China, I found out that China only allows people of Chinese descent, or Chinese parentage, to become Chinese citizens. It’s a closed society.
So, China was faced with Koreans and other nationalities who, to them, are a different culture and a different race from them … who are what you might call illegal aliens … many illegal aliens … entering their country; and what to do with them, because their government could not accommodate them. And so their decision, based, I feel, on their very high ideals of harmony … harmonic relations in the world … was to create a kind of indentured servant system … what we call ‘human trafficking’ … to provide these people with a basis of work in the world … a productive social role … in exchange for the most fundamental human needs, such as shelter, clothing, and food.
On the trip up to Ojai today, I kept thinking about this. I kept thinking: What is the connection here? What is the story? You know? How could it be that two big countries … gigantic as far as geography is concerned … should both hold forth that their government offered the very best in human rights … And yet, each could accuse the other of being the very worst in human rights. It just didn’t make any sense to me.
And finally, I thought of the illegal alien situation here in California, and in other parts of the United States. And I realized that the situation that China faced with regard to the Korean immigrants, was very similar to the situation that the United States faces with regard to the influx of illegal aliens from South of the Border.
So then I looked at how the United States treats its illegal aliens, compared to how China treats hers. And I realized that, in general, we hunt them down and deport them back to their countries if we can. (I’ve read that China does this with Korean refugees as well.)
Now, as to which system …
- deportation, or what’s sometimes termed repatriation,
- or human trafficking,
- or some version of that … maybe a more lenient version of that, such as indentured servitude, that was practiced for a limited term in order for a person to learn a skill or trade, during the times of Benjamin Franklin in America
… is the more understanding, or connecting with, human rights, I don’t know!
One is based on a very orderly notion of civilization and human affairs … that’s the Chinese.
And the other, the United States way, is based on a kind of a free-for-all, you know? Every man for himself, in a way. Of course, we’re very socialized now, and we offer many socialized services to our citizens. But the big concern, in recent years, has been:
How can we afford to offer these socialized benefits to people who aren’t contributing to our tax base. And I think that’s a reasonable consideration:
How can we stay afloat economically, and still assimilate what was called, in ages past, the poor and huddled masses of the world? In those days, when we opened our doors to everyone, we had plenty of free land that needed settling. But now, our urban centers are very overpopulated, and our social services are very overstretched.
So the question is: What can we do? What can we do, to do the best by these people that come knocking our door; the most humane thing that we can do? But at the same time, something that keeps our country afloat. You know what I mean?
So there you have it. I think that the basis of the concern that both countries have, has to do with how to treat our illegal aliens.
In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
(1) Link: “Full text: Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016,” Beijing, 9 March 2017 (Xinhua), http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2017-03/09/c_136115481.htm ..
(2) Link: “CIA Factbook,” Countries: United States, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html ..
(3) Link: “CIA Factbook,” Countries: China, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html ..
See also: Link: “Human trafficking in the People’s Republic of China,” in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China ..
(4) Link: “Attorney General’s Annual Report to Congress and Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons Fiscal Year 2015,” https://www.justice.gov/humantrafficking/page/file/948601/download ..
(5) Link: “Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2017,” Department of State, USA, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271339.pdf ..
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social issues, human rights, human trafficking, China, United States, illegal immigrants, indentured servitude, social services, deportation, repatriation, government, citizenship,