Photo by: Tianyi Wang Location: The Summer Palace in Beijing (left) The Central Park in New York City (right)
I actually feel better after listening to the podcast today, the situation of those factories in China or in Shenzhen is not that bad, right? As I wrote in last blog, people like me, the ordinary citizens, know something is happening terribly in the factories, but what exactly is the “something”, we will never know unless the reporters or the journalists tell us. I didn’t say anything about the underage workers or the meetings in Starbucks in my blog 2, because I didn’t believe that would happen in my country. In other words, I doubted Mike Daisey’s research, but as I don’t have the chance to investigate myself, so I won’t write them as a part of my passage. Mike Daisey, as an American public figure, standing in front of his audience, told them his experience in China, however parts of his story are not true. I assume he is a famous person in the U.S, because I personally don’t know him, and what he said will be generally trusted by others. Could he just make up stories and pretend they are factual? He said that he wanted people to care about the issues happened in China. However, I think he should do it in a positive way that make people want to know more about the fact, but not the negative way that horrify people and make them think badly of China.
I would agree with Charles Duhigg’s sentence in the talk, he said: “I don’t think holding them to American standards is precisely the right way to look at the situation.” People from China and people from the U.S grow up in totally different ways, we understand different cultures and traditions. The workers of the factories share a room with ten people or more, I would say that is a normal thing in China. Even if you are a college student in a typical university, you will be in that kind of situation. That will certainly be a terrible thing to the students in the U.S, Mike Daisey could share this fact with people, but he needs also share the background. Charles also said that in China 8,700 industrial engineers could be found in 15 days comparing to 9 months in the U.S. That suggests the reason why there are overseas factories, not only because of the cost of labor, but also the other factors like this. It reminds me of the film 2012, I cannot remember the exact words but the character said that those arks could only be possibly made in China.
Facts are so important to the people who are interested in that topic, any publisher or public figure will lead them to a new direction whether right or wrong. There are still lots of misunderstandings of China among the Americans, when I show the pictures of real China to the classmates or friends, they are always surprised. This makes me think how the media reports the news come from China, are they biased? Do they focus more on the audience rating or the reliability?