Chinese-made Guitars

Chinese Guitars – Part 1

We wear Chinese-made clothing.
We use Chinese-made phones.
We eat Chinese-grown food.

Are we also willing to play guitars made in China?
For a long while, China was the country outside of the US where I had spent the most amount of time in my life. My frequent 3 month trips to Japan in recent years have now put Japan in the #1 spot for ‘foreign country I have spent the most time in’.

Mostly because I know China a little, I do avoid buying a few things made there, but it is extremely difficult to do and I cannot claim to be an activist on this subject.

I mostly just try to avoid food products grown and processed in China for safety reasons. Though in Japan, even that option is out the window because so much of Japan’s food comes from China. And people do sometimes get very sick from Chinese food here.

Dangerous cheaper ingredients are sometimes added to food products by unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers who then ship the food to Japan and other countries, and within China as well. Some of the toxins are found, especially when the toxins create immediate health issues instead of long term health issues and a connection to the Chinese source is easier to make.

When a ‘fast acting’ toxin is found to have come from a Chinese food source, stories appear in the Japanese media as you would expect, but Japanese companies continue importing food from China and the Japanese people eventually stop complaining. They keep buying the cheaper food and the contamination and poisoning cycle continues.

Eating food sourced from China is one of the nearly unavoidable and unpleasant risks I take during the lengthy periods I spend in Japan.

I know boycotting Chinese products in general is not practical for most people, including myself, with such a huge percentage of our lives being supported by Chinese manufacturing as we support their criminal political system as part of the bargain. (Though I do REALLY wish our memories would be longer when China ships dangerous food products outside their borders, so there would be more pressure internally for Chinese food producers to behave responsibly.)

China’s role as a supplier to the world has become so embedded in world culture that the world no longer seems to give much thought to how our financial support of the country is a significant facilitator for the ongoing corruption and criminal behavior of China towards its citizens. We have been complicit in China’s crimes for so long that we don’t even pause to consider our own immorality in the relationship.

Incidentally, though I was born in the US, I am not ‘pro-American’ in my distaste for communist China. Patriotism is often a disguise for bigotry and ignorance and could be legitimately classified as evil if there was such a thing as that silly fairytale concept in the universe.

Show me someone who blithely proclaims themselves to be a patriot and I will show you someone who is very likely an idiot (or at least someone who is incapable of introspection).

I am actually ‘pro-Chinese’ as in pro-people. Some of the strongest personal connections in my life have been with Chinese born persons. You and I are diminished when our brothers and sisters (technically cousins) are forced to live as heavily manipulated creatures as they are in China.

For those who say that the Chinese are content and happy to embrace the limitations and injustice that is imposed upon them by their government in exchange for a measure of economic prosperity in this moment, I promise you the people who have been extinguished by force and who are presently locked in prison for expressing views that differ from their government, did not and do not feel that way.

I hope China will one day be a country that we can feel good about buying musical instruments from, but I fear that day if it comes will be many years in the future.


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Chinese Guitars Part 2 »