Expat Sat: China Is The Big, Bad Monster

Welcome to Expat Sat, the culturally kooky, map nonspecific, sometimes bewildering, always fascinating intersection of expat life and writerhead. And where every Saturday, I offer tips for writing, publishing, and thriving to expat writers around the globe.

Yesterday I was reading the “Amazon Will Kill You” blog post by Joe Konrath at the same time I was reading the “Amazon, Innovation, and the Rewards of the Free Market” post by The Authors Guild. (If you haven’t read these two pieces, I encourage you to do so. But in essence, JK says that publishing has already changed, that we—readers & writers—are responsible for that change, that Amazon is not the devil it’s made out to be, and that those who don’t embrace the change will be left behind. The Authors Guild says pretty much the opposite.)

This conversation reminds of the “China debate” folks often rope me into. Because I lived there for a good while, they expect/want me to be leading the “China is the big, bad monster” parade…the monster that stole our jobs. But while I am often hollering about China’s flaws and challenges (especially when it comes to freedom of speech and human rights), I love China. And here’s what I believe:

  • The U.S. gave China our manufacturing jobs, and now it sucks because we’re feeling the repercussions of that act. We didn’t think ahead. We just saw $$$$$$.
  • Because we gave our manufacturing jobs to China (and for a whole lot of other reasons), the world economy has changed. In big ways. Forever. Some are embracing it; some are resisting.
  • Those who embrace will soar; those who resist will stay stuck in the mud.
  • We can’t go backward.
  • Get out of the mud. Innovate.


Image: chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net