Today’s news that the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Price for his peaceful resistance to Chinese oppresion and work for Human rights has raised the heat on the debate – “Should we stop trade with China now ?”
Most people are aware that the vast majority of Western companies outsource manufacturing operations to China for cost reasons and perhaps it is time we began to seriously question this strategy. Have a look at any company’s website and you will find a description of the company’s environmental policy but you will be hard pressed to find any information about the company’s attitude towards democracy or human rights. If we are so concerned about Global Warming and it’s impact on the planet perhaps we should also be paying more attention to which regimes we do business with.
Of course the opposite argument is that by doing business with China we are helping to raise living standards which will inevitably lead to greater pressure for democracy and human rights.
However it would be nice to know that the debate had at least taken place and to see some kind of clear policy on company websites regarding human rights policy.
What do you think ?
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