Friday, June 29, 2007

Chinese Pilots and Products

I heard this on the radio this morning. I am never ever going to fly Air China!! As it is, I am always very tense when I have to fly any where. Imagine if I was flying in a plane where I know the pilot does not speak much English and therefore is not able to understand what the air control tower is saying? That would be terrifying. On my last trip home to Malaysia we flew Cathay Pacific and I was happy to note that the pilots were native speakers of English.

Many years ago when I was teaching in Vietnam, one of the guys in my class at the Research Institute of Fruit and Vegetable was an air controller. He said it was important for him to be able to speak English because among his job was to communicate with planes that fly over the Vietnamese air space. I said, "Oh, I see."

What is it with a lot of the products that come from China? Have you heard about the toothpaste that is made in China and available at most of the dollar stores here in the US? I buy my toothpaste from the 99 Cents store but thank goodness I have never bought any that came from China. One of my kids love to eat the toothpaste off her toothbrush! Imagine your kid consuming some anti-freeze agent!

And now the warning is on the safety of the seafood from China. I buy a lot of shrimp or fish that is either from Vietnam or China. Shudder! It is laughable when I heard on the news today that the Chinese government guarantees the safety of their food products. Who is doing the guaranteeing? They do not have agencies like the FDA that regulate the safety of food and drugs.

When I was home in Miri late last year, I talked to a friend who was working in China. We talked a bit about China and about how impressed he was with the economic growth of China and how soon it will overtake the US as the biggest economy in the world. That may be so, I said, if China remained intact as a country. He told me that the grassroots political movement in China was strong and that everyone was united in the economic success of the country. Oooooookk!

Whatever it is, I will never be able to view the Chinese government without suspicion. Just the fact that the government is still run by communists is enough to keep that suspicion. In my mind they view the US as a useful trading partner, but the US will never be an ally.


  1. There's another problem.

    If you go to a supplier in China, usually you would have to bargain for the lowest cost in order to buy them and ship them to your own country.

    Not quite. They do it this way:

    You: "How much does it cost per item (bulk)?"

    Them: "Well, how low do you want it to be?"

    They'll then come up with something conforming to your prices for that kind of product.

    There will always be demand for these kinds of things because it is the businessmen who gets the lowest possible cost at the highest possible profit.

  2. It is true abt the highest possible profit being the objective for most businesses, but at not at the expense of the quality and safety of your products. If quality and safety are not assured that can mean a big loss to your business, and possibly taint your business name for a long time to come.

    In the US, everywhere you go, the bulk of the products are made in China ... cheap labour and all, and at our local flea market, possibly 90% of the products sold are from China. As my hubby, would say, "all the treasures" of China.

  3. Well, when they build things conforming to what you want the price to be, there will definitely be a demand compromising quality and safety. Basically, it's partly the suppliers who're to be blamed for getting low-cost items.

    Here at least, it is obvious. Items of inferior quality are bought in large quantity to be sold in Miri, even for large retail hypermarkets (I'm sure you know which ones I'm referring to) for that reason I've mentioned.

    It's driving me nuts because they are degrading the quality of consumer products and prices down, which will have a snowball effect on others.

    I'm sure you've seen some of the canned food (I don't eat those) from China which are similar in packaging but different in brand and price at said hypermarkets. It is the result of profiteering by the buyers.

    Having said that, I know of real QUALITY items / food / electronics in China, which is as good as any well-known brand that meets all the standards. I'm not saying they are excellent, but they should be at least above average compared to brand names. The problem is that they are not worth it and expensive to bring over to our countries - and I'm sure even in the US it's not worth the effort (who'd pay a premium price for Chinese products?)

  4. When it comes to electronics made in China, I mean Chinese brands, not those American brands with factories in China, you get what you pay for. I don't mind those, because one of my favorite items at home is a Chinese brand DVD recorder. I paid something like $100 for it and it has worked really well for me. Chinese tvs are really cheap here.

    It is stuff like food and toothpaste that I am concerned about. There should be no compromise when it comes to those kind of items. People's health is at stake. How many horror stories have you heard of tainted food products like baby formula, and medicine that are made in China? Instead of using the approved and safe ingredients they use toxic chemicals that look and taste like the safe chemicals just to make that extra profit.

    Did you hear about the hundreds of pets that died recently because the pet food that was made in China was tainted by melamine which is chemical used in plastics and fertilizers. The pets suffered kidney failures and died.

    As to the seafood, it was found that a cancer causing agent called nitrofuran was in the seafood. When it comes to food exports there are health standards that must be met otherwise China's image as an exporter of foods will be tarnished for a long time if their safety is not assured.

    Anyway, there are many canned food made in china that I like, like the fried dace with blackbeans, and the minced pork. Now I will think twice about buying canned and preserved food stuff from China.

  5. Interesting you mentioned Chinese electronics.. I have my qualms with those as one wrong move can land you in the hospital with an explosion (cellular batteries come to mind) or cause a house fire.

    I know that some laptop batteries will cause this too *koffDell*koff* but the risk with unknown Chinese electronics brands are just so much higher.

    There're so many electronic items coming out of China its really hard to differentiate the good ones with the bad ones. We can only trust what the salesman says (which is to say, not very helpful at all).

  6. Heheh, I heard about the laptop batteries catching fire!

    One thing about here is that if a product is found to have some safety or other problem, there is usually a mass recall. You either get a replacement, refund, or if parts can be replaced then the part is replaced. We don't have to get stuck with a faulty product.

    We got my in-laws a fancy toilet but recently I heard that the Japanese brand (toto) of the same kind of toilet could explode! Hopefully the one that we got for my in-laws won't do that to them! Woooowww!

  7. Wow, exploding toilets... who'da thunk it? lol


Thanks for leaving a comment. Your comment is very much appreciated! :-)