My Problem With China

This is my third Toastmaster speech in the Persuasive Influence Pathway, given on September 16, 2019. It was about 7:10.

China has been in the news because of President Trump and tariffs. But I have three different objections to China I’m hoping you can help me with.

1) China makes cheap junk.
2) Chinese companies use deceptive practices.
3) The Communist Chinese government steps on its people.

These seem like disparate things, but I will show how each is a measure on the same continuum of unacceptable conditions.

1) China makes cheap junk

So, I’m on a mission to avoid buying anything Made In China because of problem #3, also called human rights violations. Since most stuff from China is cheap junk with a disappointingly short lifespan, it makes my Made in China boycott that much easier.

It bothers me that Made in China is synonymous with cheap crap. This civilization brought us paper, some of the most beautiful movies ever made (remember Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?), and the original Star Fleet—enormous ships that spread across the globe years before Prince Henry of Portugal used Chinese maps to explore.

And now, China is known for low-quality manufacturing. What’s worse, I cannot find things NOT Made in China: hairbands, a computer mouse, shoes.

2) Chinese companies use deceptive practices

This leads to Deceptive Practices when Chinese companies skip steps or substitute ingredients.

I first noticed this situation years ago when a favorite yarn moved its factory from Peru to China. The yarn quality tanked while the price remained the same. Breaks, knots, and frays distressed knitters making woolens for loved ones.

Yarn and cheap hairbands aren’t as important as dog food, infant formula, pacemakers, and . . . prescription drugs. Chinese companies make >90% of our antibiotics and most of the drugs taken by the U.S. military.

Are you freaking out yet? Chinese manufacturers are trying to trick us—the consumers and contracting companies—by substituting ingredients and not following directions!

This happens a lot in the Hawaii building industry with unlicensed, Chinese contractors. I consider it deceitful . . . but it could just be they don’t think it’s that important when it could be done cheaper.

But if a drug company spends years and millions of dollars getting a drug ready for the public, the Chinese manufacturer better follow directions.

3) The Communist Chinese government steps on its people

The thing that hurts my heart, is the way the Chinese government treats its people. A spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Defense estimated almost 3 million Muslim mothers, fathers, grandmas, and uncles are in concentration camps where they are tortured, brainwashed, and forced into manual labor—the kind that makes cheap stuff. Chinese government officials call these buildings “vocational training centers.”

Did you know there are 1.4 billion Muslims in China forming almost 20% of the population? The Chinese government considers 1 in 5 people a threat because their first loyalty is to Allah, not Communism or the State.

There are first person accounts of elderly parents being arrested and kept from receiving necessary medical care, entire Muslim towns emptied out, and of children stolen from their families to be raised in crowded orphanages and indoctrinated in the Communist Party way. This cannot continue. We cannot keep pretending it will go away, or it’s none of our business.

Hong Kong is holding out. They’re trying to make a stand against this Communist Monster. But I feel like only people outside of China can do something because we are safe from arrest, censure, and torture by the Chinese government.

How we can help

Asians like to save face, so let’s shame them. You cannot treat people like this and think the rest of the world is going to let it go.

If I know about these human rights violations and do nothing, what does that make me? And now, you know. Please. Help me.

• Talk to people about it.
• Boycott products Made in China.
• If you use social media, post pictures of your not made in China items and hashtag #NotMadeInChina, #FreeChinasMuslims

Uyghur girl with colorful head covering and white tunic
An Uyghur girl who will be forced to marry outside her religion and punished for following her Muslim customs if she survives torture and religious persecution inside a Chinese re-education camp. Photo by Todenhoff on Flickr

This Muslim teenager in China is about my youngest daughter’s age. IF she survives torture and reeducation, she will grow up hating her culture and religion. She won’t be able to pray with her family or get married in a Muslim ceremony. The Communists don’t even want her to marry another Muslim.

Worse, a Chinese official stationed inside her family’s home can rape her and threaten to have her entire family arrested and tortured if her father tries to stop him. What do you think her father will do? What would you do if you were her dad?

Individual Americans have the

  • Technology, [hold up phone]
  • Compassion [hands over heart]
  • And Freedom, [stretch out arms]

To act. We must act.

Please help me with my problem with China.


Akana, Paula. “Construction industry cracks down on unlicensed contractors.” KITV4 Island News. 31 May 2018.

Eban, Katherine. “A Healthy Relationship? Assessing the Risks and Opportunities of China’s Medicine and Health Development.” Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, July 31, 2019.

Edwards, Jim. “500 years ago, China destroyed its world-dominating navy because its political elite was afraid of free trade.” Business Insider, 25 February 2017.

Gibson, Mary. ” Testimony of Rosemary Gibson, Senior Advisor, The Hastings Center and Author, China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission ‘Exploring the Growing U.S. Reliance on China’s Biotech and Pharmaceutical Products.'” 31 July 2019.

Hang, Echo. “Buying Infant Formula in China is Still Really Scary.” Quartz, 22 November 2017.

Lau, Wendi. “Our Second Chance to Stop a Holocaust.” Thought Ripples By Wendi, 2 June 2019.

Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. Bantam Press, London, 2002.

Priest, Christopher. “Prepared Statement Regarding the Military Health System Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.” 31 July 2019.

Szczepanski, Kallie. “Zheng He’s Treasure Ships.” ThoughtCo, Sep. 23, 2019,

Featured image by masha krasnova-shabaeva on flickr.

5 thoughts on “My Problem With China”

  1. If I was that girl’s father, some official might die first. I do not condone violence. But just saying…


    1. Thank you for commenting. The only other comment on this post is the one you see. If it causes readers to think about their relationship with Chinese products and our connection to fellow global citizens, the post worked.


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