Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Chasing Out Foreign Devils

The coffee shop the Garratts own in Dandong, Liaoning province
It is worrying to see China becoming aggressive again in its stance on foreigners and foreign companies in the country.

Officers from the National Development and Reform Commission raided the Shanghai office of Mercedes-Benz on Monday morning, looking for evidence the German luxury car maker, along with BMW, Audi and Chrysler were engaged in monopoly practices in charging high prices for spare parts and after sales services.

It is believed the NDRC probe is meant to force foreign car makers to slash prices of their vehicles which are selling for three times the price of other markets, like the United States.

But why, if people can afford them? And the cut in prices will affect wages of locals who are in joint ventures building these vehicles. Sounds like shooting oneself in the foot, does it not?

Do the wealthy care what the prices are? As the saying goes, if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.

And in China, where status symbols reign supreme, the uber rich really want to prove how wealthy they are by what they drive.

Julia and Kevin Garratt are accused of spying in China
The other worry is a Canadian couple who own a coffee shop on the border between China and North Korea. They were detained over allegation of spying, according to Beijing authorities.

Kevin and Julia Garratt are under investigation for "suspected theft of state secrets about China's military and national defense research:, according to a Xinhua report.

The couple are originally from Vancouver and run a coffee house in Dandong, Liaoning province. They have lived in China for about 30 years and are Christian activists. Notice the "t" in "Peter" looks more like a cross...

Their son Peter says the charges are ridiculous, saying the coffee house is popular with expats because of the Western food they serve, while locals like to come here to practice their English.

Peter said he was questioned by police about what his parents did other than run the coffee shop and he replied his mother used to teach English at the university and his father works for North Star Aid, which helps the elderly in North Korea.

He added his parents were not trying to proselytize anyone and that they were obeying the law. Peter has no idea where these accusations of espionage come from and believes his parents will be cleared of the charges.

Does he have any understanding of the Chinese legal system? When they trump up charges like these, they will bend over backwards to find any shred of evidence to prove their accusations.

Just look at infamous web celebrity Guo Meimei.

Guo Meimei showed off inexplicable wealth on weibo
The 23-year-old cause outrage back in 2011 when she claimed to work for a subsidiary of the Red Cross Society of China, and at the same time flaunted pictures of her posing next to luxury sports cars and carrying luxury bags on her weibo account.

Last month she was detained on gambling-related charges and she confessed on television the other day, apologizing for her luxurious lifestyle and damaging the reputation of the charity.

"I like to show off. I have the vain mindset of a little girl," said Guo.

In a CCTV report, Guo admitted to operating a gambling venue in Beijing, and had sex with various men for no less than 100,000 yuan per encounter. Her personal assistant revealed how Guo was a compulsive gambler and would frequent Macau's casinos...

Did she really set up an illegal gambling den in Beijing? She's 23 years old and it seems more probable she made money prostituting her body to pay for her high life than to have the ability to set up an illegal business.

So the Garratts have to be careful -- they may think they are innocent, but not when the Chinese government seems to have an anti-foreigner agenda in mind...



2 comments:

  1. PRC Chinese (mainland) Legal system IS A JOKE. PRC Chinese Judges are GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATORS and NOT-INDEPENDENT JUDGES. These 'judges' rule in favor of the PRC gov't or gov't businesses. They have a 'conviction' rate of 90%.

    In general, IN CHINA IF YOU ARE ARRESTED AND PUT ON TRIAL FOR ANYTHING, you are DETERMINED GUILITY by these PRC JUDGES BEFORE the TRIAL. YOU could be FRAMED for TRUMPED UP CHARGES for STEALING STATE SECRETS (could be SOMETHING SIMPLE from COMMERICAL INFORMATION or LOCATION INFORMATION)

    ** I SERIOUSLY ADVISE ANYONE TO NOT TRAVEL TO CHINA UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and ENTER PRC CHINA AT YOUR OWN RISK (including FORFEITING YOUR LIVES.) **

    (BTW, this similar situation will occur in HK in about 10-25 years, depending on conditions.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the warning, nulle. Most people will be fine visiting the mainland, but the Garratts have lived in China for some 30 years so they must be aware of the risks being foreigners there.

      Delete