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Joshua LeBaron

October 9, 2013
Period 7th
Westernization of China
During the 1900s China asked the United States for help with reform in their working
conditions. The United States ignored China and China turned to the Soviet Union for help with
their reform. The Soviet Union introduced communism to the Chinese. With the aid from the
Soviet Union the Communist party in China gained control of the government in
With China under its control the government created a labor system within factories.
They use managers called danwei to watch over the workers and make sure that production is
up to quota. They govern every aspect of the workers, from marriage to the amount of bathroom
breaks a pregnant women can have within a workday. (Rhodes)
Later on some economic reform came about to take out some of the control that the
danwei have on the factory workers. It enabled the workers to marry and divorce without the
approval of the danwei. However, the danwei still have control over their work schedule, their
housing, child care, and medical care.
If, an employee disobeys a danwei, the danwei has enough power to fire the worker,
forcing the employee onto the streets. This is caused, because the housing is provided by the
factory. In order to get a job at another factory, the previous danwei has to talk with the new
danwei in order for employees to transfer. Obedience to the danwei can make life tolerable to
live in; however, disobedience to his authority can cause the worker to be downgraded to poverty
and homeless.
In 2006, President George W. Bush talked with President Hu Jintao where they decided on a
way to improve social reform in the workplace.(Rhodes) With the influence of the United
States, they were able to diminish some of the power that the danwei have over their workers.
This allowed workers to have more freedoms and a little more pay. The United States western
influence bettered the economic and social aspect of Chinas employment and factory standards.
The United States should use its western influence to modernize and westernize Chinas
economy, social reforms, and education.
The one idea that did not change too much during the talk between Bush and Jintao was the
change in pay that the workers receive. The workers did receive a small raise in their salary they
still dont make nearly enough to support a family. They then have to rely on the factories and
the danwei that reside within them to support them and feed them. This dependency causes the
employees to stay in poverty and stay within the lower social class while the danwei and
government officials are staying in the upper social classes.
Another problem with the factories is that they are unsafe, the machines and the chemicals
that are being produced within the factories can cause burns, cuts, and decapitation of limbs.
Labels on the machinery do not warn the user very well and the machinery lack good safety
features that protect the employees. Safety inspectors can easily be paid off making the allowing
factory owners to bypass safety laws. Every year in China a couple of factories will set on fire
and the factory will not have the proper fire drill procedures, causing workers to be trapped and
killed as a result of the factories improper safety precautions. In 2010, about 400,000 employees
were injured and 90,000 people were killed due to lack of protection and safety within the
Factories try to make their product cheaper than their competitor, causing them to lower the
products pricing and then their employees wages to make up for profit that they lost. Many
people every year die from the use of unsafe factory equipment that does not have proper safety
functions that protect workers from dangerous projectiles. Many most factory equipment
generally does not have the safety features, because they are costing the company more money
than they want to spend. This can be easily prevented with stronger enforcement on the laws
created by the government and paying fees for the factories safety violations. Another problem
with the factories is health violations. A lot of the factories are not sanitized causing infection
and sickness to come from it. In 2009, an outbreak Gastroenteritis virus spread through a
Chinese factory as a result of not enough sanitation. This virus spread throughout the employees
and contaminated food products within the factory.( Pan) The shipping of the food
manufactured at the company caused the virus to spread across the United States and several
other countries. This could have been easily avoided, if the government followed the western
reforms that the United States had been pressing on the Chinese government.
Since, the danwei have good relations with the upper class in the Chinese government
they are able to bribe the turning the other cheek and making the problem disappear. Through the
United States western ideas on making the country humane and free we can use these ideas to
better the working conditions of China and make it stronger.
Some actors from China say that the United States is corrupt in its ideas of westernization
and industry. They say that we have no culture and that our ideas of freedom are wicked and
misused by many Americans. There are people in every society that takes advantage of the
government and the people residing in the lower class. In our culture we have bad people that are
mean, snobbish and selfish; and almost in all other cultures they have those certain groups of
people as well.
On the other hand, the groups that are creating these comments are the well fed upper class
men that take advantage of the lower class. Most of the people that I have met that have
immigrated from China say that they are glad to be in America where they can experience
freedom and better lives for their family. Americans has a strong culture, Americans practice this
every day by how they live and the freedoms that they have. Even though the American culture
may not be as old as Chinas culture, the American culture is as strong as Chinas and is
displayed through the American lifestyle.
The United States contains many freedoms fought for when the founding fathers founded this
country. We obtained religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of life liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. These freedoms help to define the people of America and help them to be
free and protected from the government. In China the government is not as totalitarian as North
Korea, they dont decide what job the civilians have to take or the amount of money that a
person can have. The government enforces their will and punishment by standing uncontested.
(Friedman) This means that when a Chinese family is not compliant with their traditions or
lifestyle they may not receive a passport or their children may be punished for something that the
parents did.
Some very prominent actors and politicians have said that American ideas of freedom are
allowing the people of America to commit crimes and have billboards with immodest women on
them. They do not like the idea that in America, the main goal of each person is to thrive and
live their lives to the fullest. In China the government is built in a way that the Chinese
communities work together to accomplish tasks and help each other.
Most of the Chinese people live with their grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other
extended family in order to keep their lives focused on family. They have a lot of respect and
honor towards family and tend to stick together to make life easier and better for their children.
Having their grandparents and other relatives can be a positive influence on the familys
Grandparents generally are not as distracted as parents and have more time to give advice
and help their children and grandchildren when they have questions or problems. The influence
of family is very important in this culture and contributes greatly to its success as communities
and as a country.
One freedom that they take away in China is the freedom of the media. The Chinese
Communist Government limits the amount of western media that their people can view. They
monitor certain phrases like freedom or liberty and can arrest you for looking at up these
words. The government monitors that television and other media that the public sees. The
problem with the limitation on the media keeps the Chinese public from viewing the world and
they gain only a one-sided perspective.
If, they only have a one-sided perspective they wont be able to learn from other cultures and
other countries around the world. Some problems with legal cases in court are being favored
towards the party causing some illegality to occur. Since, there is no media distributing
information about the case it remains favored decides against laws.(Embassy of the People's
Republic of China in India)
It is harder for the poor to receive an education, because the government is focused more on
the upper class children rather than the lower class. The upper class children have a better chance
of receiving college degrees, because they have more money and a part of the government favors
the upper class.
Education is censored by the government and causes great pieces of literature and history to
be taken out depriving the Chinese people from obtaining information about other cultures and
important historical moments that could help better their society. If, the people are being taught
the exact same thing and there arent new perspectives or ideas being introduced into a society,
there would be no growth and the culture would stay the same while other cultures would grow
and progress. Looking at history it shows that the more a country shares new ideas and
technology the quicker the civilization advanced in technology and ideology.
With the rise of the Communist Party the religious aspect of China started to decline. The
government had such great power over the people that they made religious practices inaccessible
and against certain codes. While in America we have religious freedom in constitution that
protects us from certain government control. Throughout the years China has taken some ideas
of westernization and implemented them into their ideas about religious freedom. China has
stated that they can worship their religion if: it is in direct compliance with their laws, it does not
take power away from the government, and it has been rooted deep within their culture.
(Embassy of the People's Republic of China in India)
With the westernization of China the education system would expand and would encompass
large amounts of poor children to receive an education and be able to rise above their current
social status and receive a better education. With that better education they could use it to get a
good job and support their family and help their siblings get a better education. Chinas economy
would grow making it stronger and more prominent.
The United States of Americas economy is tied to Chinas economy. If, the United
States economy dropped then Chinas economy would take a hit, if Chinas economy dropped
then the United States economy would be negatively affected. One of the main U.S. traders is
China. They create most of our electronic devices that we use on a daily basis. Apple and other
big enterprises create the technology and use Chinese factories to mass produce these electronics.
If, westernized the country would be creating more jobs enabling more people to obtain jobs
increasing their economy and supply of trade goods.
They make them for very cheap prices, but the company sells them for larger sums of money
once they reach the United States. The large enterprise then uses the money to pay employees,
shipping taxes, materials, and factory contracts in order to keep the company functioning and in
order. An example of a large common enterprise in the United States is Wal-Mart. About 70%
of Wal-Marts products have been manufactured in Chinese factories and Wal-Mart is visited by
most of America on a daily basis.( Organic Consumer Association) The influence of Chinese
products is all around us and without them our many of the products in Americas stores would
be more expensive.
Americas economy depends on Chinas economics, because they are Americas second
largest importer. If their economy rises then Americas economy would rise as well. If, we build
their economy we would be building our economy as well, because the United States is their
eighth largest trader.(Organic Consumer Association)
We have very good relationships with them and want to trade ideas about our culture
with them, but cannot due to the fact that their government restricts many of the ideas that would
be expressed. Theyve helped America in industry for centuries and we should in return help
them to have better lives and a better future.
The United States has a building debt that owes money to many countries all over the world.
The country that America owes the most money to is China. China owns about 4.5 trillion
dollars of the United States fourteen trillion dollars of debt.( Murse)
In conclusion, the Chinese government and the American government both benefit from the
modernization and westernization of China. Through the betterment of education and social
reforms in China, they can achieve higher economic wealth and safer working conditions. With
the increase in education to the lower class China will be able to create more jobs, advance their
technology. Many social problems will be improved and solved through westernization.

Work Cited

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the People's Republic of China in India, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2004. <http://in.china-

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Friedman, Edward. "Living Without Freedom in China." Foreign Policy Research Institute.
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Lynch, Elizabeth. "Changing Media, Changing ChinaChanging Me!." China Law and Policy.
China Law and Policy, 7 Jan. 2011. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.
Murse, Torne. "How Much U.S. Debt Does China Really Own?." US Government Info.
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