Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Philippines and China go Bananas

The Philippines and China are engaged in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, that has now spread to bananas. China blocked the import of Philippine bananas, after a Philippine naval ship attempted to arrest a group of Chinese fisherman working off the Scarborough Shoal.

The Philippines and China have competing claims on these islands and the Philippines see the blocking of imported bananas as a way of making them give in to China. Unfortunately, the strategy is quite sound because the Philippines is dependent on Chinese demand for its’ products.


Another government verses government territorial dispute in Asia, great. The real losers here are the exporters and the farmers who grew the bananas because the fruits of their labor are rotting in containers or have been destroyed, meaning that they don’t get paid for having their hard toiled crop at market.
 This case is endemic of a problem that has infected this world. We have all these conflicts where two governments are wielding economic weapons against each other with no regard for who their really hurting.
Governments are by their nature, big and complex things that harder to hurt than sanctions regimes would lead one to believe. The farmers and laborers who produce the product may be a failed crop or economic blockade from ruins.

 But why should governments give a crap about people?

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