Take a look at the story below and tell me whether you're uncomfortable with nanotech companies worldwide doing business in China. A lot of business. In fact, China is truly the land of opportunity for nanotech companies, where their products are likely to reach consumers sooner -- from nanocatalysts for fuel to drug delivery devices.
This is not a rhetorical question. I've had very mixed feelings on this issue since 1989, when I found myself yelling at the TV in outrage as I watched Brent Scowcroft toasting the Chinese leadership so soon after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
And the arguments over which dictatorial regimes to punish with economic sanctions are too wrapped up in U.S. politics to make any kind of sense. Liberals credit sanctions for toppling apartheid in South Africa, yet blame sanctions for impoverishing Cuba. Business-friendly conservatives argue in almost all cases that economic engagement with the people living under dictatorships is the surest way to change a society from within -- that is, unless we're talking about Cuba.
Even though it's a question that's broader than our own nano world, I still think this issue should be discussed among nanotechnology's other "societal and ethical implications."
China defector can stay - Australia minister (Reuters)
- "A senior Australian minister said on Thursday that a Chinese diplomatic defector pleading for political asylum in Australia is in no danger of being sent home.
Chen Yonglin, a 37-year-old political affairs consul at China's Sydney consulate, has told Australian authorities he fears for his family's safety and would rather die than return to China.
'Mr Chen is in Australia, he is being dealt with in accordance with the ordinary process of Australian immigration law and he is at no risk of being sent back to China,' Health Minister Tony Abbott, a close ally of Prime Minister John Howard, told reporters.
Howard himself tried to calm concerns that Chen's fate might be influenced by Canberra's booming trade and economic ties with Beijing.
'Let me simply say that, just as in relation to the U.S., we have steadfastly refused to mix trade with politics and strategy and national security -- so it is in relation to China, and I'm sure that our Chinese friends will know that,' Howard told a business lunch in Sydney.
China, which is Australia's third-largest trading partner with annual trade worth almost A$29 billion (more than $22 billion), is in talks with Canberra on a free trade deal and a separate pact to import Australian uranium." More here
People-to-People's State Partnership
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China's Great NanoLeap Forward
Sleeping nanogiant stirs
U.S. to China: Let's share power
China, garment workers and nanotechnology