China Replaces Japan in Our Daily Commerce

Manila Bulletin, February 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

China Replaces Japan in Our Daily Commerce


THE rising economic status of China today hits our consciousness in exactly the same way Japan did it in the 1970s.

First, the country is inundated with their products. In the case of Japan, it was their autos which replaced Fords and Chevrolets, and their appliances.

Except for the autos, the Chinese have unleashed more products here than the Japanese ever did. Every day, the variety of products increases.

***

Then come the floods of tourists.

In the 1970s, planeloads of Japanese tourists used to land here every day.

In the just-concluded Chinese New Year holidays, thousands of Chinese visitors arrived in the country's various airports, from Manila to Vigan to Cebu.

They were a welcome relief to the long tourist drought. The hotels enjoyed a sharp rise in occupancy rates.

***

The current issue of Newsweek proclaims that "Now Beijing, Not Tokyo, Is Shaping Asia's Economic Future."

That needs no proclaiming. Everywhere one turns, he sees Chinese products. Things we produce, from shoes to appliances, from cotton buds to chinaware, are freely imported from China which makes them cheaper.

In one supermarket, I am told, there is a table filled with Chinese products, gas lighters for stoves, heavy-duty scissors, saws with extra blades, allmetal hammers which double as screw drivers and others. …

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