Escaping poverty through low end globalisation?

Guangzhou logistics

This photograph is taken in Guangzhou (the city once known as Canton) at a wholesale clothing market. Most of the people in the market are not from Guangzhou. The market traders are a mix of people from China and from a number of different nations in Africa. The customers are primarily Africans.  It is an international place, drawing all toward a common goal:  to escape poverty through the international circulation of cell phones and clothing.    Continue reading

Integrity, Honesty and Orientalist Food Discourse

“Yes, getting people to eat healthy vegetables and fruits and other products from wet markets is important; but the sanitation side is complex and you face all the horrors of these markets coming from China.  … But so much about these wet markets depends on what is grown and how and where.  In Europe and the US where the movement toward markets is huge but with high sanitation controls and with farmers with some honesty, it is simple.”

I was recently having an email discussion with an American food scholar, who has written quite a bit on the nutrition transition.  He was offering advice and sending helpful information and was broadly sympathetic to my argument about the importance of maintaining the wet markets.  However, as you can see from the quote above, there are some real stumbling blocks of the discursive kind that bear further discussion and consideration.  I was troubled by these words for a couple of reasons particularly. Continue reading

Entering Shenzhen

Lo Wo MTR, at the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China

Lo Wo MTR station at the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China

This is the platform at Lo Wu, which is the end of the East Rail Line of Hong Kong’s MTR. Once you pay your fare you enter the border crossing to China. The first thing you must do to proceed with your journey is go through the HK SAR passport control. As an ID card holder of Hong Kong, I am able to progress through an automated gate at this point and enter the bridge that marks the space between Hong Kong and Mainland China. On the other side, I queue in the foreigner line to show my passport in order to complete the crossing.  Hundreds of thousands of people cross this border every day. It is a fascinating place. Continue reading