OLD Media Moves

Will WSJ stand up to China now?

June 15, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Eamonn Fingleton of Forbes.com writes about how The Wall Street Journal will cover China now that the CEO of its parent company, Rupert Murdoch, is divorcing his China-born wife.

FIngelton writes, “Under Murdoch’s ownership (he bought the paper in 2007),   the  Journal has stuck with its  tradition of making light of China’s refusal to play by the agreed rules of international trade. The result today is that America’s bilateral trade deficits with China have multiplied nearly ten-fold and typically run around $150 billion to $300 billion a year. All this is the more interesting for the fact that other nations do NOT have similar access problems in the Chinese market. Take Japan. With a workforce little more than one-third of America’s and an economy still badly discombobulated by the Tohoku earthquake, Japan last year exported about $180 billion worth of goods to China. That was more than 34 percent more than America sold. In per-capita terms, Japan’s exports ran three times America’s. Moreover – and this is where things get really depressing for the United States – most of what Japan has been selling to China consists of high-tech producers’ goods such as production machinery, advanced materials, and key components. By contrast America exports mainly low-level commodities, not least waste paper and scrap metal.

“Part of the reason you don’t hear more about America’s  China access problem is because such potential U.S. exporters  as Apple, IBM, Google, and Microsoft fear retaliation from Beijing if they complain in public. This is a situation where  the U.S. government  should be doing the heavy lifting — and the media should be daily on the government’s case. No organization is in a better position to lead the charge than the Wall Street Journal. It is a pity therefore that America’s leading business newspaper continues — more than thirteen years after China’s entry to the World Trade Organization was agreed — to urge patience as China supposedly needs more time to get its act together. The time for patience is long gone as the success of other nations in penetrating the Chinese market makes clear. It is time to talk tough. Perhaps now that Wendi Deng no longer has the chairman’s ear, the Journal’s editors will begin to find their voice.”

Read more here.

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