If someone provides you with a service that costs less than his or her competitors, and the person is reliable, chances are that you will contract for the work. If the person has repressive tactics to keep his or her workers in line, and these methods yield higher productivity and lower labor costs, would you continue to work with him or her? In the case of China, it’s a resounding: Yes!
Look, business benefits from the repressive practices of the Chinese government: No unions, no requests from mainland workers for higher wages, no occupational/health regulations, no pensions, no required employee heath insurance, etc. The repression that is happening in Hong Kong, and is going to get far worse, is the natural outcome of the collusion of Western businesses with the dictatorial Chinese government. The irony is that while the West sheds a tear, few in the business community want to see democracy in China because it will cost them much more to pay labor.
China knows this and it literally gives the government a license to kill.
The numerous Western chefs who have opened in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau are well aware of what’s happening to the labor force and to animal husbandry in China, but while talking about humane practices and buying local and environmental safety, it’s crickets when it comes to any sort of meaningful action.
Why is that? Hint: The chefs profit from low labor costs and incredibly cheap prices for food served in their restaurants. It’s not just that they don’t care about the repression, it is that they welcome it. Why do you think chefs are flocking to China? Huge profit compared to running restaurants in the West.
New idea for chefs: Cook and run restaurants. Don’t talk about politics unless you’re consistent. I’d rather hear about your kitchens than what you see on your way to and from work through the tinted glass of your BMW.