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Read, Consider, and Take Action

This Radio Reader BookByte reports that in 2005, a shipping company informed her that 50% of all import goods received into the USA were from China for Walmart.  Shown here are containers at the Port Elizabeth New Jersey terminal.
Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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This Radio Reader BookByte reports that in 2005, a shipping company informed her that 50% of all import goods received into the USA were from China for Walmart. Shown here are containers at the Port Elizabeth New Jersey terminal.

The non-fiction book Made in China: A Prisoner, and SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods by Amelia Pang is a must read. I’m Melany Wilks, Library Director of the Pioneer Memorial Library, and book club leader for one of our book clubs. We read this book in 2022.My book club participants stated everyone should read the book and learn what’s really going on in China! One person said it was truly an eye opener!

Close your eyes. Imagine you are decorating for a fun holiday party. You rip open a package of decorations and out falls a handwritten note in crude English and a few Chinese words begging you to send a letter to the World Human Right Organization. It stated that prisoners in Unit 8 Department 2 of the Mashanjia Labor Camp, Shenyang Liaoning, China worked 15-hour days, 7 days a week, with no breaks for weekends or holidays. They suffer torture, beatings, rude comments and imprisoned and they earn 10 yuan or $1.49 a month! Most are imprisoned one to three years but some for many more years. Many are imprisoned because they cling to the Falun Gong meditation, exercise, and movement philosophy that the CCPG has discredited and now imprison their members!

That really happened to a forty-two-year-old mother who was preparing for her daughter’s fifth birthday! This puts the mother on a journey that then leads to journalist, Amelia Pang, who wrote the book!

Imagine for me again. You or a very important loved one is sick and will die without an organ transplant? You are told by a doctor or read on the Internet that you can go to China and receive an organ within one to three weeks! Would you go if you found out that in a labor camp men and women are routinely given medical exams to determine their suitability to donate their organs? A young woman in China and believed her life was spared because she was not a good match for anyone seeking an organ. Amelia Pang reviews this too in the book.

I’ve been to China twice, love the country and the people and have personal close relationships with Chinese people. Many times, people are mere cogs in governments policies and practices.

I personally know that in 2005 when I shipped 20’ and 40’ foot containers overseas to foreign countries and also received containers back into the USA, that a shipping company I daily worked with stated that 50% of all import goods received into the USA were from China for Walmart! That was in 2005! What’s the number now??

This knowledge kept running through my head as I read the book. The true stories withing this book made me, and our book club readers push the pause button on purchasing cheap items from overseas!

I leave you with the question, what responsibility do we have? What is the value of a life? Pang says the Chinese dissidents in the USA hold out little hope for reform! Those speaking out in this book, have suffered extreme torture. The international community whether, capitalistic, socialistic or other “ism’s” are doing nothing to stop these practices. In my personal opinion, there is no one free from guilt on this front !

NPRC listener, you are people who care, make personal choices and take action. So, first take action by reading the book, then listen to our program, and then make informed decisions for the future!

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Spring Read 2023: In Touch with the World 2023 Spring ReadHPPR Radio Readers Book Club
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