Whilst the West continues to court China and appears to view that vast country as the next big thing, China is up to its old tricks. In the past suspect goods and food from China have swamped the market. They do not have the strict regulations that many Western countries have plus the Chinese seem good at making fakes and copies. The problem is that the quality is never the same. The ones in China who supply such goods damage trade but of course some of the damaging effects raise more serious concerns.
The latest fakes from China are electronic parts supplied to US Military aircraft.
The US Senate has released the findings of an investigation into alleged fake parts in Military aircraft. The investigation comprised an undercover operation. A fictitious company bought the fake parts from an Internet source. All the parts bought turned out to be fakes.
The investigation was partly undertaken to assess value for money from companies providing Military parts. The subsequent report reveals that "1,800 cases of bogus parts - including some in special operations helicopters and the US Air Force's largest cargo plane" was uncovered. However the actual number of counterfeit parts is more than one million.
The fakes compromise safety, standards and cost effectiveness of purchasing in the UK military. "This flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs," committee armed services publication chairman Senator Carl Levin said. "It underscores China's failure to police the blatant market in counterfeit parts - a failure China should rectify."
Before Western leaders happily court traders and manufacturers in China perhaps they should look a little closer. The cheapest option is not always the best. In addition the damage it does to homeland jobs and security makes it expensive in the long term.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog