Death by China (2012) Poster

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Irresponsible propaganda
Mat_Nichol20 August 2018
To call this a documentary is foolish. It's flawed logic shows just how the current US administration is being run
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Utter balderdash
stevenmcglinchey21 August 2018
The guy who wrote the book this codswollop is based on is now Donald Trumps advisor on his crazy trade tariff war. Can't believe Martin Sheen loaned his name to this war mongering nonsense. Starting with the opening graphic of a bloody knife stabbing the heartland of America and continuing with frequent military allusions to Chinas overpowering of the USA.
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Martin Sheen
johnepunchardiv20 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'm still baffled to understand why Mr Sheen would lend his name and voice to this loaded pile of horse dung. This work doesn't hold water! For one thing, it's author doesn't understand that our trade with China is essential to our growth and prosperity as a nation. For another, this works sole purpose is to justify Donald Trump's reason for his trade war with China. It's a gamble that will harm our nation in the long run! If we don't trade with them, then who's going to make his ties?
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Baseless simpleminded BS
kurtzu2@aol.com29 August 2018
Peter Navarro, someone no economist believes has even the most rudimentary understanding of economics, has "directed" this propaganda piece of protectionist fearmongering being promoted under the guise of a documentary. He joins the Dinesh D'Souza brotherhood of conjuring up some notion of the uneducated, ill-informed 21st Century John Birchers and spins it out through illogical pearl-clutching interviews with others of his ilk. These "experts" are reminiscent of the "experts" on Secrets of Ancient Aliens and Bigfoot Revealed! on cable network TV shows. Shame on Martin Sheen for lending gravitas to this POS by agreeing to narrate it.
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How can a biased film labeled as documentary?
dekakashi31 March 2018
Most of the film were off topic. They threw in anything that is negative about China but they are not related to trade and economy. It feels like the producers has nothing else to back up their claims and just threw in human rights issue and freedom of speech.

Manufacture jobs went away not because of China. They went away because the US companies found more cost efficient alternatives. If not China, it could have been Vietnam, Bangladesh, or other third world countries.

China has some really bad trade practices and that's why I hated Chinese companies and their government. BUT that is NOT the reason why you can't find a job in 2012 or why we don't make printers and fridge no more.

The fact that our income disparity is so great, it's basically inviting cheap products. How else are you suppose to satisfy the majority of low income earners in the US?
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ahjordan4 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Where to start...

I guess I should indicate that this is a spoiler alert, though I will not get fully into specifics.

This film is simply terrible. Technically, it cannot even be considered a "documentary," and thus should be removed from that category. The film is completely one sided and in fact contradictory: for instance, while continually referring to the "Oppressive Communist government" of China, the entire point of the film is demonstrating how China is taking away western industrial capitalist jobs (in case you are unaware, communism and capitalism are completely incompatible: ie the government of China is not communist, but are rather referred to as such in a derogatory manner to serve the filmmaker's point of view). Furthermore, the film completely and utterly fails to point out that in fact it is the greater processes of capitalism that are taking jobs away from America and moving them to cheaper locations. China is not taking the jobs from America, as the film continually rams down your throat, but rather American corporations are off-shoring the work, not just to China, in order to increase their profits and live the better American dream. China is benefiting, however the film does not point out that American corporations are responsible here.

Quite simply, the film can be summed up as follows: hard-working Americans lost all their jobs, and this is China's fault because they flooded America with their cheap goods. The film honestly does not go any deeper than that. It is basically patriotic, chest-beating Americanism. If you are curious how Americans perceive themselves, watch this movie. If you are curious about the decline of America or China's role in said decline, or perhaps if you are curious how international trade works or maybe globalisation, you are much better served by staying far, far away from this disappointing film. No new perspectives are offered, nothing intelligent is said, and no solution is provided.
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Terrible documentary
rejj236914 April 2015
This documentary is so one-sided that it is unbelievable. The discovery of toxic lead-covered toys and defective products did happen and they were called back. I am sure many American products were guilty of similar public outrage at some point or another, such as contaminated eggs, milk, and poorly designed cars that resulted in deaths to name a few.

It is also hard to see China as the sole perpetrator when American multinational corporations were also accused of pouring money into the Chinese government to persuade them to turn a blind eye on factory and environmental regulations.

I believe that corrupt Chinese officials and the American multinational corporations are equally responsible. Wealthy men in power are playing number games at our expense. It's all about power.
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UAW Propaganda
chnfilm29 September 2012
The documentary can best be described as an hour long infomercial for the UAW.While there are some valid points as to the loss of U.S. manufacturing due to uneven trade with China the past ten years the film fails to focus on NAFTA passed during the 90's and even farther back during the 70's,80's time period when the term "Rust Belt" came about as manufacturing disappeared. Both the U.S. and China are cheating when it comes to trade within the World Trade Organization. The United States gave tens of billions to GM and Chrysler in rescue funds,$500 million loan to bankrupt Solyndra, and billions more to companies like Boeing and General electric all of which China views as illegal Government subsidies. China could make an hour long movie titled Death by America which demonstrates how the U.S. is in violation of fair trade. I do believe that a revival in U.S. manufacturing is possible, but it will in no way resemble the manufacturing that are Dads and Grandfathers knew....
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Low quality propaganda
mail-liamahern8 May 2019
Most definitely not a documentary. Just a bunch of Americans crying about the fact that they are no longer the worlds most powerful economy. Risible, jingoistic nonsense.
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A Trade War Underway?
dahlswede14 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The documentary "Death by China" (2012) based upon Peter Navarro's book by the same title offers interesting insights into the disparity in trade between the United States and the Peoples' Republic of China (Communist China). Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film presents statistical information in conjunction with interviews with business leaders and scholars to trace the history of growing trade disparities between the USA and China in a propaganda-style format.

The documentary places the blame for the loss of massive numbers of manufacturing sector jobs in the United States during the past two decades squarely upon the government of Communist China and, recently, also upon allegedly collusive large multinational corporations which formerly maintained a specifically American nexus. Since President Clinton announced China's admission into the World Trade Organization (the WTO) near the end of his second term in office, a significant trade imbalance developed which now threatens the survival of many important manufacturing sectors in the United States.

Although "Death by China" functions as propaganda in the sense that it draws a connection between the loss of many manufacturing jobs in the United States and ongoing blatant trade violations by the government of China, it does not overlook several additional social and political issues which ought to concern citizens of both the United States and China. The documentary specifically takes issue with Chinese governmental policies-- not with the people of either nation.

Peripheral topics include: pervasive industrial pollution problems in China threatening the health and well being of the Chinese population, exploitative and corrupt Chinese labor practices, efforts by China to censor foreign companies, currency manipulations by the Chinese Communist regime, safety concerns about some consumer products manufactured in China and a reported significant buildup of the Chinese military following the establishment of peaceful trading relations with the USA.

However, the bulk of the film addresses the diminished manufacturing capacity of the United States. Since economic imbalances sometimes represent a forerunner to significant geopolitical changes, people might want to pay attention to this unsettling documentary even if they do maintain a skeptical attitude about the trade disparity issue.

The documentary begs a hard question: Did China's government join the WTO during the Clinton Administration in order to benefit the Chinese economy by engaging in fair trade or in order to initiate a form of economic warfare?
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If you want to know how the U.S. lose the trade war, then watch this.
Unprofessionalreviewer25 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This propaganda contains basically no facts, but opinions. They did not address the real issues that failed American manufacture. Like bad infurstructure, expensive electricity, and high tax.
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A brain-dead simple-minded propaganda by UAW and the right-wing Republicans
Bad-Good-Great18 November 2019
Suppose I am manufacturer, a factory, my workers are all UAW members, the Union controlled everything, working behind to hustle the workers for higher pay, higher benefit, shorter working hours, longer vacation. If I don't agree or refuse these unreasonable conditions, the UAW would encourage the workers to sabotage the factory, delay the production lines, encourage them on strike. Suppose my products are way too high due to the higher wages, higher benefits, higher raw materials from other American suppliers, my expensive products got no market, nobody wants to buy my expensive stuff, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Suppose I am just a American consumer, suppose I couldn't afford the high priced merchandise, the appliances, the groceries, the sundry items for my home all Made in America, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Suppose I am a Chinese manufacturer, I made lot of goods, I bought a lot of raw materials from all the cheaper resources from other countries in order to make my products cheaper; and my employees, my workers, they don't have the UAW to manipulate them. The living standards here in China are cheaper, and my government, even it runs by the Chinese Communist Party, but it encourages me to Make China Great Again, so they support my factory and my business every way they can. My products are at lower prices than those Made in America, so suddenly, lot of American buyers, American importers, including those 99 Cents Store, Dollar Tree Store Chain, approached me and wanted my products. Without the American buyers or American importers, no matter how cheap, how competitive if compared to those Made in America, without American buyers and importers, I still can't sell or ship my products to America without their orders. Without American buyers, importers and customers, China and Made in China goods won't be able to export to America. America ordered from China, then China manufactured and shipped. The the quantities exported from China were all ordered by the American buyers, the importers. The Chinese cannot force the Americans to buy their products, market prices decide everything.

When the American factory owners could easily get what they usually manufactured at much cheaper prices or costs from China, what they did is reduce their production lines, lay off more trouble-makers workers manipulated by UAW. When such measures caused more workers on strike, what they do? The either closed their factories or moved their factories abroad.

So without China and without Chinese products, how could Americans Make America Great Again? It's you Americans spoiled yourselves by over-valued American Dollars that caused higher living cost in America. It's UAW, the Unions in almost all the manufacturers, companies, even schools caused American people, the American consumers have to pay the highest prices almost for everything. Without the help of the Chinese goods, the average Americans won't have affordable daily products for their homes, their wives and their kids. The first step to Make America Great Again is stop blaming China and the Chinese, ban the UAW, lower your Dollar value. And stop blaming Vietnam, India, Bangladesh...when your America importers, American buyers started to consider the Chinese goods' prices too high and decided to order cheaper goods from other south Asian countries and Bangladesh, the next wave of cheaper products are coming from these countries now. Blame yourselves, because America and all the Americans are spoiled by their own extravaganzas of living standard. Lower the Dollar value for more competitive export and markets. Blame your government, because they spent so much money on their Defense Budget instead of rebuild America's run-down and shabby infrastructure; blame the Republican Party, since they only support the big enterprises and those big companies; blame the Democratic Party, since they are so stupid to waste American tax payers' money in those stupid welfare programs, the stupid food stamps for those lazy American parasites and the illegal immigrants; blame every city in America that has higher sales taxes but do nothing!
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Simplified view of globalisation
kabukiman203218 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This pamphlet-like movie denounces the massive trade imbalance between China and the western developed countries and the consequences for ordinary people trying to make a decent living in the US. The over-the-top graphics showing China as an aggressor don't do it any favors though. A more sober approach would have given a bit more credibility to what is said about their export methods.

The complexity of the issue is glossed over unfortunately by the limits of an hour and a half format that was chosen. This deserves a whole series of docs going over the history of capitalism and globalisation since the 1960s at least. Multinationals delocalising manufacturing to cheaper places is nothing new but has taken on huge proportions because of the sheer size of China and its large population.

This pamphlet also reminds us that americans and europeans are living above their means and consume too much without thinking about where things are made and the jobs that are behind them. There is a market for locally manufactured goods in the US and Europe and some have the courage to recreate what was destroyed and we discover that they are often no more expensive than the delocalised big brand names that they compete with, proof that it is only maximum profits at any cost that is driving this undesirable evolution. There sometimes still is a choice, you have to look for it. The solution is clear and mentioned in this doc : balanced, fair trade.

Only those cruising on dim or who are profiting from underhanded low-quality imports hate this documentary. The US made a lot of its great products itself before, it can do it again. The consumer just needs to be educated about his responsibilities. Free trade should be encouraged but it is not an end in itself, especially if it benefits only a privileged few!

Definitely worth watching.
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It's too complicated an equation to just blame China.
MartinHafer4 December 2013
I am glad that a film like "Death By China" was made, although I sometimes disagree with the film in how they present the problems with the HUGE Chinese trade imbalance. While I think it's a huge problem that practically no one is talking about in the West, the film only makes a partially convincing argument. But at least it acknowledges that there is a problem.

This documentary is narrated by Martin Sheen and is apparently based on a book by the same name. It contends that since China was admitted to the World Trade Organization, unintended negative consequences have occurred. US industries have either gone out of business or relocated abroad, technology has been stolen and China's civil rights abuses continue--all while they fund a massive military buildup. All this is undeniably true and the country has used some unfair tactics to keep this imbalance going (such as government subsidies to industries which, in turn, force their rivals out of business as well as manipulation of the Yuan). And, interestingly, reviews that hated this film completely ignored all of this--particularly the human rights violations. All of this should concern us and is fair game for the film.

On the other hand, sometimes a bit of the film seemed like hyperbole (such as complaints about baby cribs being recalled--recalls of baby products have been occurring very regularly long before Chinese cribs came to America; the same can be said about the false Alar scare). Also the film is quick to spot problems but offers little in the way of solutions--though they are quite right that we in the West are to blame since we are living well beyond our means. Finally, I wonder who bankrolled this film--as it seemed to have an agenda (particularly in its choice of some of the interviewees). Although China is predatory in its practices and is not a particularly nice nation in which to practice free speech, the problem is not this simple and is actually very complex. Americans choose these products, government officials do nothing to reverse unfair trade practices, unions push more for higher wages and are at the same time unwilling to make concessions and corporations are greedy and only care about profits. So, in effect, it's everyone's fault--something this film didn't quite seem willing to say. A very sobering and interesting film but one that seemed a bit disingenuous in addressing the total picture. Still worth seeing, however.
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Every American must watch this!
mmrevue25 November 2013
There's so much truth has been said in this very important film. The only people who hate this documentary are those who stand to benefit from the erosion and the decline of the US in terms of economic power and national security. That means those who hate this film are the ENEMIES of the United States of America!

The Chinese have absolutely no good intention or good will for the American people. They hate us and would (and have tried) do everything possible to harm Americans like putting lead in our children toys and poisons in our drywalls! China has flooded the US market with low quality products that would end up in landfills shortly after the purchase, creating an enormous waste of precious resources and energy. This film points out the short-term and long-term threats from China and its carefully crafted agenda aiming to destroy the US and topple it from the world power status. And is exactly what we are witnessing today! The Chinese government has plenty of spies snooping around in the US carrying out their missions virtually unrestricted taking advantage of the freedom enjoyed by American people, the freedom that will soon be taken away by the Chinese government in the same way the Tibetans have lost theirs.

Virtually everything coming from China is either poisonous, fake, or low quality. And this includes the reviews by Chinese operatives seen here on this review board. To these Chinese there is only one thing that is important to them in their programmed lives: death to America! And this what Mao has brainwashed them to think. These elements are every where in America now! They are in the US universities, post offices, hospitals, government services, and private corporations.

If you care about your own future and the future and security of the US, this is one movie you would not want to miss.
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All Americans DO NEED to see this documentary
my_perfect_mistake17 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched this documentary last night on Netflix. I just turned 44 last month, so I feel I can safely say I have been "around the block" at least once in this lifetime, so far. I also stay abreast of current events, and am moderately conservative, literally and figuratively. A few observations I have made in my lifetime so far: my grandfather on my mothers side was a painter. He raised 6 kids and supported a stay at home mom on a painters wages. They lived a modest lifestyle and nobody wanted for anything. My fathers parents both worked for Hershey foods. She was a secretary, he was a warehouse worker. They put both children through college. They lived an upper-middle class lifestyle. In other words, my grandparents and their families all "lived the American dream" (without college educations), and did it with little to no drama. Just another day in America. Fast forward to 2014. The US is a mess, in wars all over the world, record unemployment, supposedly clawing our way out of a recession, I live paycheck to paycheck with mounting debt... Why? What happened? What has changed?

This movie may give some insight. As already mentioned in other reviews, it doesn't offer the solution. Duh... if somebody had a solution we would have good paying jobs, a manufacturing base, low unemployment, less people on welfare, children that weren't raised by "devices" rather than parents, etc. etc. There was a shift in the dynamic of the corporations catering to the share holders rather than the employees, which is explained in the documentary. The greed of the boards of directors and the share holders is what drove the jobs overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. That is an absolute no-brainer.

Something else that is explained is once foreign labor is trained to do a particular task, instead of importing those widgets for their own consumption, they will just manufacture it themselves, essentially making US based R&D moot. How many products have you seen in the last few years that say "Designed in USA" followed by "Made in China"? Off the top of my head I can think of one huge multi-national company in particular that uses fruit as a corporate logo. China may not copy those products on a large scale... yet... but how many smaller companies that may not be able to afford hundreds or thousands of hours of litigation will just throw their hands in the air and say "I give up!" I have a protective case for aforementioned fruit-based companies product I bought on the big auction site. It shipped new from China, even though the manufacturer is a well known US company. It's a copy, because China doesn't play fair.

I haven't even touched on the fact China is raking in US dollars and building an army that could theoretically be five times the size of the US military. Scary stuff.

I could go on and on with this, but I would rather just suggest taking some time and viewing this documentary. Form your own opinion. If it upsets or angers you, take action! Call your representatives in DC. Vote - at the ballot box and with your wallet. Seek out American made products, they are out there! There is a 2 part review on here that gave a "no stars" review and a 1 star review. Please pay attention to that users name. It does appear there are some pro-China sympathizers/nationalists posting negative reviews about this documentary. Be mindful of that fact.
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