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The label has been the kiss of death for many of us who loath cheap junk that does not serve intended purposes with a reasonable lifespan. But is that a fair assessment of current Chinese manufacturing today?

First off, let us look at the size of China. Rather than a single entity, it could actually have as much variety in the country as many others of the world.

I am personally familiar with two significant examples, Optical Coating Labs Inc and Hewlett Packard who over 30 years ago sent high level personnel to transfer technology and production from MADE IN USA to companies in China.

I also remember when el Presidente’ Slick Willy Clinton got caught transferring advanced USofA military weapon technology to China… you might remember both the headlines from the incidents and that no heads rolled as a result.

Most of us are also familiar with Chinese nationals populating advanced technology majors in USofA Universities.

All that is decades old news. Today they are doing more advanced education, training, engineering and technological development right at home in China.

Somewhere in the great expanse of geography and among their 1,425,229,987 people (USofA = 341,814,420) lies the capability of producing genuinely good stuff. Their fighter aircraft, naval vessels and armaments warrant deep respect. The tools used to make them are not junk… nor are their craftsmen simple-minded peasants.

JET tools were famously among the lowest of the cheap crap. Then they decided to abandon the low end market. The best bench grinder I could find was a JET. I love that thing. It is powerful, smooth and reliable. Other JET tools I have seen in the last 20 years all exude robust quality.

China is a big place. MADE IN CHINA does not mean much more than Made in USA or anywhere else. Quality is still whatever the producer wants it to be.

You want cheap? You betcha. We can do cheap.

Sadly, that is how many people shop, then blaming the country of origin for giving them exactly what they demanded. Sure, a lot of it is from China. They manufacture A LOT MORE STUFF than does the USofA, or a lot of other countries.