This article will consider four areas of concern. First, the structural changes underway in the Chinese economy are creating both domestic and international imbalances that exacerbate inequalities among Chinese workers and create new inequities in the global labor market. Second, the Chinese regime's approach to labor rights remains rigidly authoritarian and, as a result, it is triggering ever more dramatic confrontations between workers and the Chinese state, despite the regime's nominal commitment to "socialism." Third, these developments are being reinforced by a pathological evolution in the principles that govern key international institutions such as the WTO and the ILO. A conflict has emerged within the international legal arena between the founding principles of these institutions and their current approach to labor and human rights issues. Fourth, within the international labor movement itself a small current is emerging which views an accommodation with the Chinese regime as a feasible alternative to the long-standing support of the international labor movement for independent and free trade unionism in China. This approach threatens the credibility of the labor movement's opposition to the most damaging aspects of the globalization process, a major commitment of organized labor at least since the "Battle of Seattle" that took place at the failed ministerial conference of the WTO in November 1999.
10 U. C. Davis J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 39 (2003-2004)