Seems to me if China deported all the teachers working here on illegal visas without CELTA or the Trinity Cert (or anything equivalent), I would be a lonely ex pat able to call whatever salary I liked (within limits).
But ok, so you don't need a certificate, and you'll get paid the same as someone who does - so why should you take any responsibility whatsoever for the work you do? You wouldn't perform open heart surgery without years of medical study and observation, would you? Or fly a commercial airliner without the required number of hours of practice? Would you drive without obtaining a driving licence? Ok, so perhaps by teaching English, you are not putting people at risk of death, and that is why the qualification asked for is cheaper and easier to obtain than a medical degree, or a pilot's licence. You are as much the scam artist if you expect to perform such a job with no training, knowing that you will be held out to be an experienced English teacher.
It is depressingly all lies in China. 95% of teachers (those without any kind of TEFL qualification) are therefore scam artists. 95% (or thereabouts) of Chinese people I have spoken to (had extended interaction with) have simply been out to scam me - one chinese person in 4 months has actually been willing to help me, and I now feel that I should just avoid talking to Chinese people as much as possible, which I do not want to do. It's a vicious circle and one that can only improve with effort on both sides.
We need to be the change that we want to see. If we want the Chinese to take us seriously, we need to show that we take ourselves seriously. We should encourage all prospective teachers to take meaningful TEFL qualifications. We should encourage teachers to ensure that they live legally and responsibly.
Every teacher who is arrested, deported or naively scammed is a black mark against ALL of us. Every teacher who is late for a class, takes unnecessary sick days, or fails to prepare for lessons is a black mark against ALL of us. Every teacher who gets shamefully drunk, every teacher who sleeps with prostitutes, every teacher who takes drugs, every teacher who drops litter and especially every teacher who holds or is held out to be an experienced teacher when in fact they have nothing more than a degree in an unrelated subject is a black mark against ALL of us.
So, we can sit around and moan about the bad hand that China seems to be throwing to TEFL teachers, or we can be the change that we want to see.
Sorry to rant... I am coming to terms with how true everything is about China and it really does sadden me. I'm almost certain that I will leave China at the end of my contract but I really do believe that we are the people to change first if we want respect.