Unfortunately, today ordinary Americans know nothing about the real China. They don’t know that the American media show the people a fictional China. The fundamental problem is that ordinary Americans have never been to China or seen China with their own eyes. How can they understand China when their only source of information about China is the western media that cater to the government’s propaganda?
I visited China in 2015 and 2018. I lived in China when I was a child and have some beautiful and vivid memories of China. I tend to think that China is the birthplace of everything, and their people are full of creativity, which is true, but in the United States, when you mention “China”, many people will have empty brains or just come up with some biased views.
China’s rich history is absolutely amazing in world history. It was not until modern times that the Opium War really killed China’s pride as a civilized and powerful nation.
At the social level, China has been making progress. They are open-minded and do not adhere to political correctness as Europe and Americans. They may not be as obsessed with using social media as Americans, but they are really good at learning new things and innovating, as evidenced by the prosperous we media market.
In terms of technology popularization, China is also making progress, but it needs to be viewed separately from urban and rural areas. In areas with a high degree of urbanization in China, science and technology are developing rapidly, almost no less than developed cities in Europe and America. Many world-class science and technology companies have set their headquarters in metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Broader rural areas have also improved, although I remember the last time I went to the countryside was a few years ago. Surprisingly, the modern technology now equipped with farmhouses has narrowed the gap between urban and rural areas to a certain extent. For example, the TV channel receiver at home, or the latest consumer electronics products, and even agricultural equipment have been involved in the Internet of things.
Economically, China has also performed well. Although it is not as luxurious as the most powerful country in the world, it is far ahead of the vast number of developing countries. China’s wages are lower than most developed countries, but China’s living standards have improved a lot compared with decades ago.
Back to the field of consumer electronics, China is one of Apple’s largest profit areas. Apple’s sales in Greater China in a quarter reached US $14.76 billion, or about 96 billion yuan. China has a huge middle-class group to support a large light luxury market.
My view is that China is not a country full of dilapidated slums like India and Brazil. China has recovered quite well under the governance of the Communist Party. China is not a single nation but with a large population. China’s history always fascinates me. How can they exist as a civilization for a long time and be at the top of the world for a long time?
In addition, I think I need to clarify the rumors widely circulated in the United States:
• not all Chinese people eat dog meat, and the people who eat dog meat account for less than 0.1% of the national population. In China, even if you eat dog meat, it is also a breeding meat dog rather than a pet dog. Here, you have the freedom to choose whether to eat or not.
• according to my experience, I never need to wear a gas mask in China, and the area I visited is not so polluted, and China’s air quality is improving significantly.
The answer depends largely on the race and social class of Americans.
First of all, you should know that in the United States, Chinese Americans are on average richer than most other groups, so your view of Chinese people often reflects your own social class more. As a person who grew up in a mixed social class environment, I think I have a unique view on this point.
Among educated, upper middle class and wealthy Americans, the Chinese are often admired.
My mother has close contacts with Chinese and Japanese in business relations. She often compares the Chinese people’s emphasis on culture, professional ethics and technical education with the “fat and lazy” American culture.
Her view of the Chinese people is as good as her own parents. They work very hard and raise seven children on a meager budget. After thousands of hardships, they all go to college and stand out. Compared with ordinary blue-collar and white-collar workers or Hispanic Americans, she prefers to be with Chinese Americans. After all, the latter doesn’t pay much attention to education and is generally lazy.
Blue collar people have different views on the Chinese people, and are generally more paranoid. In this humble small city on the east coast where I grew up, almost all the working class think the Chinese are “snobbish” and “cheap”. Part of the reason is traditional American racism, but there are other factors at work.
The city has a large number of Lao and Cambodian immigrants, who tend to be poorer and pay less attention to education. I have noticed that racism is often a link between two different groups in the working class around the world. White and Hispanic working classes will unite by belittling “lazy” blacks, or blacks and Hispanics will become inseparable because of white “ignorance” and “stupidity”. Most of the time, this kind of racism is relatively harmless.
“Envy the rich and ridicule the poor” is a common psychological phenomenon in the world. In this case, there has been a lot of Anti China sentiment in the Lao / Cambodian community. They and their white / Hispanic neighbors are much poorer than the Chinese. Therefore, the two groups are linked due to common jealousy and prejudice. Therefore, usually the two are incompatible, but when facing the Chinese, they often change their position.
It is also worth mentioning that many of our views on China are determined by the views of Chinese Americans. Some aspects of Chinese society and culture are often belittled by Chinese Americans, so other Americans will be happy to accept these views, because it will make Americans feel better about their country. If China wants to change its negative impression in the United States, the first problem to be solved is to stop some Chinese Americans from spreading negative information.
First of all, most Americans only know a little about other countries, and even have little opinion of neighboring countries such as Canada and Cuba. Many Americans have never really thought about China. Once mentioned, they may confuse China with Japan or other Asian countries.
Most Americans far from coastal cities have little contact with the Chinese. They may only have a vague stereotype of China, which comes from ancient martial arts films or Chinese themed restaurants.
For those Americans who know more about China and global affairs, China’s rapid rise as a global power is often discussed in the news. Americans can see narratives about China’s economic rise, the relaxation of the one-child policy, China’s growth in energy demand (affecting U.S. energy prices) or China’s urban air pollution, but that’s all, and often biased.
Some Americans, especially the elderly, are cautious and distrustful of China. Until recently, some Americans believed that Communist China was the natural enemy of the American people and a threat to the strategic interests of the United States in East Asia. Many elderly Americans who grew up before Nixon’s visit to China during the cold war, especially during the Korean War in which McKinsey’s doctrine prevailed, may still have this feeling.
However, the vast majority of Americans who are really interested in China like China, Chinese culture and history very much, and can be inspired by the long history of China us friendship dating back to the end of the Qing Dynasty.
China and the United States had a beautiful honeymoon. The United States was the first western country to return Manchu Qing reparations, which were eventually used to establish Tsinghua University; During the democratic revolution, the United States sheltered Sun Yat Sen; The United States sympathized with the plight of Chinese farmers in the 1930s, largely because of the books of the best-selling author Pearl Buck; Due to Japan’s aggression against China, the United States stopped selling raw materials to Japan in 1940; Before the great famine in Africa in the 1980s, there was an American saying “think of all the hungry people in China” to warn children who refused to eat.
Today, many Americans believe that China is the only and most important trading partner of the United States and a country with which the United States must cooperate effectively to ensure peace and stability in Asia.
First of all, here are a few things that ordinary Americans should know about China:
• China has no ambition to dominate the world. In fact, China has never invaded any western countries, and in the past 42 years, China has never launched a war, which makes it the only world power with uninterrupted peace for such a long time.
• in 2013, China overtook the United States to become the world’s largest trading country. It is the largest trading partner of more than 140 countries in the world.
• China has legitimate and reasonable territorial claims in the South China Sea. Protecting territorial rights and integrity is China’s right, not expansionism.
• China’s “the Belt and Road” initiative (BRI) is a large-scale infrastructure project aimed at uniting the world economy. At present, more than 140 of the 195 countries have signed bri agreements, and half of them are implementing bri projects.
• China is the actual leader of RCEP (regional comprehensive economic partnership). RCEP is the largest free trade group in the world, accounting for one third of the world’s GDP and one third of the world’s population.
• China is helping the global South vaccinate their populations, although the United States has abandoned them by hoarding vaccines.
Finally, China is rapidly expanding its offshore RMB market and was included in the international monetary fund special drawing right (SDR) in October 2016. Finally, China is rapidly expanding its offshore RMB market. After being included in the IMF special drawing right (SDR) basket (as well as the US dollar, euro, Japanese Yen and Sterling) in October 2016, it has almost ensured its status as one of the world’s reserve currencies in the future. After the basket (as well as the dollar, euro, yen and Sterling), it almost ensured its position as one of the world’s reserve currencies in the future.
If China’s global commitments (ensuring geopolitical stability in Asia and elsewhere, protecting free trade and promoting climate change initiatives) match China’s economic strength, China will become a respected world leader in my eyes as an American. Anyway, for future generations, I hope to see our two countries become closer rather than more hostile in the coming decades, which requires meaningful dialogue and practical concessions on both sides of the Pacific.