Why doesn’t the world get China?

Why does it seem to be so hard for the rest of the world to figure out this monolithic power-house that is China?

Authors Jianying Zha, Linda Jaivin and Paul French present an image of an evolving society that emerges from a defensive, stealthy, suffocating and almost blurry atmosphere to become a roaring consumer-driven semi-capitalist culture thanks in great part to “the blood and tears” of its working population.

The authors raise other pressing issues like the nearly unsustainable environmental degradation, the paranoia of a state that resorts to widespread censorship and the lack of trust among a wealth-hungry post-Tian’namen generation. And yet, they also paint a picture of a selfless China, dedicated to fight corruption and repression. A China where villagers invest great part of their time in developing effective and affordable methods of dispute resolution and improving education for their future generations. A China that sees journalists within the communist party itself trying to find creative ways to expose corruption and to report on the very valuable acts of many individuals working for a better China.

The next 30 years are crucial for China and, by default, the next 30 years are crucial for our planet.  As Paul French very rightly says, the next 30 years will be about value, not about volume.

A very helpful presentation for those of us mystified by the magnitude and complexity of this giant.

Enjoy it!



4 thoughts on “Why doesn’t the world get China?

  1. I think the rest of the world, the ones paying attention, get China. I think you can especially believe that the leaders of any country get China. They are force that will have to be dealt with some day, unless the current regime falls.

    As for the current regime, it is one that has every reason to be fearful. China as a culture has been around for thousands of years, through many dictators and governments. The culture just shrugs off its rulers, accepts new ones, and moves on as if the previous never existed.

    Tim Keen’s take.

    Great post. I really love thinking.

    • And I am really pleased that my very humble comments sparked some interest and some thinking from you. Even if it is by sheer numbers and by the depth of thousands of years of culture and history, China is and will always be a force to reckon with. So it is wise to try and understand and collaborate with China in as many ways as possible. There are many concerns though, from human rights to environmental degradation but hopefully, the Chinese government will come to the understanding that without the bare essentials, China and the planet, will not be able to walk towards a positive future for everyone.
      Thanks Tim, I hope to talk to you soon 🙂 Teresa

    • Hi there, thank you for stopping by. Totally understand where you come from and certainly agree with the view that there are many sides to one coin, that everything depends on the perspective you sit on and that no one and no government is in the position to condemn anyone or any other government. Yes, I am a big advocate of trying to understand positions that may seem to be antagonistic in a continuum that allows for many options, many Chinas, as in the article you mention. But to me that doesn’t mean that if a particular aspect of a person or a government, be it Chinese or Australian or Spanish or any other, deserves special attention, for good or bad reasons (and again, I am aware that a judgement of that type will also always be relative and carry my specific moral baggage), we should give it the attention it deserves and comment on it. I have spent many years living in Asian countries which I am extremely fond of but I’ve seen governments there turn their wrong-doings around and point at governments who had previously done the same – You did it before: you colonised, you enslaved people, you broke human rights agreements, etc, therefore, we can also do it now. And I don’t think that’s right. But again, that’s me and my opinion. But you will certainly see me very soon write an article about many of the wonderful aspects of many Asian countries. I think we need to strike a balance and be realistic. So, maybe the governments that represent me can’t and should not criticise China or any other government, but I certainly can both criticise and praise China and any other government, like the Australian government for its asylum seeker policy (or lack thereof). But thank you so much for providing what you thought it was an alternative. Teresa 🙂

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