Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 7th, 2010

Snow, Real Snow- Enjoying the Beijing Winter

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 7, 2010

Looking northbound on Dawanglu.

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Mafia Nation- Guanxi in China; Chinese Culture

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 7, 2010

One of the most thrilling things of being in China is that when you are in- you are in. Like that movie where De Niro makes a circle with his fingers and says "either you are in or you are out". Well, that is China. In China if you have guanxi or contacts, your esteem and ability increases exponentially, so much so that one’s worth is gauged by one’s guanxi.
What this means, in terms of good, is that a friend can open or expose a world of the best that life has to offer. One good contact is worth its weight in gold, two or more, almost imaginable. The downside is that one needs to maintain these relationships at a reciprocal level or risk being a pariah, an outcast. As for me, I still choose friends by who they are not what they have. The idea is an interesting one- though.

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