Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

On the Inside of China Looking Out- WTF

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 8, 2011

The other day I was watching Nat Geo’s special about China and to hear them talk about the ‘center of the universe’- China, and most everyone who has ever lived here is quite different. Although no one can deny China’s meteoric rise, the reality of life here is quite different than they may portray it.
It seems the media likes to glorify China and I am unsure as to why this is. I guess it takes eye-catching headlines to sell papers but they could at least attempt to get to the reality of Chinese life. For instance, in that program they spoke of the ‘Chinese experts’ in some field or another and after living here for any length of time, you can see that those ‘experts’ are patently full of crap. They are they 40-50 year old combovers who, like people of their ilk who my company hires as external consultants, grew up during the cultural revolution and being blessed with not so much as a decent high school education are now experts on things that most ‘experts’ have studied at length and at least have a PhD in its pursuit. But this is China and so in reality these types of people have deep connections and that is it. Thus, for doing business it may be good to have them on your side but for real market intelligence they are worthless.
Also the story talks about Chinese innovation etc. The leading innovator in China, a company with which I am intimately aware, is nothing compared to the level that you can find elsewhere. After reading and watching reports such as this, I shake my head in wonderment. China is not the first country in which I have lived and to be honest, aside from food, I personally dont see anything in which it stands out. As for corruption, it beats Mexico and Brazil and even shoves Paraguay to the side but I guess some places in Africa may be worse. As for prostitution, Dongguan is similar to Rio de Janiero, and for poverty it has places that are a little worse than areas in Bolivia.

The country is large and if it teaches its people to spend money then it will grow until the prices of resources becomes too large causing mass world wide inflation at which time they will be thrust back into chaos and more Chinese will escape from this place and it will find itself back where it was. I really don’t see what all the news of Chinese dominance is talking about. My two cents on the matter…

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