Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Observations on China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2013

Here are observations about the Chinese from over 100 years ago. Has anything changed?

The court character is a singular mixture of ostentatious hospitality and inbred suspicion, ceremonious civility and real rudeness, shadowy complaisance and substantial perverseness…

Among the Chinese themselves, society chiefly consists of certain stated forms ‘and expressions, a calm, equal apathetical deportment, studied, hypocritical attentions and hyperbolical professions…

In their place gross familiarity, coarse pleasantry, and broad allusions are indulged in, but without that honesty and expansion of heart which we have sometimes observed to arise on such occasions among ourselves. Morality is a mere pretence in their practice, though a common topic of their discourse. Science is an intruder and gaming the resource.

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