Kiss the Ring Dude

On WeChat I was sent the below post.  It is in Chinese.  However, if one has Google Translator, or what have you, it is easy enough to read in full.  It is very, very lengthy.  I mind you, even scanning it such as I did, it took a good 15-20 minutes to go through, interrupted of course by breaks.

The above is a post a Chinese scholar wrote about America.  It has apparently gained some traction.  Enough to be found on WC anyway.   The Chinese culture of posting thoughts and articles is alive and well in China.  Not so much here.

Still, I felt it important to bring up because it shows how one Chinese fellow went from sleeping in the library during holiday breaks to see his father, to going to both Oxford and Harvard for studies.  Very much a pull oneself up from the bootstraps type of fellow.

Very impressive, and so typical of what America used to produce all the time. 

He basically writes in the above post that the West today has fallen behind China.  I find his comments have more than a kernel of truth.  Yet it is also terribly misinformed, and classically misses the forest for the trees.  My  problem as such is this type of article goes a long way towards informing the "misinformed".  Those who lack the ability or opportunity to travel abroad, much less live abroad as he did.

They therefore lack the nugget of personal experience from which to form a personal narrative.  Of course not everyone from China can come to America, or Europe.  Or even leave China.

As such, in my mind, it is clearer evidence that China is increasingly finding itself superior to the West.  "The place to be", so to speak.   Without seeking to understand more about the context of how other societies live.

Not every society thinks nor governs the way China does.  But in the minds of China, and the Chinese, if a society doesn't have the "feel" or "energy" of what China believes it should,  it's time has therefore passed, and it is on the back slope of the mountain so to speak, in the midst of an irretrievable decline.

What is bothersome is not just that the Chinese Government espouses this narrative, nor that the Chinese have wholeheartedly bought into it, but that the Chinese are now going overseas looking for ways to affirm the superiority of their own system.

It doesn't help that Europe and America both make themselves easy targets.

I recall when in Rome once I wanted to simply change $100 USD into Euro's.  Couldn't do it.  The bank simply lacked the ability to do this.  It was a major bank.  But it couldn't be done.  And that was that.  Did that mean Italy is a backward and useless country?  

They have the Coliseum right?

Case closed. 

In the eyes of the Chinese, similar perhaps as Americans thought until recently, if a nation doesn't have factories belching out smoke 7 days a week, its workers must be lazy, and thus "inferior" to China.

My point is when I think of Italy, I don't think of going there to conduct business. Of course not.  I have other things on my mind.  Walking the streets of Rome comes to mind.  Is there a better way for a foreigner such as myself to enjoy Europe?

So let's take a quick look at what triggered this fellow's summary of living in the West, and why he is so hell-bent on believing the decadent nature of these nations’ only reflects the assured rise of China.  

Time and again, this fellow stresses, like everybody else does that China is growing at 6% annually.   And the West...well, is not.

For the umpteenth time I save to say again while that might be true, I simply doubt it.  No one, including the Chinese themselves, knows or understands what China's real growth rate is.  NO ONE.  It’s just fact.  Hanging ones hat on this is a helluva caveat.  Chinese Statistics just can't be trusted.  Everyone knows it, and I'm more than a bit disappointed that a PhD at Oxford or Harvard doesn't know this either.

This Young Man then complains about how long it takes to get a bank or ATM card in England.  Fair enough.  Does anyone remember the story I gave about trying to open up a bank account in China?  I have a bank account in Hong Kong with a large HK bank.  They have a branch in Shenzhen.  

When living in Shenzhen, I was told they could not help me with my Hong Kong acct.  Any transaction or data I'd like to conduct would have to be from the ATM outside.  However, they'd be more than happy to help me open up a new account.  I said ok.  They said they would require a deposit of  500k RMB to do this.  I lit into them nonstop for about 45 seconds.  They just stared at the floor silently.  Didn't say a word. 

Then my wife took her Chinese ID card and went down the street and opened an account in a Chinese bank for 10 RMB.  Took her 20 minutes.

This is one reason Trump is pissed off at the Chinese.  And another example of why every facet of American Society supports that incompetent SOB when it comes to China.   Indeed, we may never see such bipartisan support on such an issue again.

My point is if one wants to criticize or find a reason to criticize the West, it is very easy to do.  But first try and understand how a Foreigner lives in China first.

Again, most of the points of what he said are truly valid.  

Let's move on:

Another soft target is the subways of the world.  That is outside of China.  I personally find the subways of Paris to be nothing but grease, nuts and bolts holding things together.  Very old.  But it works. American subways suck.  Horrible.  The NYC subway once went 50 years without building a single new station.  The State Government of NY robbed the NY Subway budget for decades, deliberately, to use somewhere else.  No excuse for it.  

But to compare China's subway system to the worlds again glosses over basic economics.  The best subways are in Asia for a reason.  Really, really crowded.  Dense.  Not enjoyable. Has anyone taken a subway in Japan or China recently?  It sucks.  New subways, clean, absolutely.  Thank God they have them.  My last day in Tokyo I couldn't help but going down to the platform to watch the workers cramming the passengers onto the train.  That used to be me they were cramming into the car.  

That's why when I moved to Hong Kong I got an apartment not 7 minutes’ walk to my company.  I would have sold my right lung to avoid taking the subway to work.  

The Chinese have shiny subways, airports and skyscrapers.  We do not. We don't need them.  China does.  NYC has had a subway for over a hundred years.  Shanghai for less than twenty. China's population is 5 times that of America's.  80% of it lives basically on 20% of the land.  

Go take a look at China's map.  What do you see?  Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, etc.  Fucking empty spaces.  But these places are all, or were until recently, non-Han dominated.  The Chinese don't want to live there.  No way.  Who would?  So their crowded into the Eastern seaboard and the middle of China itself.  An uber simple illustration is imagining 1 billion people living East of the Mississippi River in America.  That's China's situation.  So yeah, they need subways.  

Does that make Belgium an antiquated place to live?  Or the rest of Europe? Again, don't look at the trees. Look at the forest.  China is simply different from the rest of us.  

To boot, China has to spend money on infrastructure.  Credit to China for this.  But it has no choice. It has to keep building, because construction creates jobs!  And workers spend money.  So I'm saddened this young Chinese PhD didn't mention how much debt China creates with its expenditures.  The ironic thing?  This kid is a PhD in urban planning!  I guess they don't teach budget accounting in his PhD class.

American infrastructure is terrible by the way.  Doesn't mean Democracy is in decline though. 

He also talks about beggars in the West.  Beggars suck.  We all get hit up by beggars in NYC.  I did.  On the damn platform as well.  Just like he did. 

When I lived in Beijing, I got hit up multiple times on the train!  Nevermind the damn platform.  It’s just part of living in the big city. Did I immediately yell out that Chinese Culture sucks? Of course not, because I realized that Chinese beggars are not necessarily reflective of Chinese Society.

But I will ask all of my Chinese readers; Do we really want to have a conversation about beggars?  Because if we do, that won't go so well for you.

He talks about American slums.  Yep, we have slums.  It’s a part of capitalism.   At least the children in our slums have the right to go to school, unlike the Chinese children of peasants that migrate to the city for jobs.  Migrants in Chinese cities basically have no rights.  

He talks about the "Tiger Mom'.  I ask my readers again to go way back inside the archives of my blog.  I've written way too many posts about My Wife the Tiger Mom.  It's hard being married to one.   But this young man hasn't kept up with the news either.  Life for  Tiger Mom as he knows her isn't going so well.  Her husband  nearly lost his tenure at Yale because he apparently kept making sexually suggestive comments to students.   (They complained about him.)  And the unspoken reason for that might be what:  Tiger Mom wasn't fucking him?  Typical Tiger Mom; spend all your time on kids, forget about hubby, then lose all your face (like she did), when you don't take care of your man's needs.  I'm just saying...

Go look up Tiger Mom and Brett Kavanaugh  

My point is so many Chinese again get lost analyzing the trees and neglect the context of the environment.   Tiger Mom's kids excel!  Her method is successful!  But can we look at the social cost to her family?  

This is a smart fellow proud of China.  And if he was looking for ways to validate the rise of China vis a vis the West they are easy to find overseas.  

No tall buildings.  America sucks
Beggars....America sucks
Horrible subway system....America sucks

I am always impressed, if not downright surprised when Chinese come here to study, but then return to China.  My wife thinks they leave because they can't get a job here.  I think it might be a bit more sophisticated than that.  I feel for some reason entirely too many Chinese come to America or Europe with the preconceived notion that China is superior.  They are going to come here for two years and study, grit their teeth, then get the hell out.

They’re not gonna make many local friends.  They’re not gonna assimilate.  Their English will not improve. Two years and gone.  No attempt at challenging their own world view.   Because if by mistake it is violated they will be forced to mentally re-evaluate everything else about their value system.   

And well, we can't have that. 

Two weeks ago I was driving two Chinese PhD Cancer Researchers around.  I asked them why they were so intent on going home.  One of them blurted out "there are too many talented Chinese here".  I'm beginning to think Chinese go back home because it's quite simply less competitive for them then America, or Germany, or France, or wherever. 

My personal opinion.

I'll consider posting this authors post.  It's really long.  The Chinese link is above.  

But in conclusion I'll say once again, the Chinese Government has done an outstanding job with its populace.  The Chinese people have complete buy in with the CCP's message.    China is ascendant, and well everyone else is not.  So kiss the ring dude.  



  1. It is so simple. Chinese honestly think China is unstoppable. There is no healthy scepticism of that concept. Unlike the West, where Downfall and Demise have been predicted for 300+ years. That's the West's greatest strength. A lack of conviction that what we are and what we do is the best.

  2. I think your comment is well phrased. They Chinese are a "nation in full", that is similar to Japan in 1937 and Germany 1939. Too few Chinese read of a history beyond their borders. And do Chinese papers speak of such things? The stronger and more dominant one becomes, the more sure the fall. I think the Chinese lack this awareness.


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