How are you supposed to embrace the Chinese culture when they are fooling around with their currency, creating trade imbalances, stealing our jobs, undercutting our prices with unfair government subsidies, and squabbling with Vietnam and Japan about disputed regional sovereignty? When the Chinese government does something aggressive, do we automatically think something about all Chinese people or about their culture.
I believe in the American spirit and know most of us will embrace our differences with the Chinese if we have a reasonable perspective. So, consider the following about ourselves…
Are we our government’s actions? In America, we vote for our representatives and thus endorse the actions they promise to implement. However, we are not always happy with our government’s actions and so incumbents sometimes lose to up and coming stars. Many democrats were embarrassed by President GW Bush’s actions around the world. Many republicans are now embarrassed by the actions of President Obama.
If we are not our government’s actions and we actually vote for our government, guess how disconnected the Chinese people feel from their government’s actions? Many of my Chinese cohorts did not even feel comfortable talking about politics. They were raised to not worry about the political process and its weaknesses or strengths.
So, when you get frustrated with the Chinese government, just realize they are the minority in the country. Sure they are the most powerful minority in the entire Chinese nation, but they are definitely not always the majority view. Just as President Bush or President Obama do not fully reflect our individual American character or personality or culture, the Chinese government does not fully reflect anything about a people who haven’t had a say in who their government leaders would be over the last 60 years.
Just a thought.