Why is China So Different Than the West?
I want to mention a book by John K. Fairbanks. It was published in 1967, and the title is China: The People’s Middle Kingdom and the U.S.A
In that time, China was in the middle of the cultural revolution and was killing and torturing itself in horrible ways. It was further vilifying America in every way it could.
At this time, an expert on China, John K. Fairbanks, published in the hopes of helping the Americans to learn to understand China and not hate it in return. His actions helped pave the way for Nixon’s breakthrough visit in 1972.
In the opening of the book, Fairbanks moved me, for he said it would be no use to ask the question, “Why can’t they be more like us?” I had been in China a handful of years at that point, and that question was within me. I had been unknowingly working to get them to come to me culturally in some ways.
So Fun to Say Why is China So Different
He helped me see that I would not bridge 5000 years of separate social development by anything I did and best start to really learn about these Chinese people. I suggest you do the same. It takes effort to get past our wrong impressions of China and into any right thinking, but it will help you to be a better leader in China if you do.
However, taken to extremes, this means they lie and cheat and do politicking, and we say it is culture. While we do need to sink into this culture, we should not just hire people and hope their values are near us. That is rolling the dice too much. Do also read Should We Accept all Chinese Cultural Differences? How they do things will often puzzle us, but we need to find if they have values that match with us. Then we can learn about those different expressions of them. See also Yes and No and What They Mean.