In China, are politics as frequently discussed as they are in America?Feb 18, 2019
The Chinese mindset towards domestic politics is quite different than in America!
In America, we born and raised with the deeply held belief that "freedom and democracy" is the source of our national identity and influence in the world.
"Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution."
Contrast this to China where every child since birth is taught something entirely different!
In China, there are many contrasts that are important to consider before passing judgment:
- Raised in a Guanxi-driven culture
- Raised to believe that Favors are acquired through gift-giving. This includes everything from doctor's appointments, college entrance exam questions/acceptance, and entry-level job opportunities/promotions to gaining access to park in a favorable area or having the BAOAN (security person) attend to your complaints.
- Raised in a competitive, quota-driven society (e.g. only the elite can attend prestigious universities)
It is important NOT to confuse collectivism with teamwork!
In the traditional sense, there is no such thing as "teamwork" in China as we understand it in America, though this is beginning to trend differently with younger generation Chinese.
If you can develop empathy for the mindset that evolves out of this environment, then you have taken a great leap forward towards developing real Guanxi relationships in China.
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