Categories
Asia

Why are the Chinese a more materialistic people than that of the Western brethren?

Developing countries tend to be more materialistic than developed countries. This is because in a poorer society with a lot of population, there are very few ways to stand out and prove your worth.

One of the easiest ways to ‘prove’ that you are higher social status is to buy expensive clothes or electronics or a car/house – because those are hard to afford for most of the population. So being able to purchase those things is an indicator of wealth and status. And higher status means more benefits, access to better networks and connections to more powerful people etc.

In a developed society, the middle class is already wealthy enough to afford most of the things that a developing society would consider ‘status symbols’. Therefore even if you buy a fancy Lexus or Mercedes or expensive Chanel bag or iPhone it doesn’t really have as much as impact on your status as it would in a developing society. In a rich neighborhood, who cares if you own a Tesla or Lexus? So what? does it make you a better person?

In developed societies, increase in your social status comes almost purely from merit – you have to be really earn your higher status either through being an entrepeneur or getting a promotion or being able to network well with people. Just buying expensive stuff isn’t really going to get you anywhere in society.

This is also why in poorer communities in the US, especially black communities (because more blacks are impoverished on average), they tend to show off or brag more about the things they own. Whereas if you are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet for example they don’t really care what they wear or what they own anymore. They wear $30 sweaters from Ross and Marshalls. At that level of wealth it doesn’t matter what you own anymore. This is also how you know that Donald Trump probably isn’t really all that rich – or he is really insecure – if he feels the need to show off or brag all the time.

So being materialistic is not really exclusive to China. Chinese people just seem the most prominent conspicuous consumers out there because there are so many of them. But I think its a sign their middle class isn’t fully developed yet to a point where most people would be able to afford these luxuries. Thus creating the demand for status symbols. India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Africa, Middle East etc in these places I would also presume buying expensive items to be an indicator of your social status.

Categories
Asia

Are Japan and Korea really colonies/puppet-states of the USA like so many Chinese users say?

No, Chinese netizens just have an unfortunate inferiority complex so they feel the need to put down other countries to make themselves feel better about their country. What does US Puppet state even mean anyways?

Usually when Chinese netizens say this, it means that the US military has some control over that country therefore it’s a ‘puppet’ state. Well how many countries does the US military have a presence in?

Where in the World Is the U.S. Military?

Over 70+ countries. So I guess that’s a lot of US ‘puppet’ states eh?

In day to day life, this doesn’t really matter or have an effect on the lives of normal people. Yes, Korea shares joint command of their military with the USA and Japan’s constitution was written by the USA, but that doesn’t mean either country just bows down (as Chinese people like to say ‘like a dog’) to the US’s demands.

In fact, Korea can and has turned down demands from the US before: South Korea refuses to pay US$5 billion to cover cost of US troops

In every other way, Korea/Japan elects their own president, runs their own politics, and the USA has no influence in that.

I think China often uses this putdown to Korea/Japan because they are jealous that Korea/Japan developed much earlier than they did and still have higher GDP/capita so per person, Koreans/Japanese are still generally more well off than Chinese are. Plus, their soft power is far more recognized globally than Chinese soft power (Chinese wuxi isn’t exactly in high demand like kpop concerts or Japanese anime are).

So what can a Chinese do to make themselves feel better? Well, accuse those countries of not being independent, that’s what. And especially since USA is China’s enemy right?

Well, actually USA is China’s biggest trading partner – so much for being independent from the USA. It’s kind of a moot point to accuse other countries of being too dependent on America when your own country imports $150B worth of goods from America every year.

 

Categories
Politics

Why do some overseas Chinese desire to see China collapse and fail?

I’m a first generation Chinese immigrant. I was born in China but grew up and educated in the West (Canada).

I don’t want to see China collapse and fail at all, my main concern is the actions that the CCP has taken in recent years has resulted in quite concerning consequences.

The Hu Jintao years were great for China, that was when China became a major world power, the 2008 Beijing Olympics really being the point where I could say wow China has come a long way and now they are on the world stage, caught up to Japan and Korea technology wise, and catching up to the US GDP wise. At that time Chinese were still quite humble about themselves and saw a desire to improve their country.

But after Hu stepped down and Xi Jinping took over, I saw a much more protectionist shift.

Websites blocked in mainland China – Wikipedia

Check out this list of websites blocked in China, and take note of how many of those websites were blocked post 2011 when Xi Jinping came to power. That’s most of the list. Now if you go to China as a tourist, 95% of your apps and websites will probably be blocked. You also won’t be able to use your credit cards anymore, since China is now largely cashless. It’s basically a big F U to foreigners when you go to China.

I myself saw a huge difference when I went to Shanghai first in 2011, then last year in 2018. Back then, I could still access my websites and apps, there was more friendliness to foreigners, and I didn’t sense as much materialism or arrogance back then. Then last year I went back, and although technology has improved a lot – the people have gotten more unfriendly, being a foreigner made you a target, everyone was very materialistic and judged you if you didn’t support China etc

Since Xi took over and in recent years, China has gotten increasingly more aggressive when it comes to blocking or censoring foreign websites and apps. They’ve gotten much more politically sensitive and eager to ban or boycott foreign companies or persons (notably Korea, Japan, Canada and US all suffered some kind of ban or boycott in recent years).

I can see the motivation for Xi Jinping’s approach – which is to protect the Chinese industry and people – but I also think its unhealthy for the people. Because of the degree of censorship, anti-Western bias played by Chinese media and political sensitivity in China these days, Chinese have become more and more nationalistic, less humble and notably, anti-Western, especially compared to the Hu Jintao era.

Now all it takes to get yourself banned from China is to is to be on good terms with the US (Korea, Canada), say something about Hong Kong (NBA, various celebrities, etc) or criticize their human rights abuses (Soccer club Arsenal, South Park etc) or mentioning Winnie the Pooh, Tibet, Taiwan etc any number of things will get yourself banned and criticized on Chinese social media.

Take a look on Quora for example, or other social media (Chinese have to use VPN to access Western social media) and all I see are anti-Western answers and comments saying how Western democracy has failed, Americans are arrogant, theres a anti-Chinese conspiracy going on, Westerners want China to fail (i.e this very question is an example of that), Westerners are all brainwashed to hate China, Americans are hypocrites etc that’s all I see.

I don’t think its healthy to have this anti-Western, pro-Chinese sentiment going on at this degree, and that’s led to Chinese losing their humility and lose sight of what made them improve from the 1990s in the first place which is the ability to self-criticize, learn from their mistakes and improve their country.

What a marked difference from the Hu Jintao era. Now it’s all about ‘China is the best country in the world, we have the best economy, we are allowed to bully other countries because America does it, and anyone who criticizes us must have been brainwashed to do so’

This is a rather concerning development, and its a result of the protectionist / nationalistic push that China has taken in the Xi Jinping years. So it’s not that I have any desire to see China fail, I just disagree with the current Xi Jinping government and most Chinese netizens because I think that their actions in recent years is what leads to a lot of deserved criticism from foreigners and foreign countries, and they don’t seem to acknowledge it or want to change/improve that.

I supported China in the Hu Jintao era. Now, I don’t want to anymore – a lot of China’s uber nationalism, arrogance, hypocritical actions, banning/boycotting and economic bullying of other countries just makes me think of China as the Eastern version of the USA, and that just makes me ashamed to associate myself with Chinese in recent years. I thought China/Chinese were better than that and wanted to be better than USA/Americans, not become like them.

Lest Chinese forget, protectionism and arrogance is exactly what caused the Qing Dynasty to fail…