Categories
Politics

Why is China justifying their bullying and policies by saying the US does it too? Is China trying to be like America?

China isn’t try to be like America; It already is like America.

But how can that be? Don’t Chinese people pride themselves based on the fact that their country isn’t the mess of chaos and instability that the Trump era USA is?

Well, yes – and no.

See, the biggest difference that China has with America is that their political leadership is much more stable. That’s pretty much it.

In every other way, China is basically the USA of the East. Let’s take a look at a few points:

-China and USA are the world’s two biggest economies

-China and USA are *both* (depending on whether some disputed areas are counted) the third largest country by area in the world

-China and USA are both very diverse countries; China by its historical interbreeding with other Asian ethnicities and USA by immigration.

-They are each other’s largest trading partners

-They each control their respective half of the world. All other Asian countries are massively affected by China’s policies, just like how all other Western countries are massively affected by USA’s policies.

-They are ‘frenemies’ with their smaller, less populated neighbors (South Korea and Canada, respectively). Both of these smaller countries are often the target of bullying by China and USA, respectively and have no choice but to yield due to the size of their power.

-Chinese state media is biased against Westerners/Americans. American state media is biased against Chinese. (see Tong Zou’s answer to Does Western media fairly report the news in China?)

-Chinese have a lot of nationalistic pride in their country and do not hesitate to let the world know how great their country is. Americans – I would say most used to be like this – but with the Trump administration being so divisive, less so these days.

-Both countries have leadership systems based on meritocracy. This stands in contrast to Japan and Korea where leadership is based on seniority

-Both place a high priority on security – the USA especially ramped this up after the 9/11 attacks – the immigration borders for both countries are amongst the strictest in the world.

-China is one of the most capitalistic countries in the world, probably even more than the US. This is demonstrated by the large income inequality gap that exists – the rich people are thousands of times richer than the poor people – the USA and China have probably the largest income inequality gaps in the world – a sign of unfettered capitalism.

-Another aside is that Chinese people dress like Americans. No, really. Hasn’t anyone else noticed this? Whereas neighboring Korea/Japan tend to dress up more and sometimes wear their traditional outfits (Hanbok/Kimono) for special occasions, Chinese people dress in the same casual style as Americans and do not wear their traditional outfits (Hanfu) for any occasion anymore.

-Again, deviating from the Confucian work principles and social cues of their neighbors Korea/Japan, more and more Chinese companies are adopting American style work culture. This includes more perks, time off, leadership systems governed by meritocracy rather than hierarchy, and none of the strict social cues that Korea/Japan has (for example, you don’t bow when you greet people, and your life isn’t controlled by your boss).

-China also lacks the other Confucian traditions such as the traditional ceremonies where the women would prepare all the food and worship their ancestors. This was all done away with by the Cultural revolution and essentially wiped China’s slate clean for a fresh start with their culture more and more influenced by the West.

So it follows naturally that China tries to be like the US more and more by ramping up their military, ramping up their nationalistic propaganda and using their economic influence to bully both allies and enemies. I’ve noticed that many Chinese people try to justify this by indeed saying that ‘Trump/America does it too’ and thus China is allowed to behave this way because America behaves this way. I’ve noticed Chinese tend to exaggerate and generalize how Americans behave (see Tong Zou’s answer to What do Chinese people misunderstand about America? ) but I think this is a symptom of a growing superpower.

Simply, the answer to the question is that China is evoking the US for its economic bullying tendencies because that is their right as a growing superpower, and it is their goal not only to catch up to the US, but to surpass it.

Categories
Politics

What is wrong with a lot of Western media coverage of China?

First, let’s not make the sweeping generalization that American media is a proxy for Western media ok? The United States is a country that is considered by most Chinese to be a proxy for ALL Western countries, but its politics are actually quite different than the politics of Canada or Europe, and it tends to be a more right leaning conservative country that is run by corporations/military interests. Let’s get that out of the way, first ok? The question really should be rephrased to what is wrong with a lot of American media coverage of China?

American media titles often sensationalize – and this is not just talking about China but every topic in general – the media will often twist words around to make something seem more dramatic to get the viewers attention. Let’s not get the idea that American media is specifically out to get China – it’s out to get money. Money means you have to be sensationalist to get readers. PELOSI READY TO GET TRUMP IMPEACHED – might be a headline that you see amongst American media – even though that’s their own President!

China is not treated much differently than Russia, to America those are their geopolitical enemies so they have to report on the negatives there more than the positives – and it grabs headlines better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luTPMHC7zHY

Wow China is expanding its military presence in SE Asia!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMkHcZ5IwjU

Wow China has secret internment camps! how awful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyxG4vTyZ8

Look at that, China is taking over Hong Kong!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkLKDaZrgCc

Wow look what happens to Chinese when they speak out! they disappear!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXV0iO5h7t8

Look at that China is trying to take over the world with its trade plans!

See all these sensationalist videos? They’re meant to grab your attention about what China is doing and they are biased towards the negative. Are they totally fake? No, there are truths in the video, but they are presented in a very negatively biased way.

But in China, you would see the same negative videos about America as well, that they have a plan to take over the world, that they are infringing Chinese interests etc, since government knows that the narrative the media pushes is a way of controlling the people, that’s why they represent specific biases.

In China’s case, the state directly controls the media. In USA’s case, lobbyists and special interests control the media. Both have similar objectives which are to control the people into believing a certain narrative.

So back to the main question – is there anything wrong with American media coverage of China – and the answer is no, not really – the media is doing exactly its job. Which is to sway the people towards a certain narrative. There is no such thing as unbiased news. Every news outlet is biased towards some objective.

That said – this doesn’t mean that everyone is brainwashed by the media. Me for example, I rarely look at the media, I get most of my information from Wikipedia, a website that is one of the few thats accessible and editable by anyone in China or anywhere else.

A lot of Americans have shifted away from traditional cable and newspapers now and get their news from Facebook or Youtube. A lot of the most top voted pro-Chinese answers you’ll find on Quora for example, are actually written by Westerners.

People who have traveled more are generally more less likely to be ‘brainwashed’ as they have experienced the different countries and cultures firsthand themselves. This goes for both Americans and Chinese people, btw. Americans believe all Chinese things are poor quality or that they spy and kidnap their citizens – I’ve traveled to China so I know that’s not true. Chinese people believe all Koreans had plastic surgery or appropriate Chinese culture as theirs – again, I lived in Korea before so I know that it’s not true. Traveling is a good way to dispel ignorant notions.

Categories
Business General School/Work Tech

Hunger games, Korean grammar, and Mobile Computing

Hunger Games

I just finished watching the Hunger Games in theaters. You probably all heard of it by now. I’ve never read the book, so after watching it here’s my thoughts. I think the story seemed like it jumped a long too fast, a common problem when adapting books to movies. Some characters are not fleshed out at all. There’s gore in the movie even though its PG-13. but overall it was an okay movie. If you’ve watched Twilight and Harry Potter, there’s more of the same teenage fiction here, though somewhat more mature. I still can’t help thinking the book should have been written with an Asian American or Hispanic American lead. The movie felt like it was out of the 1950s. I mean, mostly Caucasian crowd with some scattering of African Americans. If this takes place in the future United States, wouldn’t white people be a minority by then? But I’m sure even if the book did have Asians, Hollywood would never cast an Asian American actor for a blockbuster film, of course not. Though I might add that the Asian American community is really looking for a rolemodel right now. What Jeremy Lin has demonstrated is that Asians are underrepresented, and overlooked by media, and we should strive to have more Asians out there doing creative arts like acting and performing, and being athletes, rather than being the usual business people / scientists / engineers / etc that are not prominent in the media.

Korean Grammer

Still some outstanding questions about Korean grammar.

-what does adding -ㄴ to a verb do? ie. 한다vs하다, 가다vs간다

-what does adding -긴 do?

-difference between 이야 and 이니?

-내가 vs 나는?

-겠다 vs 거야 vs 야지 for future tense (will do)

-what does adding -지 do? like 하는지,하지서 vs 하면,하지면

-what does adding -나 and -까 do?

-무슨 vs 뭐?

I’m studying Korean.
‎1. 난 한국어를 공부해.
2. 난 한국어를 공부하고 있어.
3. 난 한국어를 공부하지.
4. 난 한국어를 공부한다. (more for writing).

I’ll study Korean.
1. 난 한국어를 공부해야지.
2. 난 한국어를 공부할 거에요.
3. 난 한국어를 공부할거야.
4. 난 한국어를 공부할게.
5. 난 한국어를 공부할래.
6. 난 한국어를 공부하겠어.

I should study Korean
1. 난 한국어를 공부해야 돼.

I studied Korean.
1. 난 한국어를 공부했어.

나는 사과를 먹었어.
나는 사과를 먹었는데.
나는 사과를 먹었잖아.
나는 사과를 먹었지.
나는 사과를 먹었다고.

Mobile Computing Trends

There’s a good article on mobile computing right here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-mobile-deck-2012-3?op=1

Basically it talks about the future of mobile computing. We know that mobile apps and mobile web content will continue to grow at a rate faster than PCs did. But I think this article draws its results primarily from research done in the US. The USA is not a proxy for the rest of the world. We are the richest country in the world, and that explains part of the reason why mobile penetration and mobile content consumption is so high here. The key to get from this is that feature phones are still widely used in developing nations in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Those emerging markets are where most of the growth is going to be. Thus to make smartphones more popular, we should focus on making them more affordable to everyone. Once that happens, I can imagine many more apps designed and interpreted with multilingual use, and locale-specific implementations. Right now China is one of Apple’s biggest consumers, and they will only get bigger. In fact, the mindset we have to adopt for the future is not only to cater to US consumers (where the majority of smartphone users live) but to the rest of the world as well. In time, I believe this is what will happen.

On a side note, ever wonder why Chinese sites look so different than American sites? Look at www.netease.com or www.sohu.com and you can see that its very cluttered and alot of information on once page. Contrast this with the simpler web 2.0-style interfaces that American sites use, a la Twitter or Foursquare. I wonder what would happen if we take some American apps (most of which deliver content through the cloud) and port it over to China? How would sites like www.mint.com or www.foursquare.com or www.groupon.com be perceived if we make a chinese version and locale specific? That would be interesting to find out, and a good opportunity as well.