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
Asia

How do Chinese and Korean beauty standards differ?

Similar, yet different

The similarities are:

-Both countries prefer light skin tones over dark skin tones

-Both countries prefer slim bodies (sometimes to extremes as women constantly try to diet even though they don’t need to or is unhealthy)

-Both countries prefer bigger eyes over smaller eyes. In Korea the majority of plastic surgery is to get double eyelid surgery, to make the eyes look bigger. A major part of the makeup routine in both countries is to make the eyes look bigger as well.

The major difference is that Korea’s beauty standards are generally much more strict than China’s.

Because of this strict beauty standard, you’ll notice that on the streets of Korea:

-most Korean women wear makeup (like 90%+) whereas in China the number of women who wear makeup daily is still in the minority.

-Also you’ll notice that almost every Korean women does not wear glasses – they did lasik surgery or wear contacts instead – whereas for Chinese women it’s more of a 50/50 split. This is because in Korea, wearing glasses for women is universally considered ugly.

-You’ll also notice very few girls with short hair (I mean hair cut to the length of a guy’s haircut) in Korea, whereas in China you’ll see quite a few women with hair cut short like men.

-You’ll also notice in Korea that almost every girl wears feminine outfits. Dresses, skirts, stockings, high heels, platform shoes are worn by the majority of Korean women whereas again in China, it’s far more varied and you’ll see a lot of women wearing masculine outfits as well. You’ll see many girls wear skirt + stockings in the winter in Korea; in China I rarely if ever saw any girl wearing that in the winter, they mostly wear pants in the winter.

Below I have a few examples highlighting the differences:

Korean Air flight attendants

Air China flight attendants

Korean idol group AOA (I specifically chose this group since the members are all Korean)

Chinese idol group SNH48

Miss Korea

Miss China

Korean celebrities

Kim Tae-hee

Kim Sa-rang

IU

Chinese celebrities

Li Bingbing

Fan Bingbing

Jane Zhang

I think these examples go well to highlight the beauty standard of Korea: super pale skin, crescent moon shaped eyes, red lips, v-jawline, high nose bridge, a slim figure.

You’ll notice that Chinese faces are a lot more varied, although the generally pale skin and slim figure is shared in common with Korea.

A lot of foreigners have a negative perception of Korean beauty standards because they feel that it makes every Korean girl looks the same, or the misconception that Korean women are not as naturally beautiful and they need plastic surgery to make them look all the same.

These are ignorant beliefs; Korea’s strict beauty standards come from the fact that they are a homogeneous nation (99% Korean) which makes them similar looking to begin with – but on top of that, they have a conformist culture that pressures them to dress or look like other Koreans.

Chinese do not have these strict beauty standards because they have over 50 ethnic groups in their country, Han Chinese interbreeded with numerous other races throughout and are more diverse as an ethnic group than Koreans, so its a lot more diverse to begin with, and as a result there’s a lot more flexibility in their beauty standard.

There’s no such thing as one beauty standard is better than another; diversity has its benefits and drawbacks. I just want to put this out as a disclaimer because a lot of people put down Korean beauty standards for this reason, and I feel that is not really fair.

Notice how body-wise Chinese and Korean women are very similar. but Chinese beauty standards for faces are much more varied. Some Chinese might prefer her face, other Chinese might prefer another face. For Koreans, they have a certain face type that every Korean girl wants to have and every Korean guy thinks is good looking. A Korean girl would probably fit the more flexible Chinese standards but a Chinese girl might not fit the stricter Korean standards. Hope this makes it more clear.

Bonus: lets hear about Chinese/Korean beauty standards from the people themselves

Korean girls on the street talk about their beauty standards

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

Chinese girls on the street talk about their beauty standards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97V3pPMBy4Y

Categories
Asia

How close are China, Korea and Japan culturally, socially, and historically?

This is a complex topic, but I can generalize and simplify it best as, Korea and Japan took cultural cues from Ancient China but their culture eventually diverged as their countries became more developed and unique.

China was the most influential state in East Asia for most of its history. The biggest change to Chinese culture occurred after the fall of the Qing Dynasty – the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912 and after that the People’s Republic of China in 1949 eliminated or lessened a great deal of its ancient customs including the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism in everyday society. It also developed its own character set, Simplified Chinese. Modern day China today operates as a single party controlled capitalist state – the closest country that can be compared is modern day Russia – which is for all intents and purposes also a single party controlled capitalist state. It retains a semblance of its ancient culture but only minimally.

Ancient Japan (Yamato) took a great deal of its customs (including Confucianism and Buddhism) from Ancient China but especially Tang China / Song China – after the Mongol Yuan dynasty took hold and relationships with Japan deteriorated, Japan mostly isolated itself after the Tokugawa Shogunate took hold. Japan still uses traditional Chinese characters (Kanji) in addition to its own character sets today. Modern day Japan is more or less its own culture which remains quite distinct from modern day China.

Ancient Korea (Silla/Goryeo/Joseon) took a great deal of its customs (including Confucianism and Buddhism) from Ancient China but especially Ming China with which it had a great relationship – but after the Manchu Qing Dynasty took hold – relations deteriorated and Joseon mostly isolated itself as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ and developed its own culture. Korea used to use traditional Chinese characters (Hanja) but its has almost all been replaced by Hangeul (the Korean alphabet) today. Korea was colonized by Japan in the early 1900s and a lot of Japanese culture – including the strict hierarchical society and ‘chaebol’ work culture – was adopted by Korea.Today’s Korea is a mix of Ancient Chinese culture and modern Japanese culture. North Korea remains more or less, a smaller version of Mao-era China.

As a bonus, I’ll thrown in Taiwan as well.

Taiwan was minimally populated in the Qing dynasty but became more developed after Japan took control of Taiwan in the late 1800s – after the PRC won the Civil War the KMT fled to Taiwan and took with it the remnants of Ancient Chinese culture/ROC culture with it, including the use of Traditional Chinese characters. Today’s Taiwan is a mix of ROC culture and Japanese culture.

Obviously this is all very high level but I think it provides a nice general overview.