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 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.
-GDP/capita remains the fourth highest in Asia, after Singapore, Japan and ROC (Taiwan)
-Economy was hugely impacted by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; since then the economy has been growing but at a far slower rate than China has
-Technology wise, Samsung and LG have overtaken Japanese brands Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Pioneer, Toshiba, Fujitsu, NEC etc and essentially pushed them out of the market. Hyundai and Kia have caught up to Toyota, Honda and Nissan with regards to quality perception.
-Minimum wage increased but unemployment rate, especially for the youth, continues to lag behind other developed countries
-Startup scene in South Korea is still quite anemic due to the remnants of the conservative Chaebol culture which continues to dominate the South Korea work industry; this makes it wary for investors to offer venture capital, and more difficult for small companies to compete which leads to the unemployment rate situation above
-Korean entertainment scene has exploded and KPop and KDramas and ‘Hallyu’ has made Korea into one of the most popular entertainment juggernauts in the world
So back to the OP’s question, is South Korea really more advanced and successful than China? Perhaps in only a few areas.
-GDP/Capita -> China is catching up on this front, but the reason SK had a huge head start is because they had a market economy for 2 decades longer than China did, and because SK was one of the four East Asian Tigers (all small East Asian countries), it developed very fast in the 70s-90s, China had to struggle under the Mao era for 2 decades.
-Entertainment industry -> China’s heavy handed approach to censorship kind of handicaps them in this area, but China’s entertainment industry is mostly domestic focused. They have such a big domestic market that they don’t need to export that industry yet. South Korea on the other hand, has to export in order to survive, and they’ve perfected the art of marketing to foreigners at this point, which is why they have succeeded so well with their Hallyu industry. It’s worth to mention that China owns many Hollywood studios as well, which also means they don’t need to necessarily export their own movies; they can just leverage Hollywood movies to make money.
In the economic, business and technology sense, China has caught up and/or exceeded Korea.
I’ve now unfollowed all the major news outlets on Facebook like CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Economist, TIME, BBC etc because 90% of the news now is reporting about things that Donald Trump did, and because of the nature of his politics, they tend to be very divisive and a lot of arguing and bickering ensues. I’m tired of it, but I would like to say something about my time feuding with all these people, in particular Trump supporters. And by no means am I saying every Trump voter is like this or that some Hillary supporters aren’t like this, but I have seen a sizeable portion of them with the following traits:
1) They don’t believe in the mainstream media, but they like to make up their own facts and believe fake stories from the right wing media.
They call all the news that are negative to Trump “fake news”. Now, I’m not saying that the mainstream media isn’t biased. They are, but by no means are they fake. Their stories, even though they have a liberal spin on them, are certainly derived from actual events that happened. On the other hand, Trump supporters actually believe fake news and spread this misinformation to people online.
Some examples are, they like to believe that Obama is a Muslim or born in another country (disproven), that Obama ruined the economy (false, he improved it by alot), that Obamacare raised healthcare premiums (false, its been increasing long before Obamacare), that Obama caused race relations to worsen (false, thats not under Obama’s control), that socialism = communism (that would mean that North Korea == Canada), they like to believe millions of illegals and dead people voted in the election (no evidence), they like to believe Bill Clinton was a rapist (untrue), and in response to the refugee ban, say that Obama and Jimmy Carter did the same thing (they didn’t and numerous videos have explained why Trump’s ban is different). And often, they say these things without giving a shred of evidence or proof at all. At least a liberal biased outlet like Vox, backs up their statements with hard sources and statistics. So does The Young Turks, who is liberal leaning, but criticize the Democrats often, they also back up their statements with stats and hard facts. Trump supporters never back up their statements, and cite that mainstream media doesn’t cover these allegations.
You know the reason why mainstream media didn’t cover them? because they’re not true. They are fake stories.
So its ironic that they call the mainstream media “fake”, yet believe their own fake stories.
Another thing is the polls. They don’t believe in any mainstream media polling after the election because the election polls were off. Well, first off, the election polls were actually correct in the national vote count where Clinton won by 2%. Secondly, I know they are uneducated, but there’s a difference between predictive polls and current polling. Predictive polls like election pols try to predict the future, and anytime you try to guess the future there’s a chance you could be wrong. Current polling and stats on the other hand, like the unemployment numbers, and approval rating of the President, are polling people RIGHT NOW, so they are entirely different than predictive polls. They aren’t predicting the future; this is what the data is like right now. They can’t seem to understand that difference.
2) They think its an us vs them mentality. Everyone who is against Trump and for Obama must be a liberal. And they make up names like “libtard” and “snowflake” to make themselves feel better. They are massive hypocrites and literally if Trump does the exact same thing that they hated Obama for doing, they would praise Trump for it. Its insane.
Seriously, whats with all the name calling? Are they in grade school or something? Oh you’re a “libtard” hahaha. Seriously grow up. “Snowflake” is especially annoying because people from both sides get triggered, not just liberals. They like to say stuff like ‘haha we won you lost go to your little safe space and cry your liberal tears’ like what is this? A civil war between blue states and red states? between left wing America and right wing America? all these people are doing is dividing the country more and more. And secondly, the world is not black and white. Its not you either support Trump or you support Obama / Hillary. There’s lots of people like me who are independents or libertarians that support neither. For example, I am against government spending, I am for state’s rights, I am for lowering the debt, I am for capital punishment, but at the same time, I support raising taxes on the rich, I’m against war, and I’m against guns. This stance would make Trump supporters spin their head because they are so used to this idea that everyone must be either a Democrat or Republican, either extreme left wing or extreme right wing.
Furthermore, they keep saying stuff like “liberalism is a mental disease”, “liberals are retarded haha” etc. Now I am not a liberal, but I would like to point out the fact that some of the smartest people in the country are liberals. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, scientists, engineers, economists, academics, scholars, Nobel laureates, Hollywood, etc those guys are mostly liberal. Yet a majority of Trump’s voters are uneducated. Hmm. The irony here is stunning. Calling people that have traveled the world, associated with many people globally and have got masters and PhD degrees, learning about the history of the country and calling what they have a ‘mental disorder’ when you yourself probably have never traveled outside America, didn’t go to college or university, and believe in right wing conspiracy theories. I wonder, who is the one who has the ‘mental disorder’ in this case?
3) They have little understanding of how the world works and that’s part of the reason why they dislike the ‘elites’ and immigrants
I reckon that most Trump supporters have not bothered to travel outside of America, or made a real effort to understand the global economy or how it works. The world does not function the same way it did back in the 1950s. The global economy is now interdependent on each other, which makes it unfeasible to isolate the US from everyone else. The world has evolved a lot since the 1950s. Japan and Europe have rebuilt themselves. China has become a developed country. Its just impossible to go back to that time when America was at the top of the world. For example, manufacturing used to be mostly based in the US. Now its been outsourced mostly to China and Mexico and other countries. Its easy to blame the global elites or immigrants for taking away your jobs and enriching themselves but the real truth is that Americans have to keep up. I mean aren’t Republicans the ones who keep saying to do things on your own, make yourself rich and prosperous without government welfare or intervention?
That’s what immigrants do. They try to find the American dream just like so many other people. Then once they make it big and make lots of money, now ironically the same party which supported getting rich on your own is now against them. Hollywood and Silicon Valley are full of “rich elites” but the thing is they were once the same people as them, they just worked hard to get there. Ronald Reagan and John Wayne, too huge conservative icons, were from Hollywood. Lots of immigrants came on H1B visas which are now being hated on by Trump supporters, those same people founded Google, Yahoo, Intel, eBay, among others.
The point is you shouldn’t blame immigrants or Muslims for all your problems, when the truth is that there has been a technological shift in the industry. And as we moved on from agriculture into a service economy into an IT based economy, you gotta change with the times or risk being left behind. Those jobs from China and India aren’t coming back unless we depress wages by a lot and re-create a lot of the infrastructure that we had back in the 1950s. If we don’t, and we try to make things in America again, guess what? The price of all your goods will go up by at least double. You can’t keep blaming immigrants and global elites for your troubles when you are the one that should be re-educating yourself and getting a new skill set.
Lots of Trump supporters believe in global conspiracy theories, like the NWO, Bilderberg group, Bohemian Grove, Trilateral commission etc who they see as a group of elites trying to take over the world. Do you know where conspiracy theories come from? They come from people who don’t know what’s going on so they assume the worst. So the global elites, the people who have money and power, have the ability to influence things going on in the world, and so they meet and try to decide what is best for society.
Notice that most of these conspiracy theories popped up after WWII. After WWII, people in higher up positions decided that we shouldn’t have another war like this and we need to have a way for peace and understanding. The thing is – those groups that people like to point out that is taking over the world are probably more responsible for keeping us from having another world war. But because its a closed meeting, people just like to assume the worst from them. I don’t think it’s like that. Trump’s victory probably upset that group, which Trump supporters want to believe is a good thing, but I don’t think it is. I think it causes a lot of instability and uncertainty with the world. And if people bothered to study history, they would know that before WWII happened and the United Nations was created, there was constant instability in the world. Much more than today. So its not really a good idea to go back to that time.