Unfortunately, the average American today knows nothing about the real China. They know an imaginary China presented to them in US media. This imaginary China is oppressive
Thus, they think China is malicious.
The problem is that the average American has never been to China, has never seen China with their own eyes. When their only source of China information is a Western media that panders to government propaganda, how can they possibly understand China?
Just for starters, here are a few things that the average American should know about China:
China is a democracy. However, its democracy does not hew to the Western model of multi-party elections. In China, elections are held within a single party.
Despite what Western media may tell you, there are no Uyghur genocide, Uyghur forced labour in China.
China has no ambition for global domination. In fact, China has never invaded any Western country, and China has not fought a single war in the last 42 years making it the only world power to have such a long unbroken period of peace, ever.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a massive infrastructure project that aims to unite the world economically. Already, over 140 out of 195 countries have signed up, and fully half of them have BRI projects under way.
China is the de facto leader of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), the world’s largest free trade bloc which accounts for a third of the world’s GDP and a third of the world’s population.
China is helping the Global South vaccinate their population, even as America has abandoned them through vaccine hoarding.
Unfortunately, the average American will never know these things. They are too wrapped up in their own lives.
BEIJING: Although I have lived and worked in China since October 2010, I am a native of Dallas, TX USA, born and raised there while I spent some time in the East Coast pf US, Washington DC, New York City and New Hampshire. So I have some familiarity about how average Americans think of China.
I was Don‘t like-China person myself until after moving to the Asian continent in South Korea from 2001 to 2007. At the time, I was just an ESL (English as a Second-language) teacher and not doing anything remarkable with my life. When I decided to move to Seoul, I was struggling professional career wise after graduating from college with a B.A. degree in Political Science.
But I have lived and learned from it and moved on. Nonetheless, I felt more comfortable among Asians as many of them are eager to learn, hard working and ambitious.
But there was a harder edge to life in South Korea than I had anticipated. It was my experience that many South Koreans were perfectionists, quick tempered and impatient.
But when people ask me why I chose to move to Korea back then it was simple. I wanted to try a new adventure and loved to travel. When reviewing job ads, there was a message about teaching English in South Korea and it captured my curiosity but to be honest I was not interested in teaching just wanted to try something new.
So I called up the recruiter and two weeks later I was on a plane to work there. If the job ad said teach English in Japan, Vietnam, China or any other Asia-Pacific country I would have gone there without pondering the differences among Asian nations.
I mention this story to explain the notablege Americans. I was don’t like-China but I went to school, read books and most Americans I spoke to had don’t like China. I was young and never visited China so I made the logical conclusion that China is bad because most of my fellow Americans think that’s true.
My perspective had changed dramatically after moving to South Korea and meeting local businessmen who told me they loved making trips to China and said the country was much better than what many others were saying.
I took a weekend trip to Shanghai in 2005 and discovered the Chinese were not brainless Marxists, or ideologues, they were regular people and loved to enjoy life just like average Americans. The trip opened my eyes and knew I could feel comfortable in China if I choose to move there.
And that’s what happened. I came to Beijing over 10 years ago and have stayed here. I point out that average Americans are not hearing the real story about China.
Many scholars with fancy titles and prestigious academic resumes are claiming to be ‘China experts,’ but they do nothing more than spew China hate. Their only expertise is knowing how to criticize China and sound convincing to others.
My recommendation for average Americans would be to encourage you to visit China and check it out for yourself.
1.It exports a lot of cheap goods for sale at Walmart.
2.It builds expensive Apple products.
3.It has several billion people.
4.There's a one child rule.
5.It's where fireworks, and the finger puzzle originated.
6.Birthplace of Confucius.
7.It owns a LOT of American debt.
8.It's the origination of many of the most popular cuisine in the world.
Mind you, regardless of the the accuracy of the above statements, most Americans really don't think much of China beyond them, simply because it has very little apparent effect on their lives. The only Chinese many know are the servers at the local oriental buffet who speak very little English.
I won't call it willful ignorance, but merely the kind that comes when something isn't important enough to warrant one's attention more than a few times a year. There are those who are painfully narrow in how they view the country and the people, either racially or politically, but there aren't really that many anymore, or at least that are vocal about their views.
However, there are also plenty of Americans who marvel at Chinese culture and history. Courses in Chinese dialects and culture are offered at many universities and various Chinatowns throughout the U.S. are a popular spot to visit for out of town visitors.
The answer to this is dependently largely on the ethnicity and social class of the American.
You have to remember that in America, Chinese Americans are, on average, more well off than most other groups. So how you view Chinese people often says more about your own social class. As someone who grew up in a mixed social class environment, I feel I have a unique view on this.
Among educated, upper-middle and wealthy Americans, the Chinese are often admired. My mother, who deals with both Chinese and Japanese in business relations, has often compared Chinese culture, work ethic, and value placed on technical education in a favorable light compared to "fat, lazy" American culture. She views Chinese people in the same favorable light as her own parents, who were extremely hardworking and raised 7 children on a shoestring budget, somehow managing to send all of them to college. She is more comfortable around Chinese Americans than she would be around your average blue collar white or hispanic American, who values education less.
Among the more blue-collar part of my family, the views on Chinese are different, and definitely more bigoted. In the small cruddy east coast city I grew up around, the Chinese are viewed as "snobby" and "cheap" by almost all working class people. Part of this is good ol fashioned American racism, but there are other elements are play here. In this city there is a large population of Laotian and Cambodian immigrants, who tend to be much poorer and place less value on education.
Outside of the coastal areas of the country, there are fewer Chinese. My midwestern cousins live in a rural area where the only other group besides white people are American Indians, I do not think they have any opinions of Chinese people whatsoever, except maybe a bit of the "good" stereotype。
It's also worth mentioning that much of our views on China are shaped by the Chinese Americans views. There are certain aspects of Chinese society and culture that are often disparaged by Chinese Americans. So other Americans will gladly adopt these views, since it makes them feel better about their own country.
I can't speak for all Americans obviously, but for me, people are people. Having spent a good bit of time over the years in Japan, Western Europe and Britain, and a year in Baghdad, Iraq working with the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, I find it hard to categorize large groups of people any other way. In all those places I've known people who were jerks, people who were honorable, people who made good friends, and lots in between. Cultural norms may differ, but at the core we're all pretty similar.
美国网友Thomas Pauken II的回答
Like others have said, I can't speak for all Americans, but I have lived here in China about eight years and have always felt very comfortable and happy here. All of my friends here are local Chinese and they treat me well.
Most of the Americans I know who have not lived here, form their opinion through the Western press. The Western press paints an image of an oppressive life in China, but it is far from that. Of course, in every country there are good things and bad things. I have traveled to more than 30 countries in my life and also lived for an extended time in Germany when I was younger.
So, for this American, my feeling about Chinese people is they are very friendly and they will help you in every possible way.