Home > Analysis, video > China: A New Hope or A Threat to the World?

China: A New Hope or A Threat to the World?

I don’t know how I missed this talk from 2008 – when China was demagogued by almost every Western media and press.  But the views expressed here I think are on the whole surprisingly balanced and insightful.  I hope readers from the West will take time to view this.

Click here to view video directly from Fora.tv.

Or view video on YouTube by clicking below:

Here are some questions the video addresses:

  • Do the Chinese people really lack initiative or intelligence?
  • Are the Chinese people all just robots, placed in shackles by an unsympathetic government?
  • Is there freedom of the press in China?
  • Do the Chinese people care about democracy?
  • Is China really out to dominate the world?
  • Is Chinese development detrimental for the world?
  • Is the West unfairly politicizing environmental issues against the Chinese people?

View the video and let us know what you think.

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  1. August 19th, 2010 at 01:43 | #1

    Thx for the video, Allen. I spent the last 1hr40min watching it. These are Westerners who actually visit China, and it is refreshing to hear their perspectives. I liked that NY real-estate lady.

  2. r v
    August 19th, 2010 at 06:57 | #2

    interesting views. The single most interesting concept from all of these folks is that perhaps Western media merely views China from the perspective of “What will China do to us.”

    Conversely, when the Western media talks about China, generally, it does not ever consider “what are we doing to the Chinese people,” except in the most paternalistic and colonial sense.

  3. Dragan
    August 21st, 2010 at 06:53 | #3

    I cannot see the video at the moment, but It seems that this could be the place to post an interesting article, talking about the necessity for China to realistically assess itself and its relation with west…sorry if it is off the topic!

    Of course, it is always easy to find more shades and depth to a certain point of view, as well as bring out counterarguments. But to find balance is difficult, and it has proved difficult for many Chinese that find it easier to expose shortcomings of west than take a good and critical look at themselves.


  4. August 21st, 2010 at 10:28 | #4

    Thx for that link. I feel those criticisms by the Chinese of themselves are constructive. I personally see the validity of all the points raised in the article.

    The author makes the mistake of defending China against egregious bias or outright lies in the Western media as sweeping problems within China under the rug. Clearly not.

    Conversely, there are segments within China truly believing China is perfect, but not all Chinese think the same way.

  5. August 24th, 2010 at 18:08 | #5

    I don’t think “many Chinese” are going easy on themselves.

    Chinese introspection does not require a lot of public “self-whipping”. Perhaps that is another indication of fundamental difference between East and West. (Frankly, Japan and other Asian nations are also not very eager to publicly “self-whip”.)

    The Western nations like to make a lot of public apologies, at the drop of a hat, if the voters really want it. Politicians learn to fake tears and apologies so much that even Western voters don’t much believe. Why bother with public criticisms if that’s all they will get?

    And the really terrible atrocities?? Like Western imperialism, colonial exploitation, REAL genocide of the Native people, Racism? You have to wait 50 years or more for even a small apology, (I’m still waiting for the one on Chinese Exclusion Act).

    The West reminds me of the old Catholic priests of Medieval times, ritualistically whipping themselves on the back for atonement every night, while indulging all manners of sins during the day.

    Ie. Western “self-criticism” is an empty ritual, Western media is an empty ritual. People merely go through the motions.

    After 4000 years of imperial court rituals, I think we Chinese can do with less rituals of any kind, and get on with life. I for one am capable of bettering myself without public confessions.

  6. April 16th, 2012 at 05:16 | #6

    In general, you can’t blame the Chinese that they want to raise their standard of living (it’s what we all like to do, don’t we?).

    In my opinion, the best way to approach is China to look at China just as it is, do your research on the ground and determine what is important for China and for yourself. Stay out of politics (politics are problematic everywhere) and spend (a lot of) time on relationships (as you have to do in any country if you want to achieve something).

    Of course there are threats, opportunities, cultural differences, different legal / financial / economic systems and political issues, but in the end you have to do that kind of analysis for any country. If you don’t like it or feel uncomfortable, just do go there. It’s all about being able to adjust and accept different ways of doing business. If you are really interested in China, one of the best things you can do if you have a limited view on China is to start reading history books. It will take you time, but it will help you to understand the mentality and morality of China (or any other country).

    In general I believe it is better to look for sustainable ways to co-exist, co-create and collaborate than trying to focus on differences, threats and geopolitical issues. You cannot change China as well as China cannot change America. Work together on solutions that are beneficial for all of us.

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