This will be a rant. I’ll clean it up later if I want to turn it into an actual essay.
I’m angry with China. This is true mostly because of how they think of and treat the world. And let me just state outright that I’m talking about specific attitudes and behaviors here that I associate with China—not all people from China, or people who are ethnically Chinese, etc. That would be silly.
What I’m talking about is attitudes. Beliefs. Behaviors. Here are some observations:
Many Chinese are highly racist. I think it’s part of their education. They look down on other Asians. They think Southwest Asians are below them. They think the Japanese are below them. Black people they basically think are sub-human. And they treat westerners like foolish children that will soon be conquered by their superior discipline, education, etc. It’s palpable.
They are rude in public. At the middle to low end of the socio-economic scale, they’re often seen hacking up loogies, spitting on the street, smoking non-stop in public places, speaking loudly with no regard for anyone around them, they push and force their way into lines, etc. At the upper end, they’re basically elitists who not only compete voraciously with each other but consider any other race to be inferior and an obstacle. Their obsession with advancement and money and prestige is not just primary—it’s everything.
They aren’t polite. This is related to the one above, but they also don’t look at you in public. They are in their own little world, only caring about their tasks, and don’t look at you, don’t smile, don’t say hello. You are essentially an obstacle for them to navigate on the path to their success. There are many tourist places that specifically train for and warn against rude Chinese tourists.
Winning is everything to them. Get the next job. Get the promotion. Get the raise. Get into the better school. Everything is about status. And these things are done at any cost. You can see this at the national level with what they’re doing with pollution of their cities and rivers
They sell the world extremely dangerous products just because it’s cheaper for them. Again, they simply don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.
Massive polluting of their cities and environment. They don’t even care enough to keep their own environment clean. That’s how obsessed they are with short-term gains at any cost.
They’re hacking the U.S. (and many other countries) with impunity and daring us to do anything about it.
China is basically colonizing Africa and stripping it of its resources. They’re setting up massive camps and pulling out the resources at scale, while giving very little to the locals. The West sees that it’s happening, and part of them wishes they could go in and do the same, but they’re restrained by two things: 1) knowledge that it’s not right, and 2) the fact that any European country doing what China is doing would cause an uproar. So we watch as China rapes Africa right in front of everyone, with hands tied.
They care nothing about the environment. They’d kill the last family of baby kittens with fire if it meant gaining status at a dinner party later. Countless species are in danger because of their penchant for (false, by the way) believing that certain animal parts are special. It’s really just about status in the end though, not health.
The summary here is simple. They (China, and understandably so–its people) are extraordinarily self-centered, racist, rude, and obsessed with power and advancement. They treat the world like shit. The people in it, the environment, the world’s animals—everything.
It seems that they see the world as something for them to exploit, and any obstacle to that is simply a hinderance to be navigated or eliminated.
The real tragedy
What makes me so angry about this, I think, is the fact that I’ve loved China ever since I was a kid.
I grew up in the 80’s, and my exposure to China was the exact opposite of everything above. It was wisdom, kindness, respect, patience, beautiful art, the martial arts, humility, exotic food. It was everything old and wise and gentle and kind. It was brilliant and lovely.
And now I’m forced to consume this completely different image of China. An image that I can barely stomach. An image that taints and diminishes the view of China I had growing up.
That’s what makes me most angry about it. China is ruining China for me.
I hope that the younger generations, the Westernized generations (not that the West is some shining beacon in all cases) will quickly come to see this selfish approach to the world as anachronistic and foul. I hope they will reject it.
This is already the case with most young Chinese I know who grew up in the United States. I think it merely takes exposure to a different way of viewing the world to realize that the ideology being pushed by the Chinese government—of Nationalism and the inferiority of everyone else—is not a great way to conduct oneself.
- Keep in mind that in many of the points above I’m conflating the negative behavior of two different groups: individuals, and the government. In some cases that is valid and true, and in others it simply doesn’t apply.
- To be clear, I have known throughout my life a great deal of kind and generous and polite Chinese people. I have to say, though, that most of them have openly rejected much of what China is about. Which is in line with my post.