Limitations of the Chinese

There are simply too many articles online about China-US relations and comparison. Including this article from the Diplomat, most articles tries to promote the idea that though China is growing and moving upwards in the global scene, it still has a long way to go before it can catch up with the US. As per the article on space race from The Diplomat above, they would state that though China has grand intent there are several factors that hinders China from reaching its full potential. What are these factors listed?

(1) Economical System. Though the Chinese are economically driven as a race, the mostly government controlled environment in China hinders the country from reaching its full potential. When a man does not own the business he runs, he will never put in extra efforts beyond the office hours. He will not think about the business during the weekends for he knows that his pay will not change even if the industry improves

(2) Corruption. Though the political party has several high profile cases, corruption is still a way of life in China. They just call it “Guan Xi”, or relations. More than just a formal relationship,the Chinese believes in the personal touch of interacting with one another and oiling the system to make things go faster. This way of life drains resources away from real needs and makes things opaque for those who are not familiar with the system, frustrating external investors.

(3) Personality over System. One unique difference between Singaporean Chinese and China Chinese is the emphasis between the institutional system and the person in the post. A Singaporean (law-by-law) will follow the books and the institutional rules, believing that the institution will out last the person. While this is true, the China Chinese believes that it is the person on the job that makes the changes now. As such, while the Singaporean Chinese tries to understand the system and rules, he forgets to engage the person on the seat. A China Chinese will engage the person directly and seek a way to find an agreement with the person rather than the system. The Chinese system runs contradictorily to the transparency much called for by the “Western world” and again makes entry into any industry tough

(4) New wealths. When Deng XiaoPing opened up China economically and pragmatically, he created a culture of get rich quick. Images of rich Chinese flooded the Internet as the new wealthy flaunt their wealth in the face of the poor rural farmers. The poor soon surged into the city and sought any way to get rich quick. A breakdown of Confucian culture during the Culture Revolution further removes any inhibition that they may feel in the rush to get out of their poverty. As a result, it’s each man for himself in the streets. Stories of inhumane treatment of fellow Chinese start to reach the papers and the Internet. More than these, the Chinese will not look beyond their relatives or known associates whom they trust to work with. There is no common goals to bind the nation together.

I’m sure there’s more to these factors, but sorry, I’m distracted right now and lost my train of thought. Will continue again…


2 thoughts on “Limitations of the Chinese

  1. Point 1 and Point 4 are a bit contradicting. The Chinese economic system has moved quite a bit from the communist/socialist system to what it is today. People got rich because the new system allowed them to. Point 2 and Point 3 are probably the same thing, or at least similar.

    • Yea, I agree that the Chinese’s economy has opened up quite a bit since Deng Xiaoping’s days, resulting in point (4), an almost fanatic drive to get rich. However, much of the economy, especially the bigger industries, are still state-controlled, thus resulting in point (1), inefficiency in running industries, which may or may not be more effective under privatization.

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