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Is America or China Great?

Popularity 5Viewed 1046 times 2019-5-18 08:42 |System category:Economy

I've not published a blog on China Daily for quite some time. Frankly, I read China Daily every day (sometimes, every word of every page). There seemed to be such an 'anti-American' sentiment in so many stories, I feared even writing here. Recently, I've changed my mind.

I've lived in China for 8 years. I'm in Hong Kong presently trying to get a new visa. The hotel has a copy of China Daily, Hong Kong edition, nearly every day on the coffee/tea table in the lobby.

I've not only lived in China for quite some time, but, I've loved China the entire time I've been here. I am presently writing another book with a working title of 'You Don't Know China.' In fact, Americans know little about the real China that I've come to know, love, respect and appreciate.

I've traveled to more than 30 countries in my life. I know how to adjust, tolerate and endure things that are contrary to my cultural lifestyle. China has been a bigger challenge for me. I've seen the good and the bad. The bad parts are really not my business. It's not my country and I don't feel that I have the right to judge it. The good parts of China are more amazing to me than I ever imagined before I came here.

I understand the negative sentiment of those who write articles that show disdain for American politics. In fact, I understand it so much that I feel that I should inform others that 'most Americans don't agree with what is happening in our country.' There are two statistics that bear out my perspective. (1) The current president of America was not chosen by the majority of Americans. In fact, he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. (2) The approval rating of the current administration is far below half of Americans. It has plunged as low as less than 35%. Currently it stands at about 43%. A rather large margin for those who do not approve of the methods, attitudes, perspectives, actions and more, of the current administration.

I would like to remind also that this administration does not represent me or the majority of Americans. I know the reality of the so-called 'trade imbalance'. I also understand the inadequacy of tariffs and other aggressive actions against China. They aren't working and they won't work in the future.

I am saddened by what is happening in America right now. The onslaught of protectionism, nationalism, racism and totally irrational thought is disheartening. I love America. It is my home. It is not perfect and never has been. There are many flaws (even before this current president).

The trade imbalance was created by American greed. There is no way that it could be China's fault that it exists. In fact, trade with China hasn't been a negative for America. American countries enlarged their profit margins by doing business with China. They would have done business with any country that could supply what China has done. That is, good quality products at a very low price.

The business development of the past 30+ years between the two countries has accomplished two things. For China, it has assisted in the development of its economy, standard of living and bringing people out of poverty. However, never mistake this as America's attempt to 'rebuild' China. America did business with China for one reason only. That is, to increase profits. Is this a negative? Absolutely not. It was a win-win for both countries. While in America, it primarily helped big corporations. In China, it has helped bring millions out of poverty.

The intelligent, rational and integral mind knows that both countries have benefited enormously from the exchange of trade. The 'imbalance' was created by American companies demanding cheaper goods and larger profits. To China's credit, though many individuals in China have become extremely wealthy in the process, hundreds of millions of people are no longer suffering in poverty. These are facts, not opinions.

America is great. America has never ceased being great. I heard one person (a Chinese person) say, "China should be greater because it has existed for more than 5,000 years while America has existed less than 250 years." I responded with my own observation. I said, "Maybe, but, look what China has done in the past 40 years which has far exceeded what American has done in those nearly 250 years. China capitalized on the 'opening up' and reforms of the late 1970s and produced an economic miracle. No one in history has ever achieved that.

There is no fair nor accurate way to compare and answer the question, 'which country is the greatest'. Both countries are great in their own ways.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report kevinruud 2019-5-18 15:45
I agree with you totally. At this critical moment when both sides call bluff to each other, we need more rational people like you. I think whether a person or a country or whatever a unit it is great or not great, the judgment can only be made 100 years or more after his or its death or longer by a third party without direct connections with him or it.  And to compare two countries to decide which is greater is ridiculous and makes no sense. As the Chinese spokesmen of various deparments said earlier, there will not be a winner in any trade wars. Let us wish Donald Trump to have good senses and do not make himself Donald Duck, who is hilarious but annoying.
Reply Report GVTCC 2019-5-18 16:01
I notice you stay in Central China's Zhengzhou City, and why do you need to travel to HK for visa renewal when you may have done it in Chengdu or Xi'an, which is closer to you?
Reply Report SEARU 2019-5-19 10:39
kevinruud: I agree with you totally. At this critical moment when both sides call bluff to each other, we need more rational people like you. I think whether a p ...
It is self-confidence that we call motherland as a great country which statement does not mean any other nation is not nice on civilization! The problem is that it will become a joke if one state leader always acts as a naughty boy who shifts direction on politics like wind! Mr. Trump has set a good example on the serious world stage!  
Reply Report MichaelM 2019-5-20 14:18
GVTCC: I notice you stay in Central China's Zhengzhou City, and why do you need to travel to HK for visa renewal when you may have done it in Chengdu or Xi'a ...
Because my old visa was no longer valid. I needed to leave China. If it was a simple renewal, I can get that done in Zhengzhou. But, it isn't.
Reply Report Liononthehunt 2019-6-5 16:02
In all fairness, the US is a great country, so is China.
Honestly, China's media rarely takes the US to task, except when major spats arise between the 2 sides. By contrast, almost all the mainstream the western media outlets,  have chronically cast China in a negative light in their reporting on China affairs, despite the tremendous progress China has made in various areas in the past few decades.

China, as a nation, believes in benevolence rather than aggression, and I think that's why it would always rise from the ashes and stay strong after suffering scourges and cataclysms.

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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  • 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make In Their Child's English Education 2019-6-24 10:09

    Well said. Michael... and very true, as well.

  • What Americans Think 2019-6-24 03:50

    One question that I heard a lot when I first came here was, "When do you foreigners take a bath?" I was very puzzled by the question and wasn't sure if it was a serious question. My response was, "Well, I guess that we take a bath/shower when we feel that we need one." I learned later that they were looking for an answer like, 'in the morning' or, 'before we go to bed.' But, the truth is, I really don't have a clue what the hygiene habits of over 300 million people are.

    Another stereotype (that is wrong) that I hear here in China is, 'all Westerners go Dutch when eating out together.' Someone wrote a blog on here that stated this along with 'Westerners don't like to spend time with family and friends over meals like we Chinese do.' Again, another stereotype that is not just wrong, but, from experience, quite absurd. I've never 'gone Dutch' at a restaurant and I always have meals out with friends and family when I'm in the USA.  My mother had a friend once who insisted on 'going Dutch', but, she's the only one I ever heard of to practice this.

    I think that this question has something to do with this situation I often see in restaurants here in China when two people walk to the checkout counter to pay and get into a friendly scuffle over 'who's going to pay.' It seems like an attempt to show yourself more generous than others. Seems a bit silly to me, but, I accept that it is just a different culture. I must admit that I've often not only paid for everyone's meal in my party, but, I come from a small town in Texas. When I see other people that I know in a restaurant, I've often picked up and paid for their meals secretly. They usually don't discover that their meal was paid for until after I'm gone. I don't think that is common in Western culture, but, it is true for me.

    Oh, one last stereotype that seems to be believed about Westerners is that real life in America (especially) is mirrored by the television show, 'Desperate Housewives.' I really don't know what all the show depicts because I've never watched it and know little about it. But, what I've heard is that everyone is having sex with anyone and everyone every day. Of course, soap operas in any country, do not accurately depict real life. This seems like common sense to me. Seems a bit naive to believe that real people do the same as some fictional television show.

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