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China - You either LOVE it or HATE it.

Updated on June 16, 2010


China, you either LOVE it or HATE it. But to really APPRECIATE it, you need to do both.
China, you either LOVE it or HATE it. But to really APPRECIATE it, you need to do both.

China - Love it or Hate it.

China is so large, so majestic, so powerful, so intriguing, so welcoming so hospitable and so beautiful. But it is also ugly, crowded, disgusting, unfair and unkind. In fact, every single adjective in the dictionary could be used to describe at least a small part of China. The only way to sum up China in one sentence is to simply say that China is a land of limitless contrasts.

[Click here to read about how buying Apple products, which are made in China, could be supporting abusive practices!]

On one hand, you have gigantic sky-scrapers, so tall that they reach the heavens. You have the mega rich, who don't even flinch at spending thousands of dollars at one meal. You have the beauty of a culture that is thousands of years old, and the energy of the people, who are extremely proud of their heritage and who are, at the same time, optimistic for the future. However, dig a little deeper, beyond the flashing lights and immaculate boulevards of China's largest cities and you have 600 million Chinese people still living on less than $2 a day. You have thousands of people who are forced out of their homes every week to make way for new developments that benefit only the rich. You have violent protests in Tibet, and the far Western regions. To sum up, All is not well in China.

To be fair, the West's portrayal of China is a little flawed, to say the least. The Chinese people are, after all, human beings just like the rest of the world. Go to China and you will be warmly welcomed, treated like a true guest. Smiles all round. It doesn't matter how much or how little a person has, Chinese people will gladly give it away in order to make you happy. It's all about keeping face, a facet of Chinese culture that certainly has its positives and negatives.

'Keeping face,' has delivered to the world some of the most extravagant celebrations that it has ever seen, namely the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and more recently, the 2010 Shanghai Expo. It has instilled in Chinese people, something that Western people often lack, an urge to selflessly help their friends and family, and increasingly, their country.

However, 'keeping face,' has it's evil side. It has meant that almost all social issues are swept under the rug, for another way to phrase 'keeping face' is "out of sight, out of mind." You will never get a straight answer from a Chinese person, and from a Western perspective this can be extremely frustrating. This is a huge generalization, but Chinese people would all make extremely good politicians, for The Chinese have a knack for twisting the truth, what they say isn't exactly a lie, in fact it is the truth, just a truth that they want you to hear.

The sad thing about China is that despite all the glamor, all the success, all the beauty, there is still an enormous ugly side to the country. Unfortunately, those living in the cities, with all the money and all the power refuse to recognize the problems at hand. I, for one, would not be able to live with myself, knowing that while I am spending $100,000 on a sports car, children are dying because their parents don't have enough money to put food on the table in my own country.
Now, I know that Australia has it's fair share of social issues, and believe me, I am the first person to admit them. This is because I believe that part of the method for solving problems is to spread awareness. This idea, it seems, is lost on the Chinese people.

Perhaps, for now, part of this attitude can be attributed to the fact that there are many Chinese people whose lives are, for the most part, improving day by day. Many families are a lot better off today than they were ten years ago and while people are getting more money, they are willing to forgo things that we as citizens of a democratic country take for granted, such as the right to vote, the right to travel and move where we see fit, the right to have as many children as we so desire.

China is a marvelous place. You either love it, or hate it, depending on what part you see. To truly understand China (I do not even claim to come close), you need to both love and hate it. China can inspire you, and it can bring you to tears. It can welcome you, and then turn its back on you if you don't treat it right. It is advanced, but in some ways is still so archaic.

[Click here to read about how buying Apple products, which are made in China, could be supporting abusive practices!]


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    • Rossogrosso profile image

      Rossogrosso 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thanks for writing. It is a vast place and full of contradictions and paradoxes. But, I have found that, in general, Chinese people are really wonderful and friendly. I just came back from my 5th trip there and learned and saw quite a bit. I guess it just depends on what we decide to focus on, but I choose to Love it! :)

    • Steve LePoidevin profile image

      Steve LePoidevin 6 years ago from Thailand

      Great article and very true. I have lived here for the last four years and watched coworkers come and go. People really do love it or hate it. Living in a big city like I do probably gives me a more optimistic view of the country but there definitely is an ugly side that is not always so visible.

    • ocoonocoon profile image

      ocoonocoon 7 years ago

      Hi are you in China now? Some aspects of Chinese culture seem similar to the Japanese, especially saving face. Good luck with your hubs!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Harry, this is so interesting. I only know about China from what I see in the media, and as you said it is such an old culture mixed with the new. fascinating insight to a troubled country. thanks nell