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Old 24.11.2006, 21:39
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Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

Top 5 Myths About China

By china-invitation-letter.com


Over 20 percent of the world's population are Chinese, and by economic standards, China's ascent is only just beginning. The Chinese nation, culture, economy, and language are going to get more and more important in the world during your lifetime.
But how much do you currently know about modern China?
What you learned at school about China, and what you read in the newspapers or see on the TV news may not be true any more.
Have a look at the following generalisations about China and see if you ever heard or believed something similar. Can you open your mind and change your preconceptions about China?
Misconception 1.
*China is an ancient culture*
What? Of course Chinese culture is ancient! One of the world's oldest actually. Yes, but what's modern China all about? China nowadays is a vibrant modern society, with unique pop culture, fashions, arts, tastes, and habits. Chinese people are proud of their heritage, and there is always an awareness of "old China" inside people's habits and tastes. But the real China of today is a fast-moving modern place: the old continues to give way to the new, and and Chinese people are all looking to their future, not resting on the laurels of the past.
Misconception 2.
*China is backward and poor*
By 2050 it's estimated that 50% of China's population will live in the cities, and this is where the focus of national policy is at the moment. Chinese cities are being built up at an astounding rate: every city in China is currently a dazzling scene of infrastructure change - new roads and flyovers, new skyscrapers, new stadiums, new hotels and resorts, and of course new massive ostentatious government buildings. The word "developing" has come to have connotations of 'third world', but in the developing cities of China you can only marvel at the pace of improvement all around.
If you travel to the countryside in China, you certainly might have the impression of a 'developing nation': people are still farming the land using pre-industrial-revolution tools and techniques, and people's lifestyles certainly couldn't be described as cosmopolitan. However, what you may not see is that these people's children may well be smart professionals in the city, sending home ever increasing paychecks to their family. Chinese people are ultimately loyal to their parents, and will routinely save and send home large proportions of their salaries. Even if the youth who move to the Chinese cities aren't managers or entrepreneurs, city salaries for even basic jobs are enough in comparative terms to make everyone happy. Everywhere you go in the Chinese countryside, you can see previously lowly families buying cars and building new houses. So the wealth of the cities will filter to rural areas through private channels, regardless of the urban-focused investment policies of the government.
Misconception 3.
*Chinese people eat Chinese food.*
Yes, of course Chinese people eat Chinese food! But do you even know what Chinese food is?
Forget what you think you know from your local "Chinese" takeaway. Unless you've spent several years living in mainland China, it's unlikely you have even a clue about Chinese cuisine. The variety is mind-boggling and almost certainly unrivalled in any other country. Expatriates in China will all tell you that every day they are still trying new dishes, even after living there for years. (And since we're on the topic of mythbusting, sorry to be politically incorrect, but actually you can find dog meat restaurants everywhere in southern China and people really enjoy eating it in the winter. On the other hand, in case you are getting a bit worried now, dog is a pricey speciality so it's impossible that you will ever receive a meat dish which is dog meat unless you explicitly ordered it!!)
Modern Chinese people in the cities also eat pizza, burgers, spaghetti, sandwiches, chocolate, and all sorts of real international cuisines, not only junk food. Visitors to China who can't use chopsticks, or have a phobia of rice, will have absolutely no problem feeding themselves! (But if you visit China, please be a little more imaginative than to go straight to one of the hundreds of Starbucks springing up in every city.)
Misconception 4.
*China is a communist country.*
Politically, China is still a one-party state and the Chinese people do not elect their leaders. How much does this matter? For a start, China was never the same style of 'communist' government that we associate with Soviet Russia. And the days of Mao are loooong gone!
Government in China nowadays is actually much less centralised than in most other countries, with an amazing amount of power in the hands of provincial or city-level governing bodies. These local governments are increasingly competing with each other to improve and enrich their domains, and the effect is a lot more positive than controversy-hunting western journalists' usual portrayals.
Are the Chinese people oppressed? Hardly! Chinese society is, any observer would be forced to admit, remarkably free and progressive. In point of fact, most Chinese people couldn't be described as particularly agitated about "freedom" or political change, being more concerned about getting a piece of the GDP pie and improving their lives and their children's lives. The political sentiment which most Chinese people share is a desire for stability, safety, and prosperity - and basically anyone would have to admit the government in Beijing is currently doing a really good job at that regardless of any abstract criticisms of their "communist" political identity.
Economically, what is China? People always laugh at the phrase "capitalism with Chinese characteristics" but it's true it's hard to find any description or comparative model for the Chinese system these days. In many ways the Chinese are more capitalist at the moment than anyone else, perhaps because the system has lagged behind in regulating and taxing the explosion of private commerce in the last twenty years. The name "The Wild East" has a certain truth about it at the moment, but things are getting more standardised, the RMB (Chinese Yuan - the currency) is now open to trading, and of course China is in the WTO now. Expect the China pages of your newspaper to get ever more prominent as businesses and governments wake up more to the economic power of the Chinese market.
Misconception 5.
*China is closed and difficult to visit.*
Anyone from almost any country in the world can easily obtain a Chinese travel visa from a travel agent and book a flight to any of China's growing list of international airports. Once in China you can go and stay where you want. It's just as easy as visiting any other country. The only reason your travel agency isn't packed with brochures about visiting China is because those travel companies just don't get it yet... Don't worry - the travel agency will soon wake up!
"Yes, but Chinese people don't speak English!" Pssst - can you think of any other popular world travel destinations where the local people, maybe, possibly don't speak English as their first language? Seriously, in the cities a lot of people can help out clueless travellers, and even if you're trying to be independent or adventurous, you'll find Chinese people friendly, tolerant, and generally not scary at all.
In terms of other traveller fears about safety, security, and cleanliness, China is already in the top tier of countries in the world to live in or travel to. Frequent travellers to China will back this up: even in the inner cities of China, you can walk around as a highly visible foreigner, and although you may be stared at, you will never feel in any danger or discomfort. (Unless you expected a 'normal' western style toilet - oh dear! - but that's an experience you'll have to find out by visiting China yourself!)
*CONCLUSION*
Wake up and smell the tea! You need to visit China and experience it yourself: there is no way you will break through the misconceptions and prejudices about China from your armchair. Rosalyn Pan
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Old 24.11.2006, 21:42
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

Some paragraph breaks mist just make that readable.

Example:

Quote:

Over 20 percent of the world's population are Chinese, and by economic standards, China's ascent is only just beginning. The Chinese nation, culture, economy, and language are going to get more and more important in the world during your lifetime.

But how much do you currently know about modern China?

What you learned at school about China, and what you read in the newspapers or see on the TV news may not be true any more.

Have a look at the following generalisations about China and see if you ever heard or believed something similar. Can you open your mind and change your preconceptions about China?

Misconception 1.

*China is an ancient culture*
What? Of course Chinese culture is ancient! One of the world's oldest actually. Yes, but what's modern China all about? China nowadays is a vibrant modern society, with unique pop culture, fashions, arts, tastes, and habits. Chinese people are proud of their heritage, and there is always an awareness of "old China" inside people's habits and tastes. But the real China of today is a fast-moving modern place: the old continues to give way to the new, and and Chinese people are all looking to their future, not resting on the laurels of the past.

Misconception 2.

*China is backward and poor*
By 2050 it's estimated that 50% of China's population will live in the cities, and this is where the focus of national policy is at the moment. Chinese cities are being built up at an astounding...


But, really, what was the point behind the post? Sorry if I missed it...
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Old 24.11.2006, 21:54
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

I believe the point of the author is urging the Westerners to "go and see for yourself" rather than lingering on old misconceptions....

I forgot who said? "Seeing is believing".
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Old 24.11.2006, 21:56
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The Swiss, in particular, seems indifferent to the lands in dramatic changes....

Compared with the Germans, the Swiss give many the feeling that they care less about change than stability, continuity, and supriority.....
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Old 24.11.2006, 22:51
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

No doubt ... china rulez !
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Old 24.11.2006, 23:02
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

Quote:
I believe the point of the author is urging the Westerners to "go and see for yourself" rather than lingering on old misconceptions....

I forgot who said? "Seeing is believing".
And was that your point by posting that article?

Are you a travel agent?
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Old 24.11.2006, 23:10
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Oh! I am posting it because of my nationality as Chinese of course.

Simply because I find many Swiss people still have unchanged misconceptions about my motherland.

Let's comment on the Swiss conception instead.
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Old 25.11.2006, 00:23
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Re: Oh! I am posting it because of my nationality as Chinese of course.

champson, you're missing the point completely.

so you acknowledge you're chinese. you acknowledge you simply copy-pasted that. but you bring nothing else to the thread.

I actually thought this was spam. I am still undecided.
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Old 25.11.2006, 00:31
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Was it?

I don't think every thread here must be original....

It is of course a self-evident fact that the article was NOT originally written by me. The link below the title shows its origin.

I am not a member of that website, but I echo its opinions.

Besides, does it bear no relevance to the general Swiss attitude to foreigners? My residence permit is still in the Migrationsamt after SEVEN weeks...
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Old 25.11.2006, 01:16
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Re: Oh! I am posting it because of my nationality as Chinese of course.

Quote:
Simply because I find many Swiss people still have unchanged misconceptions about my motherland.
Thought there was an angle! Yeah you are right let's worship China. Funny enough I was speaking to a Tibetan person last week who recently came back from a visit to her motherland---> TIBET (not CHINA!). So not all misconceptions are wrong. Don't get so carried away with blind patriotism
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Old 25.11.2006, 01:25
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A bit of patriotism is always necessary in a realistic world...

Just think of the notorious notice outside a Shanghai Park in the former British Concession: "No Chinese and dogs allowed!"

It still hangs there today. A constant reminder how the other world will kick your ass if you remain backward...

As to Tibet, few people know or acknowledge it fell under the rule from Beijing since the Mongolians invaded. Mao just changed the rule of non-military governing. Have a look at the current Map of Taiwan (Republic of China) and you will see it was on Chinese map since 1911.
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Old 25.11.2006, 01:36
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Can you say Northern Ireland is not part of Britain?

Britain occupied Northern Ireland much later than China took Tibet (1644). Can you say Northern Ireland is not part of Britain?

Or Schleswig-Holstein not part of Germany? It was taken from Danemark only 140 years ago.

I know many sympathize with the large number of Tibetans in exile here. But we can't simplify a complicated historical embroiglio into a simple story of right against evil.

I was in Tibet personally, and like the pure Tibetans so much. But they told me honestly they just want Dalai Lama back as the spiritual leader, not like the rule of the aristocracies before they fled to India in uprising against China's agricultural reform (seizing lands of the noble class to give slaves & peasants for free).
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Old 25.11.2006, 02:13
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Re: Can you say Northern Ireland is not part of Britain?

Tibetan people (in Tibet) are hardly going to tell a Chinese patriot like you about what they truly think about China Anyway let's keep the thread on topic and praise China

Last edited by jamaicanRUM; 25.11.2006 at 03:02.
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Old 25.11.2006, 02:51
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No they won't.

But I visited a German expert who worked in Tibet for ten years, speaks Tibetan and saves the lives of dozens of Tibetans using Tibetan traditional medicine. That conclusion was what she told me. She knew Tibetans in Tibet far better than the Tibetans in Switzerland know today about their own 'motherland'.

There is an ancient CHinese proverb saying, "After your sword drops from the boat into the river, don't try marking the place where the sword fell and then dive to river bed to search according to the mark." For the river flows, just like everything changes in our world.

I don't mean to praise my country, just to correct some popular misconceptions.
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Old 25.11.2006, 03:06
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Re: No they won't.

Quote:
There is an ancient CHinese proverb saying, "After your sword drops from the boat into the river, don't try marking the place where the sword fell and then dive to river bed to search according to the mark." For the river flows, just like everything changes in our world.
Does not change the fact that the sword fell in the river though...does it? China says the sword never fell LOL
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Old 25.11.2006, 09:10
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

AbFab, Lou,

Is is just me, or is this not really a "Help and Tips" subject...
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Old 27.11.2006, 11:45
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Re: Oh! I am posting it because of my nationality as Chinese of course.

Quote:
Thought there was an angle! Yeah you are right let's worship China. Funny enough I was speaking to a Tibetan person last week who recently came back from a visit to her motherland---> TIBET (not CHINA!). So not all misconceptions are wrong. Don't get so carried away with blind patriotism
I am very uneasy when I saw such kind of comments. What are you implying here?
I m not a patriotist but I hate people that has read some tibetan history thus pretend to know everything about China. Every nation has it s own history,please just keep your hands to yourself.

Champson
I understand why you have the urge to post out this article. But I would say this leads to an other extreme since China has only one ShangHai and one Beijing, the situation in majority China are not totally the same as described in that article.
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Old 27.11.2006, 12:02
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

Yeah, Ella, you are right. I also found the article a little commercially driven and over-optimistic. Perhaps it was written by the website that wants to lure more Westerners to visit China.

But my point was to point to the common misconceptions in Switzerland, rather than the impeccable state of affairs in my country.

Yes in this easily distorted world, we need to find the middle way inbetween. Extremes lead only to stereotypes.
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Old 27.11.2006, 13:36
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

I'm swiss and i like the dog-eating, monk-warrior, spaghetti inventing, oldest nation, tibet subduing, copyright violating, cheap manufacturing, great medical, Kung fu-movie, oil greedy, no animal rights, low ethical standard, prosecuting, river polluting, half communist nation China.

And the fact that they're 2000 years ahead of us makes it even greater.

China rulez yea ! I want to go there as soon as i can.
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Old 27.11.2006, 13:38
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Re: Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have)

preparing my De Lorean ...
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