TEDtalk: How Westerners can make sense of China (And some rambling)

Watch this 20 minute TEDtalk by Martin Jacques, which gives some wonderful insight into China and how Westerners can better understand China and its growth. Jacques identifies some key points of  Easterners being more knowledgable of the West because they have been forced to learn from these powerful, developed countries. In the time that I’ve been in China, I could not agree more. I’m often feeling ignorant about Chinese history. Whereas when talking to the Chinese, they are very aware and informed about the West. Here are some quick facts:

  • The founding of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) was October 1, 1949
  • The population of China is 1.3 Billion (The US is 300 Million)
  • China has 55 ethnic minority groups, in addition to the ethnic majority, Han
  • Shanghai (18 Million) and Beijing (20 Million) are 2 of the most populated cities in the world
  • The Chinese language uses 4 tones for speaking has over 20,000 written characters

Jacques touches on many points, including cultural identity, where 90% of China’s population identifies themselves as the Han race. In addition, “China is shaped by its sense as a civilization-state not a nation-state” of Western countries. And as a result, citizens of China view their government as a guardian of their civilization with legitimacy and authority, as opposed to the challenged State power in the West. Of course we know about the Chinese government’s censorship of news and media, including websites, but it’s completely true that the average Chinese believe everything that the media reports and they just accept that certain websites are not accessible. Perhaps it has much to do with the Chinese’s resilience and adaptability. Or is it cultural ingrainment of avoiding problems? Where no one claims responsibility, therefore just avoids any situation all together. Or like many discussions about education lately, are many Chinese not taught to think for themselves and challenge ideas? Jacques points out that there are no serious rivals to the Chinese State power and that there is a different construction of power embedded in society resulting from the Patriarchal family structure.

As you can see, I’m personally struggling with understanding many of these issues as well, but I’m here to learn more!

We know that the Chinese invented a lot of things and that recently, this sense of innovation is more than encouraged. So really, the most important take away from this video is that “China is going to change the world.” And “if you want to feel the future, if you want to taste the future–try China.”

What are your thoughts? :)

我鼓励你看看上面的TEDtalk。Martin Jacques让我们西方人了解中国和中国的发展。他提提东方人比西方人了解多知识因为东方人(中国人)需要从西方的国家强大也开发。是真的,我呆了中国快一年,我同意有多次我觉得对中国历史我什么也不知道但中国人对西方的历史有了解。

加上Jacques说说中国的人民民族,他也说中国是文明国家但西方是民族国家(?)。为了中国文明国家,中国人对中国政府有合法和权力,比西方的不一样。西方人常对政府反对。当然我们知道中国政府对新闻和媒体删减,但普通的中国人对新闻和媒体什么都相信。可能是因为中国人很有弹力和应变力。或是不是以种避免问题的文化?谁都不责任。或好象最近的教育话题,多中国人没学怎么想,问问题,和反对主意。Jacques说对中国权力没有别组反对,为了家长制中国人有不同的权力感觉文化。

你看到呢,我自己有挣扎但很想多了解。

我们知道中国人发明了很多东西,现在多鼓励这样的发明。但在着视频最重要的是“中国回改变设计”和“如果你想感到前途,如果你想尝尝前途-试试中国。”

你觉得呢?

2 thoughts on “TEDtalk: How Westerners can make sense of China (And some rambling)

  1. ain’t no ideas how i came across your blog (too many tabs XD), but i have to say u have created a wonderful blog with lots of writing related to good design. keep up the good works & wish u a great exciting life ahead.

  2. ain’t no ideas how i came across your blog (too many tabs XD), but i have to say u have created a wonderful blog with lots of writing related to good design. keep up the good works & wish u a great exciting life ahead.
    +1

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