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Discussion in 'Politics' started by surferboy, Nov 16, 2008.
Their Own Worst Enemy - The Atlantic (November 2008)
I understand from NPR that China is already beginning to lose manufacturing jobs to places like India, the Philippines, and Vietnam where wages are lower. When I was there last year, my guide was complaining how the unemployment rate was so high and the economy sucked - and no one could complain publicly about it. China will still be a major power - superpower, but the road is not without its bumps and pitfalls (just like the rest of us).
Nixon's raproachment with china, and Clinton's grant of MFN status will be remembered as two of history's gravest errors
I disagree and think it will be viewed as one of the greatest steps in modern times. Theres over a billion, three hundred million people in that country just waiting to become, or are already on their way to being members of modern consumerism which is good for the world at large.
There are of course many things you can pick apart regarding the methodology (like everywhere) but that aside, the end result is the same = good for those of US interested in adding consumers, and readily available cheap labor to support our own consumerism into the world economy.
Yeah-- the act that lifted 1.2 billion people out of famine and poverty will be remembered as an error... sure... and GW will be remembered as the Napoleon of his age...
The author spent time in China without learning a damn thing about the Chinese.
In China, FACE matters more than money.
Most of China's embrrassements spring form being unable to fess up to even the smallest errors... because doing so will result in their losing face.
Most of the time, this aversion to honest and open governance, business, and society backfires, and simply results in the eventual revelation of not only the error they sought to conceal... but the far worse looking organized deceit in trying to keep the error secret.
To those of us in the west... this looks like a huge faux pas... far more damaging than the simple admission would have been...
But to the CHinese, this is not that big a deal... They all ASSUME that the government is trying to save face, just as the average citizen bends over backwards to try and save face....
For example- one of the biggest problems in dealing with manufacturing in China is the FACE aspect of saving face.
Your translator may have NO INKLING of an idea about the instructiosn you just gave her.... but she is not gonna admit that to you.
She will nod and agree as if she understands...
You will fly back the the US and await delivery... And THEN, weeks or months later, discover she had not the slightest idea what you said...
To you, the westerner, she has lost WAY more face in doing this than she would have in telling you she didn't understand you when you were in China...
But to her... telling you to YOUR face she did not understand... as a translator... is a much larger loss of face... because it happens face to face.
for her, You finding out via email is not nearly as big a loss in face.
THe most important things I did in CHina was to try and explain to our translators that asking a client to rephrase for clarity would GIVE them face in the eyes of the client...
They had a very hard time assimilating the idea.
For this reason... ADMITTING you are putting melamine in the milk is a far greater loss of face than someone discovering you put it in there.
This is a cultural problem endemic to Asia... and the question is whether they will adapt to western thinking on such issue, or we will be forced to adapt to theirs.
Holy Crap! Phil & I agree? That’s exactly why we take our own translators with us.