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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #64)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 02:49 AM

106. I think I agree. There is more than one China.

 

I taught a group of Chinese students in 2016. One was the daughter of high party officials, one was working for Walmart in China as legal liaison, one was studying our judicial system on a sabbatical from a teaching post, and one was studying the rise of Christianity on China's major cities by researching mission groups in the US. Overall, they all wanted Trump to win. A real shocker for me, but conversations showed they knew nothing about him. They saw religion on a spectrum from irrelevant to fascinating. None of them voiced hostility. They had quite a spread of wealth between them and there was a definite pecking order. They had a broad sense of hope and optimism that reminded me of early 1960s America. They all believed that China's moment was approaching and various groups I would ask about one-on-one, Uyghurs, Tibetans and Taiwanese were all viewed as misinformed, uneducated, and likely to fall in line as soon as China brought prosperity to them. Every moment of unrest was viewed through the lens of maintaining social cohesion, dealing with tradition, and keeping people safe. Of course, there were events they had never heard of, and I didn't share my news experience during Tiananmen Square, though I did name drop the event.

They definitely see themselves at the center of the world economy and made a distinction between "Russian" communism and Chinese, which apparently had no conflict with making a buck abroad. They also had the best haircuts in my experience, all very stylish. This is a far cry from 1989, when hair care was frighteningly bad. One woman had her hair done when she went back over holiday because nobody in America was up to her standard, a statement I frankly found shocking.

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