It can sometimes be difficult for people who come to China to set aside their preconceptions and treat their Chinese colleagues as people who are, deep down, exactly the same as they are. I’ve had a couple of older American colleagues who insisted on explaining to my Chinese staff why the Chinese were different—and, by inference, not as good.
One writer who worked for me briefly insisted that my Chinese staff lacked critical thinking. “It’s a product of the educational system,” he explained. He, as an American, had critical thinking skills. He attempted to teach these skills to my staff, and I had to fire him. There’s no lack of critical thinking skills in China. At least, not that I’ve ever seen. What there is—at least in my office—is a lack of experience. This is a basic economic issue, not a cultural one.
More about her experiences in A Changing China.