How nationalistic are the Chinese, Helen Wang wonders in Forbes. Americans often see China as the next big enemy, but are still treated and even admired by many Chinese. How does that work?
Americans are highly respected in China. Jim Chapman, an American corporate lawyer in Silicon Valley, told me that he was pleasantly surprised that he was treated so well when he was in China. “That’s why I like to go to China,” he said. “People there are very nice and polite to me, although they treat other Chinese somewhat rude.”
Yes, there is a nationalistic tendency among Chinese youth. Especially during the 2008 Olympic torch relay, Chinese youths stood behind their government and protested against Western media’s reportage on Tibetan unrest. Some of China’s “angry youth” called for a boycott of French products.
However, I believe that the nationalistic rhetoric by China’s “angry youth” is reactive rather than proactive…
China can be a threat to the U.S. if the U.S. treats it as one. There is a profound mistrust between the two countries. China suspects that America seeks to stop China from rising and interprets everything the U.S. does through this lens. America worries about China’s nationalism and sees China as a growing power that will challenge its global hegemony. Such mistrust can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and a source of global instability.
More arguments and stories in Forbes.
Helen Wang’s book The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You is available now. The official launch will take place in Palo Alto on December 10. Please check in here for more details.
Helen Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference, do get in touch.
The China Speakers Bureau will be live on air at the American Entrepreneur Radio tonight. Check here for more details.