It took Janet Carmosky thirty years not to write a book about what she knows about China, she tells in Forbes, and hopes Former US Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson will take at least that much time before he finishes his announced book on China.

Janet Carmosky:

Anyway, I’ve never run Goldman Sachs or the US Treasury. I just ran semi-legal foreign invested businesses in China, spent my Sundays peeling garlic and playing ma jiang with Communist Party officials, and took conference calls with the people in the USA at 4 AM China time for two decades so that I could explain why China isn’t more like America…

I speak read and write Chinese, and have been obsessed with US-China engagement and understanding since I was 16. Chinese people who meet me by phone never suspect that I’m white, and I cook with a wok. The Chinese man I married back in 1985 speaks reads and writes English, majored in American literature, and even back them he was so thoroughly at ease with the Americans who he came into contact with that the Party Secretary of his Work Unit suspected him of being involved in espionage. Mr. Zhang and I were best friends, husband and wife, and the parents of two kids for 18 years. At which point we threw in the towel. As Western as he can be, and as Chinese as I can be, the fact remains – cultural differences between the US and China might as well be six feet of solid concrete. Even if everyone on the two countries were totally bilingual, and we could agree on a menu for a big banquet to be held at some halfway point, the barrier would still be there.

More on Forbes.

Janet Carmosky is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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