Dumb Americans

By Yaxue Cao

Yaxue Cao is short story writer who grew up in Northern China during the cultural revolution. 

I met a young man a few years ago while working with a law firm on a case involving China. We were among a few Chinese who had been hired to translate documents. All of us were working more or less honestly in our respective capacities, but every day he sat in front of his computer, chatted with anyone who would answer him, or mostly got online to do whatever he was doing. Now and then, he would say to the rest of us, “Why rush? Slow down so we will log more hours!” Or, twirling in his office chair, “The Americans are dumb! They don’t have any idea how much we can do!” So disgusted was I to hear this and so enraged that he dared to include me with him in the same breath. For days on, I was haunted by that smug look he wore on his face. How I know that look, how I know such crookedness, by heart!  What was more appalling to me was that he was a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, he had come to the US in his teenage years to join one of his parents, and, in other words, he had spent a significant portion of his formative years in the US. But instead of shaping his values, America was this wonderful place filled with dumb people for him to take advantage of! And he is by no means a singularity among Chinese living in America.

To many Chinese, Americans don’t have xin-yan (心眼, meaning,  literally, eyes of the mind; or figuratively, calculating, wily), they trust what you say, and they believe you are doing what you say you are doing. For that, they are dumb.

I know a writer from my hometown who writes with unusual perception and style. But I remember how surprised I was reading an essay of his a few years back. He mused on this distant place called America, how it was such a young country and, in mentality, like an imprudent teenage boy showing no consideration for things, how naïve Americans seem to him with no depth and no appreciation for subtler things. I know exactly from what corner these thoughts arose and why he perceived America and Americans the way he did.  In some ways, it was not unlike de Tocqueville, the old-worlder, but through the unique filter of Chinese wisdom. For him (again, he is not a singularity), to speak your mind straightforwardly, to defend your position forcefully, and to uphold what you believe without compromise, are all signs of childishness.  A lot of Americans, alas, fill that bill.

I once told him, “You are an exceptional writer with discerning eyes and a superb sense of style, but I find your writing wanting, because, ultimately, you cannot write from a morally compromised position. At the most crucial junctures in your writing, you tend to hide even if you have to lie, obscure it  or stop halfway,  and you fail to snap it into its right place.” He didn’t want to hear any of this. He probably thinks I am stupid, not knowing the so-called art of the unspoken.

A college friend of mine organized a reunion party in her house last time I visited Beijing. Over the course of the conversation, one of the “girls” (well, we are not girls anymore, but…) stopped abruptly, commenting to the party, “Don’t you feel refreshed when you hear Yaxue talk?” It would be a nice compliment that I didn’t deserve but would enjoy anyway, if she didn’t turn to me and look at me in such an ambiguous way that, for a while, I couldn’t decide what she really meant. “Doesn’t she sound earnest and pure?” She pursued the others for agreement.  The girl sitting next to me said, “She has lived too long in America.” She might have patted on my back. By now I had heard all the undertones and was positively annoyed: To her ear, I sounded naïve and simplistic. The problem was, I had no idea how she had reached that conclusion. I had made no big speech; in fact, I had hardly talked at all. I had not seen them for years, didn’t know what to say, and for most of the part I just asked what they did and where they lived, etc. as they themselves talked about all sorts of subjects:  job, house, children, society, news of other classmates, etc.

To many Chinese, the guilelessness on a face, the heartiness of a voice, or/and the confidence with which a person carries herself/himself can all seem rather sha (傻,foolish, simple-minded).

Whenever I hear a fellow Chinese say or hint that the Chinese are “smart” and the Americans are “simple,” I would quickly point out that wisdom is not universal. Instead, it is relative and product of a particular society. The Chinese “wisdom” they cherish so much and feel so smart about is really just habits they have developed in a totalitarian, oppressive, and in many ways odious society. It’s nothing but the mold that grows in a dark and wet place.

When I told my brother that a lot of Chinese thought Americans were dumb, he said, “That’s a dumb thing to say. If they are so smart, why aren’t they doing anything better than the Americans?” This is the question, I bet, those Chinese who believe that the Americans are dumb have not asked themselves.

167 responses to “Dumb Americans”

  1. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    I mentioned 心眼 to my Chinese teacher Jia Ling. She did a double take and said “How do you know about that?” I said “Aha! I learn many things from the Blog I follow.” (Did I demonstrate 心眼?). She then declared that “All Chinese have 心眼, otherwise they would be stupid”. (Like 老外?). We had an interesting discussion on cultural differences and I sense that something has shifted slightly in our relationship.

    • Yaxue C. says:

      (Did I demonstrate 心眼?) Yes, 美丽,you demonstrated good, shape, 20/20 functioning 心眼 🙂 I had a good laugh on this awful day: it’s been raining all night last night and all day today, my cat sneaked out of the house last night and is nowhere to be seen. All day long, I have been walking up and down the street calling “Odie! Odie!” and I must have looked and sounded like a 心眼less, and worse, insane Chinese woman!


      • Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

        Yaxue: My cat went missing once for a couple of days – she had been inadvertently locked into a neighbour’s garage. Cats love exploring. Hope yours has returned home.

    • yaxue c. says:

      My cat came back! Just half an hour ago! Needless to say, I gave him a good scolding 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who needs social capital when you got really smart Chinese who believe that they are smarter than
    other Chinese?

  3. JB says:

    Could you post a Chinese version of this ?

    • Yaxue C. says:

      Thanks for asking. In fact, there is already a Chinese version: jysnow did a translation (http://jysnow.pixnet.net/blog/post/29677297). And more interestingly, she (I am just assuming she is a female) wrote a follow-up piece entitled “Cleverness and Dumbness” (http://jysnow.pixnet.net/blog/post/29680571) to give her thoughts, from a Taiwanese Chinese point of view, on the same subject. If you or anyone are interested in posting a Chinese version, I think it would be very beneficial to post both mine and hers together to give whoever cares about the matter a much fuller picture and better understanding.

      • JB says:

        Wow, thanks so much. I’m a teacher in China, and I would like to share this with some of my friends and students. Even though most can speak English to varying degrees, obviously it’s easier to comprehend something in your mother tongue. Thanks again, a great post!

  4. sidd says:

    some examples example countering “naivete” of usa

    “the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.”

    “Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney and Winn-Dixie — have purchased this insurance on more than 6 million rank-and-file workers”

  5. Rastafabui says:

    Always hard to write great articles about a whole population without risking sounding simplistic, but this one does good measure of nuancing its argumentation.

    As Dieter said, I believe the lack of integrity derives from the highly competitive environment in which the ability to find shortcuts in the system and “outsmart the uncanny rest” is held in high regard, and even at times glorified through popular figures such as the likes of Cao Cao and Zhu Ge Liang.

    But the balance and “harmony” they hold so dear was gradually forgotten as a consequence of the fast money and greed that has spread like a wildfire since the opening of the country 30 years ago. And at the end of the day, the price of this disturbing trend is Sustainability.

    And the system has been showing the limits of this sustainability for quite some time already and that, sadly, at the expense of the people and the environment.

    In many ways, it is hard to know at this point whether the country’s frenzy growth will only accelerate this trend or if the next generation will begin to realize the responsibilities of their aspirations and redeem the world’s so uncertain and fragile future.

  6. Stuart says:

    @ Yaxue Cao

    “It is generally recognized that, in China, 实心眼吃亏—if you are too principled, you stand to lose, you suffer, and you are dumb.”

    Exactly. This lies at the heart of the moral decay that underpins so much of Chinese society: it is the rule that says ‘the ends justify the means’. It runs very deep, culturally speaking, and expresses itself most notably – as you point out – in the belief that it is smart and sophisticated to deceive foreigners by saying one thing and doing another (China’s entry to the WTO a macro example).

    An important discussion for Chinese and foreigners alike.

    • Jay says:

      I wonder if this moral decay was caused by the Cultural Revolution or has it always been that way?

      • BILL RICH says:

        Cao Cao, the primary evil figure in The Three Kingdoms, a period at the end of Han dynasty, was revered by many Chinese because he won at the end through cunning, deception and cleverness. That how far back this is.

  7. Mick says:

    Sounds a bit reverse racist/narcissist to me. Americans are all Jimmy Stewart honest and earnest types while Chinese are sneaky get-ahead at any price characters. Americans worship Success, The Law, and The Mighty Dollar, Chinese worship power, influence and The Dollar. Move along now.

  8. Jay says:

    Where I come from in middle America people generally trust others because most people ARE trustworthy. I found this is not the case in China. Virtually no one trusts anyone outside the family, and for good reason. Americans can therefore often be taken advantage of, at least the first time. But it will be the last time.

  9. Ted says:

    If Yaxue had more in depth reading of old chinese literature, she would have realized these “Chinese habits” had long been in existence and had little to do with “habits they have developed in a totalitarian, oppressive, and in many ways odious society”.

    • Yaxue C. says:

      Ted, you are right in suggesting that I am not “in depth reading of old chinese literature,” but most people who have studied China will agree with me that the old society before the communist New China had been more or less a “totaliarian, oppressive, and in many ways odious society” too, if they are willing to take a looser definition of “totaliarian” here just for the sake of keeping the arguement going. So the “Chineseness” has come a long way in making, but that doesn’t deminish the fact that the communist rule has made it much, much worse and profound.

      • Ted says:

        no, Yaxue, the communists set a new and equal starting point for all in 1979 in the race for material wealth. Wealth is no longer confined to the gentry and the connected alone. In old time, subsistence was happiness. Nowadays everyone wants an iphone in china. For post modernist, modernity is not worth the price paid. Tell them to the 700 million farmers struggling to become urbanites.
        Let us face it. In many ways Americans are very self centered(ignorant, with a strange perception where they act out as if theirs is the only civilization in the world, preaching their political and social values as “universal” and the end of civilization. Most of the postings in this thread confirms my observation: americans see a lot of negatives in others, but a relatively benign position for themselves even when their country is now in dire shape. No one but one (Madoff)got punished for the mess they made for themselves and the world, whereas China prosecuted 13000 corruption cases last year alone. And no one sees through the point that corruption in the US has been institutionalized, legalized, and beyond reach of their law. Yaxue, when you come back to china again, go beyond Beijing. While you are in the US, visit non white areas. I cannt say what you wrote is wrong, but please widen your perspective and depth to your writing.

      • Ted says:

        you see, Yaxue, by releasing 1.3 billion into this race, the AVERAGED cultural standard has been much degraded. But isn’t it a good thing for equality of opportunity?

      • Yaxue C. says:

        Ted, while I appreciate your sound advice, it seems to me that you are suggesting that when I visit China, I only visit in Beijing; and in the US, I only see the whites. I just want to gently point out that, when I visit China, Beijing is merely where the airplane lands and some of my friends live, and it never is my destination. And in the US, I live in a city with a predominantly African-American population and I live on a street with predominantly African-American residents and immigrants. While these facts don’t mean much to define who I am, you shouldn’t make imaginative assumptions about me either.

        You seem to suggest that Beijing doesn’t tell the real story of China. If so, I beg to disagree. For example, when you look at the fancy, luxurious buildings popping up in the city, can you imagine a director of a little county’s Bureau of Mining Regulation in Shanxi owns 30+ apartments in them, and no fewer than 17 in one building?

        As for “releasing 1.3 billion into the race for material wealth”, hey, I am one of those 1.3 billion and HOORAY!!!

        In any case, Ted, I really appreciate that you have shared your thoughts here. I think you and I can at least appreciate one thing together: No one is deleting your comments when you criticize the US, when that is often not the case when you criticize China on a Chinese site.

  10. jeff.veit@gmail.com says:

    The contrast between American and Chinese attitudes aren’t unique. I’ve lived in a number of cultures and each has its own patterns that you have to understand before you can make sense of how people behave. I think that these behaviors are the result of the social environment… so for instance:….

    Germany is (still) a very rule bound culture. Official rules dictate a great deal of the way that people behave – e.g. no shopping on Sunday, even in major cities! – but the unspoken social rules also tell you what is acceptable – e.g. cutting your lawn or washing your car on a Sunday, especially in Southern Germany, is offensive. But the interesting thing is that there is also very often an unwritten way for getting around the official rules. Each one is little exception in the way that things are done, but together they make up a system – the official system, and the system that for getting around the system.

    South Africa is an interesting place too. For many years much of the population were in a situation much as if they were under occupation by an invading power. Just as in China, for most people it was very important not to say the wrong thing to the wrong person because of the power relations. So in South Africa, very often people will tell you what they think you want to hear about pretty much anything, when there’s a power imbalance. For example, a manager at a company can’t really expect his workers to tell him bad news. However, when there’s not a power imbalance, you can mostly expect people to be open and honest about their opinions. You can’t expect people to be honest in other ways though: there is a breakdown of law, and many ordinary people justify a bit of crime to themselves (for example fraud or casual opportunistic theft) as okay because everyone else is doing it. And occasionally this can seem psychotic, where someone you assumed was friendly because of their behavior turns out to be deeply unfriendly.

    In the UK, historically, but not so much now, there was power imbalance because of the class system. There too it could be dangerous to tell people news that they didn’t want to hear, but the culture was more to not say anything, rather than to dissemble.

    In the USA, when you ask someone how they are, the automatic response is that they are “Great!” That’s because the culture makes it hard to admit that you might be having problems of some sort. But at least the culture also makes it ok to get help with your problems if they are mental problems. On the other hand, if they are financial problems, the USA is not very forgiving; the assumption is that you are fully to blame for your financial problems and any idea that people and companies operate in a environment where they don’t fully control the outcome is heretical. The idea of supporting people who have fallen through the gaps is derided as socialism, and in America that’s almost the worst sin of all, I think because American’s see themselves as individualists.

    So I think that the way that people learn to behave is down to the traits in the power balances in society and the structures people live under. If you have system where it pays to be open and honest, then people will be open and honest. If you have a system where it may cause you to lose your job if you deliver bad news, then people will do their utmost to hide bad news. If you have had a system where being open and honest can cause you to be accused of anti-whatever thought or action, then people will not be open and honest.

    The most obvious knock-on from people not being able to share information freely is that it leads to very bad decisions being taken by people in power. It also means that much energy (and time and money) has to go into trying to overcome these impedances. If outsiders (and sometimes insiders) understand the pressures, then they can understand the way that other people behave and they can understand what might be the appropriate response.

    Chinese and Americans are no different to each other; they are each responding to the pressures of the structure of their society.

    • as a corollary, each culture has a specific different style of discourse that is valued. what yaxue highlights is very much in this vein. for example, in the anglophone world the style of essay that is valued is one of direct clarity – there is an introduction, a body and a conclusion, and points are made and refuted in a clear, concise and explicit manner. in contrast, in essays for the gaokao (university entrance exams), the bluntness of explicit points is seen as unsophisticated and simplistic. instead, nuance and suggestive, complex implication are valued (a la ‘confucius says’ proverbs). there is an interesting analysis by Wang in 2006 about the comparative differences between chinese and english essay structures.

      unfortunately I think the desire to avoid bluntness and skirt around the issue make the friction intense when two very different sets of values (explicit/ direct vs implicit/ suggested). I reject the notion that the chinese are upset because their ‘face’ is taken away. they may even describe it as such but the problem is a much deeper rooted idea that the ‘other’ is being rude.

      as a side note, french philosophy is written in a tangential style that is also highly valued.

      • Lao Why? says:


        Thanks for the thoughtful post. Many people have observed that the difference in communication can be summed up as “in the west, it is up to the speaker to ensure he is understood by the listener. In China, it is up to the listener to figure out what the speaker is saying.”

      • eduardo says:

        This is more along the lines of my thinking:
        I do believe that the language of a people shapes their culture.

        One example:
        Examine the word ‘love’ in different languages.

  11. Ted says:

    “No one is deleting your comments when you criticize the US, when that is often not the case when you criticize China on a Chinese site.”

    I beg to differ, this is not a difference in opinion but in FACT. Anyone who reads chinese knows this is simply untrue. You can see much more vigorous and severe accusation and criticism on the government and party on numerous chinese sites anytime. Where have you been all this time, Yaxue?

    • Yaxue C. says:

      Ted, you mean you have never been deleted? Never ever? Not even once? Well, that’s too bad because you are missing a lot of fun.

      And you don’t have to “beg to differ”: You are exceptional, different from anyone I know.

      • Jimmy says:

        From my point of view, the author was definitely a loser when she was in China.

        It is a commonsense that people behave differently under different social environment.

      • Tom says:

        This adds nothing to the conversation, please be more respectful.

      • Jimmy says:

        Please login to http://www.huffingtonpost.com and write some comments about overthrowing US governmont and abandoning the two-party systems, to see if your comments will be deleted or not.

      • Tom says:

        If your comments are relevant to the conversation, they probably won’t be deleted. Each website moderates their own comments, without guidance from state departments. The question is not whether or not each site deletes comments, but the level of involvement from the government.

      • BILL RICH says:

        If Chinese want to maintain their illusion that China has better freedom of expression than US, let them be. It is better to have a misinformed competitor than a knowledgeable one. Suntze is right. Know thyself and your enemy will make you invincible. Keeping you competitor ignorant will help too.

  12. dripsofmoonlight says:

    I’m only in my 20s, but I think that Chinese my age don’t act this way. It is the Chinese from older generations that do, because that is what they know. Even the Chinese in America will still act this way. I worked at a grocery store, where several of the Chinese customers had earned the distrust of anyone who worked there. They owned a Chinese takeout nearby, and would load their cart with soda, sometimes lying about how many they had. It made me uncomfortable because they acted like I was being rude by counting them, but what else could I do? I didn’t want to get in trouble for miscounting, and I’m certainly not stupid. It’s true, Americans are generally trusting, but if you cross them just one time, they may never trust you again. After I had done research on China, I knew why they did what they did. However, I think people assume that when you move to another country, you should adopt the attitudes of your new home, or at least follow the law. While you can learn the language, and adapt to the food, I think perhaps that changing your way of thinking is too difficult for some, and impossible for those who already think they are more clever than others.

  13. happyday67 says:

    Disney movies were well known for having non-human characters as sentient beings, starting with Bambi and Dumbo.

  14. Sherrina Marshall says:

    This is an amazing insight! Thank you! I am from Victoria Australia and have always had trouble understanding treatment of early Chinese migrants. Tom, this is an awesome blog, found it looking for stats for a politics thesis. I have never had the opportunity to travel and this type of blog really helps gain global understanding for those of us who can’t travel. Thanks again. As for the rudeness, tsk tsk and I don’t like my comments being deleted either 😉

  15. Abby says:

    I agreee with floor 62, my family and my friends like the persons (no matter what nationality he/she has) if they are guilelessness on their faces, who has the heartiness of a voice and the confidence with themselves.

  16. Anonymous says:

    曹女士,看到了吧,一個只會對自己種族文化感到抱怨,恥辱的人,又如何得到其他種族的尊敬呢? The world is not black and white, and i has refused to try and make it that way. If trustworthy dysfunction in this society, let we choose xin yan. We should be darwinese, natural selection.

    This is the harmony of the world: double-edged sword of every selection.I couldn’t agree more.

    do you buy my idea?

  17. Anonymous says:

    What kind of world do we live in where trust is seen as stupidity???????

  18. Anonymous Attorney says:

    I know this is a bit late and slightly off-topic, but corporate clients know exactly how much you can do. The entire purpose of in-house attorneys is to track billable hours and to spot this type of fraud. It’s 75% of our job. At best this guy is going to find himself out of a career and working as a janitor.

    I don’t think Chinese people think too much about the consequences of lying — or if they do, they don’t think it’s too serious.

    • paul p says:

      the lying thing is a problem.lowlifes like gangsters,politicians,etc are known as untrustworthy.i don’t really trust anybody. i may give you a little to get you to betray me so i can set you up for an eventual dire consequence.i understand the hyena mentality and the ultimate utterly unmerciful genocidal disposistion of justice.we westerners will talk of piece as we prepare for war.these chinese liars think we are fools,but we hane 5’500 nuclear bombs aimed at them and their 200.and these morons think we are stupid.we have a few million of their citizens here(as potential hostages) and we are the ones who are stupid.warm up the internment camps since i guarantee we will fill them with chinese.our ruling class is cunning and brutal and can be trusted to destroy our enemies

  19. […] schools in Sichuan and crumbling five year old apartments, there is very little honesty here.  Westerners, commonly mistaken as all Americans, are seen as childish and naive for actually taking y….  I haven’t been scammed or cheated of my money yet, and after being in China for a year am […]

  20. Anonymous says:

    There are no god in this world. The existence of this world was in it’s nature, without any sentimental and logical sense.
    Everything within this wold were developed according to the principle of nature, it was not depend on peoples, heaven or god.

    People thinking of god which is the ultimate power in this world had tried to reflect their human nature sentimental to the word itself, hence religion were created upon of the immature in human being thinking.

    So my conclusion is : Fcuk you Christian, Fcuk you Jesus, Fcuk you Islam, Fcuk you Allah, Fcuk you any religion which saying their God had created this world.

  21. Sidney Feinman says:

    It’s simple. We keep the US population dumb in order to get them to vote for Mr Obama, we did it in 2008 and we will do it in 2012. The dumber the better and we’re looking good.

    I’m among the elite and we obviously realize that the US is doomed. However, we are the top 10% and will be fine when it all implodes. We don’t care about American Exceptionalism, we just want some dumb drone to mow our lawn and clean our house.

    OBAMA 2012 !!!!!

  22. Fanta says:

    A little perspective and objectivity please. The China-bashing is getting quite tiresome to read. And let’s face it, no system in the world is perfect. There are crooks in every country (yes, even in America, the ‘holier-than-thou” of lands’) and in every race, who believe that cheating and behaving in a morally reprehensible manner is the way forward. And there are Chinese (like myself) who do not buy into such warped logic – there is this Chinese saying that goes as follows: 善有善报,恶有恶报,不是不报,时间未到. In other words, stop trying to use this topic to do another round of China-bashing. And just as a final point, if you really think these Chinese are ‘silly’ for not being too overly candid or upfront, it is because the world is not as ‘innocent’ as some Americans think it is. For an example of that, look no further than China’s backyard, i.e. India, who are the masters of deceit and deception. There is nothing wrong in being 高深莫測, for otherwise your enemies will be able to easily discern your intentions and thoughts. I think there is a need to draw a difference between the two concepts; if the reason for being cautious (as opposed to being totally outspoken, and therefore ‘naïve’, like the Americans) arises out of the need for self-protection, then it is alright. If however the motivation for such a behaviour is to be used for bad ends, then it should be unequivocally condemned.

    • sternhead says:

      …yeah, stop bashing China and let’s bash India for a while, she said objectively from her clearer Chinese perspective.

    • Sean says:

      From my limited perspective, I can only suggest that we take a moment to savour the name of this site…hmm “Seeing red in CHINA”. By all means feel free to register a website called “Smells of India” or such. As it stands, most of us who “bash” the Chinese on this website have experienced the worst China has to offer and it far outweighs any good it can offer the world. Nothing is sacred to to Chinese. They destroyed Buddhism and claimed they made it better. They treat each other and the environment around themselves like crap then sit back and blame their Government. Frankly, I feel sorry for Mao Zedong. Who would even bother trying to pull the Chinese people out of the toilet that they themselves have so eagerly stepped into.

    • sdfsdf says:

      I’m an Indian, and I approve of this message.

    • jixiang says:

      I think you’re showcasing some of the attitudes which need to change. It’s not that Americans think the world is “innocent”. It’s that people being honest works, as long as everyone (or the majority) in a society agrees to follow this rule. I have lived in Western countries and lived in China, and the difference is obvious. Westerners teach their children that decency means being honest with people. Chinese teach their children that decency means being selfless and nice to your parents, other relatives and friends and business partners, but they have little to say about being nice or honest with strangers. Not all Chinese think like that, but many do.

      As for being unfathomable, Americans are not at all unfathomable, but they seem to have done a pretty good job of fighting their enemies historically. So who’s dumb?

  23. Rod in China says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I think what really caught my attention is that I didn’t read the intro where it described you as growing up in China during the cultural revolution. While reading, I was never quite sure if you were Chinese, American, or from somewhere else.

  24. PanadaBear says:

    Nice little propaganda piece of pablum. I now compare to Chinese who feel superior
    to China because they in Americo to the far right wing Cuban defectors that tirade against
    Cuba in Miami. They’ve been out of their own country so long, that they’ve been conditioned
    enough by the American propaganda machine to think that their native country is the devil
    or something. “Totalitarian, oppressive, state?” Give me a break. The USA imprisons and executes a higher % of it’s people than China , Cuba, Iran, Russia…any country in the world.
    Human rights are atricious in the US…prisons are literally overflowing, but immigrants buy into this illusory/pseudo sense of “freedom & democracy”. As someone who works for the Red Cross, has lived in China all my adult life, speaks Mandarin fluently, and is married to someone who also grew up during the cultural revolution (like millions of other Chinese and doesn’t make you special), I would easily say that there are now more everyday “freedoms” in China than there have ever been, and actually more than my home country Canada and the US. The average Chinese has more economic freedom, doesn’t live in debt, isn’t bound down with thousands and thousands of bi-laws, and doesn’t have near the government intervention that is in Canada and increasingly the US. China is not even close to the police state the US, Canada & England have become. You simply don’t see cops everywhere in China. But in China you’re not allowed to use Facebook or try and overthrow the government. That’s just so oppressive, isn’t it? You talk like Chinese culture and civilization started in 1949, and Chinese have no prior memory of the 5000 years of identity before that. Yes, Taoism, Confucianism, the entire Chinese conscious has been a tabula rasa in the past 60 years. Chinese have no idea who they are now anymore because of this CPC. That, lady, is ludicrious propaganda. Shame on you.
    With that being said, our family has experienced the inside of the Chinese legal system with one family member, and while Habeus Corpus is something China should open up to, Habeus Corpus has pretty much been eroded in the US with the Patriot Act and renewal of it under Obama. Give me a break, you live in the US. Congratulations. Keep up the China bashing, your ancestors would be proud.
    “America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth — that can bite and hurt you, aggressive.” – Johnny Depp
    “They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to belive it.” – George Carlin

  25. Clara says:

    Well said ! I hate when people call a country dumb, or stupid, for they are judging an entire country by only a few people they met/a few things they heard. In my opinion, which is maybe not as developed as others’, the original aspect, the culture of China is one of the best. The traditions and values concerning family and respect are in the right place, while that aspect is sometimes forgotten in North America, where I am from. However, the politics in China, sorry to say, but they gross me out. I may be a dumb North American saying this, but if the Chinese are so “smart”, why don’t they try to get up and stand up for what the fundamental rights of a person are – liberty, self-respect and the right to search for answers on their own. On that point, the Americans win it all: They have one of the best, if not the best, political system which was built by, as Chinese people would say, “dumb Americans”. I’m sorry, I honestly do not know if my argument makes sense, but overall, the Chinese -or any other population- should not judge any other country from what they heard. Especially if they come from a country like China or North Korea, where information is so slim that it’s practically impossible to have a decent research. 🙂

    • eduardo says:

      Clara, come on:
      you hate it ‘when people…’ and then you do it yourself ? How is that possible ?
      Chinese people value different fundamental rights – that is not difficult to understand.
      You think that your political system is the best – ask the slaves and their descendents, do they agree ?

      • jixiang says:

        Oh really? So what are these fundamental rights the Chinese value? Could you list them out for me?

  26. smarterthaniletchineseknow says:

    i am in a business that is going to start denying service to chinese.if the do get service it will be of a lesser quality and come with financial constraints.the chinese untrustworthiness is going to destroy any hope of any positive relationships with americans.of course we are now going to tell all americans about how untrustworty they are.they will get denials of service and increased surveilance from the f.b.i,c.i.a.,etc.its logical if we can’t trust them than niether can our government.they are going to make their lives a living hell here.not so stupid!!

  27. Pingfa says:

    Because those ‘dumb’ people haven’t been given reason to doubt yet. Just as children believe everything they are told until proven otherwise, because why would they lie? Why would they want to do that to them? It would be stupid to do so. It would create imbalance, cause dissention. There’s no logical reason for compulsive liars.

    So, unfortunately, the reality is that most Chinese are conditioned this way because of the corrupt system and their compulsive lying and extortion.
    They are caught up in their own silly drama like the rest of the world.

  28. People everywhere, every country, every culture, every religion think they’re smart, that they’re doing it right, that because they perceive their world to be getting better that they are directly responsible for it or that it’s getting worse because of someone else, anyone else. Usually it’s just luck, good and bad. It doesn’t really matter though, because we’re all pretty dumb, we’re a species basically in it’s early teenage years, and you know how dumb teenagers can be. 8,000 years of recorded history is all we have of 100,000 years of human existence on a planet that’s millions of years old in a universe that’s billions of years old.

    Does anyone really think anybody’s figured it ALL out yet? And who really cares, we’ll all be dead and completely forgotten in a couple generations anyway. Just try not to let the small stuff get to you, and when the universe wants to let us know something, it will get ahold of us…

  29. Anonymous says:

    The Chinese worst enemy is the Chinese – 5000 years of fucking each other over

  30. […] one of their own. Or, they’d much rather ignore their existence, unless the overseas Chinese make themselves heard. What angers me, is this sense of nationalism that fills those in China. Somehow, those in China […]

  31. Anonymous says:

    shut up! AMERICANS rule cause we americans has FREEDOM and you dont so you guys just SUCK SUCK YOUR OWN CRAP BITCHS!!!

  32. Wow these commenters says:

    lollerskates. There is some hilarious stuff here.

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