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On Saturday Yaxue shared the story of “Subverter” Chen Pingfu. Essentially, he was deeply in debt after paying for a surgery, and turned to performing in public to try and pay off the money he owed his family members. For this he was threatened and eventually beaten by “public servants,” but he continued on. When he complained about this treatment online, he was further harassed by police, and was forced out of the only job he’d been able to find in years. Chen was a man desperately clinging to the last shred of dignity he had and local officials were determined to take that away from him. Apparently in China, when the gov’t takes away your job and threaten you by saying, “I’ll send you […]


Picking up from where Hannah left off yesterday, I want to look at a couple ideas from Ai Weiwei’s essays that jumped out at me. Chinese Contemporary in Dilemma and Transition Ai’s essays provide a great reminder of why Ai was so popular in China before the West took an interest in him – he isn’t speaking to a western audience and he is directly challenging Chinese culture. In fact much of his essay on Chinese art is in direct opposition to how the gov’t tried to paint him after his arrest; Ai is in no way infatuated with Western ideology, as he wants to see a strong and prosperous Chinese art scene, and by extension China. That Chinese artists should resist western influence, and […]


When it comes to describing China’s challenges, foreigners (myself included) tend to attack the gov’t side of the issue. While the current system does seem to reinforce a number of practices that limit people power and encourage corruption, it ignores the cultural factors that are in play. I believe the reason for this is that us “old outsiders” worry about being decried as racist. To some extent these two factors reinforce one another. For instance, the leaders in China have never actually been required to heed the will of the people, and so there is a limited culture of challenging their rule; 0r that the rich have always been privileged in Chinese society over the commoners. Fortunately, people like Xu Zhiyong and Murong Xuecun are attacking both […]


Yesterday we posted Xu Zhiyong’s essay calling for a New Citizens’ Movement. Today I want to highlight a few of the aspects that make this piece especially interesting to me, and why I believe this essay lays out a realistic path for change. Reform not Revolution What has been made clear time and again in Global Times and Peoples Daily is that the Chinese people have little appetite for revolution, they aren’t wrong about this. After all, they got their fill of the chaos that revolution brings during Mao’s reign. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, and a successful movement is going to have to reassure the people that what they are doing is not going to turn China into Libya, Egypt or Syria. […]


By Xu Zhiyong, published: July 11, 2012 On May 29th, 2012, Dr. Xu Zhiyong published an article titled “New Citizens Movement,” it was quickly censored by the Chinese authorities, but here we present it in English for the first time with the permission of Xu Zhiyong. This essay and Xu’s activism are truly deserving of further coverage overseas as it offers a comprehensive path for reform in China. – Editor     China needs a new citizens’ movement. This movement is a political movement in which this ancient nation bids utter farewell to authoritarianism and completes the civilized transformation to constitutional governance; it is a social movement to completely destroy the privileges of corruption, the abuse of power, the gap between rich and poor, and to […]


Last week I carefully broached the subject of Tian’anmen Square with one of my co-workers. Together we looked through a series of pictures from that day from The Atlantic (excellent), which sparked a very interesting, and yet minimally productive conversation. It was her first time seeing evidence of civilian casualties, and I explained that no one was certain how many students and workers had died in the Square, but most foreign sources say hundreds. With the ongoing violence in Syria (which she is following), this wasn’t an easy idea to accept. So I told her that I had never really heard about June 4th from a Chinese view, and asked her to tell me what it had been like. She said here in Nanjing and in Beijing […]


…Continued from part 1 An earth-shattering event 3.1 The imperialist powers invasion shattered China’s dream of learning from the West. The October Revolution in Russia sent Marxism to China and cause progressive Chinese to turn their attention from the West to the East, and from bourgeois democracy to socialism. The May 4th Movement furthered the spread of Marxism, and the working class appeared on the stage of history as an independent political force. The integration of Marxism with the workers movement gave  birth to the CPC. The founding of the CPC was an earth-shattering even that brought new vitality to the Chinese revolution. Searching for a new path for the Chinese revolution 3.2 After its founding, the CPC relied on and mobilized workers and peasants, […]


The following is copied word for word from the exhibit “The Road to Rejuvenation” at The Chinese National Museum in Beijing (and as far as I know has not been published online prior to this). The exhibit focuses on China’s history from 1840 to the present. The Chinese National Museum reopened in March 2011, offering the most official and most recent account of China’s history as told by the Communist Party (for more on the museum I recommend this excellent NYT piece about the difficulties the Party had in agreeing on how the past should be portrayed). This is the story taught to hundreds of millions of Chinese students; it shapes every discussion of China’s future. I hope this series of posts will help foster discussions of […]


We’re often presented with images of Beijing and Shanghai’s glittering skylines and are inundated with stories of economic success. We know that China has succeeded in bringing hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and that life in the countryside has never been better. But what does life actually look like in rural China for the nearly 700 million people that call it home? What kind of life does roughly $2.50 per day buy (this is the average rural income)? Today I’ll be sharing some of the best photos from People’s Daily as well as from my own travels. These images would be familiar to most Chinese people. In the countryside your school looks like this (more) Your parents are most likely farmers (more) Or work […]


China’s foreign policy of non-involvement seems to stem from the Confucian teaching to “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” For the Party, this means avoiding situations like what is currently happening in Syria, which if the UN had its way would see the ouster of a gov’t for slaughtering its own people (similar stances were taken by China in respect to Sudan and Libya too). China’s foreign policy recognizes the possible problems of setting a precedence of using military force against chronic human rights abusers. The key to this policy is keeping public opinion in line with the gov’t response and to accomplish that, China needs nationalism. This also explains the Party’s framing of China as a still imperiled nation. They push […]


Last week we looked at why the Two Meetings matter, today we’re looking at what this year’s recurring themes were. Equality Since opening up in the 80’s, gov’t resources have been increasingly targeted at creating advanced cities, abandoning the more equitable development that had been encouraged under Mao. Rural China now finds itself with few medical personnel and crumbling schools while their land is sold out from under them by greedy officials. Meanwhile Chinese cities have benefited immensely from the policies, which has created a wealthy class that in some cases spends more on a single meal than many farmers make in a year. This new wealth has helped spark a real-estate boom that has led to the quadrupling of real-estate prices in some cities, moving housing out of […]


The idea that democracy doesn’t fit China’s national condition seems to be a weekly feature in the Global Times (like today’s article). The arguments provided in these pieces not only show a disgusting contempt for the common Chinese person (we’ll call them “laobaixing (老百姓) from here on), but also expose the deeper flaws in the current electoral-system which is a faux-democracy at best. At present, China’s political system allows for choosing representatives at the local government level, these candidates though are handpicked by the Party. In the last round of elections there were several independent candidates, but many of these were harassed by the police and marginalized in the election. These elected officials are partially responsible for selecting the higher levels of gov’t although they too face […]


I recently finished a book called “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” that focuses on intrinsic motivation, how it can be bolstered or buffeted by workplace policies, and how it effects our overall happiness (I enjoyed the book, even if it was a little short). Like most things these days, there were several parts that reminded me of China (we’ll be looking at a second aspect in a later post). If-Then rewards cause a search for loopholes China’s government since reform and opening up has functioned more as a corporation than as a country. Within each level of government there is fierce competition for promotions that come with clear perks and benefits (and some that aren’t made quite so public). As Daniel Pink […]


“I don’t like Chinese people. When I visited Guangzhou a few years ago everyone was cutting in line. They would use their elbows just to push past you. They didn’t even care if you had been standing there a long time, they always had to go first. In Malaysia people always line up, even when they are in a hurry. China has too many people and none of them have any manners. Like when you go into the bathroom and nobody has even bothered to shut the door. You see everything and I just can’t stand it. I don’t want to see your penis and I definitely don’t want to watch you poop; it’s disgusting. Furthermore, China doesn’t even have any traditional culture. Everything has […]


The following is a guest post from my friend Hannah on the latest story buzzing around the Chinese internet. Twenty-four-year-old Liu Lili recently appeared on a Chinese job-hunting TV show. She was halfway through saying, “I was in New Zealand for three years. After those three years, I came back home, and realized, ‘Wow, China’s been through a lot of changes!’ Now if it had been New Zealand—”, when the host, Zhang Shaogang,  scolded her for using the word “China” rather than “my country” (我国) or “my ancestral homeland” (祖国). He said that using the word “China” did not convey the warm-hearted feeling that two Chinese people should share when talking about the motherland. Liu Lili probably did not realize what she was going up […]


Yesterday we began to explore the biggest challenge facing China, trust, and how mistrust is a pervasive feeling even at a personal level. Today we are going to slightly broaden our view and look at mistrust between customers and companies. Between customers and companies While the importance of trust may seem obvious, the results of mistrust are often irrational. For example; a Chinese person is walking down the street and spots 50RMB lying on the ground. Given the lack of trust between individuals, do they A) pocket the money immediately B) look for the person who may have dropped it or C) leave the money on the ground? According to my college students in Guangxi (about 120 of them) the answer is C. In each […]


Yesterday’s review of “Reconsidering the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries,” is important reading not only to better understand the terror and hysteria of the Mao years, but to understand the way in which the past effects the psyche of Chinese people today. Three bits from the article have been cycling through my mind since yesterday: that in some areas nearly 80% of the people accused were later exonerated, 30% of those whose death sentences were not absolutely necessary were executed anyway, and that even in my former home of Longzhou, which is tiny by Chinese standards, at least 40  people were executed. These three pieces show that the campaign was largely used as a source of revenge against otherwise innocent people, and that this campaign reached […]


A few months ago Yaxue wrote a great post looking at how many Chinese view Americans as too trusting and naive; in their words we were “Dumb Americans.” Today I want to look a little at Ugly Americans, and how easy it can be to reinforce stereotypes. The main thing I want you to keep in mind is that of China’s 1.4 billion people, only .05% are foreigners. Of this .05% a large percentage are Japanese and Korean. That means in many parts of China when a non-Asian is eating in a new restaurant, stopping by a store for the first time, or just taking a new route to work, they are likely to interact with someone who has never before dealt with a person […]


A few weeks ago SeeingRedinChina.com was not accessible within China. My initial urge was to figure out which post had led to being blocked, and decide what that would mean for the future of the blog. Was it our coverage of Chen Guangcheng’s case? Or was it my rant against the Global Time’s incredible lack of integrity which unintentionally went online the same day that Global Time’s called us one of the best English language blogs focused on China. A few days later though, the site was accessible and we hadn’t changed a thing. The Great Firewall of China had shifted once again. In my year of blogging I’ve seen a number of websites get blocked and often people try to find a single reason. Instead of […]


My co-worker and I took guests through the Nanjing Massacre Memorial yesterday, which we do several times each year. It is a place where the past serves a distinct political purpose for the present. Groups of Chinese tourists are shepherded through by guides who make sure they don’t miss a single grisly detail, murals depicting slaughter on an inhuman scale stretch over open graves filled with ten-thousand bodies, and signs remind visitors that this is an important place for political education. The memorial is essentially a monument to the Party’s narrative of history. Even though I have visited the site several times, I still find something new each time in the massive complex. This, however, was the first time that I had accompanied one of my co-workers […]


In China, white people get an inexplicably large amount of respect simply by being white (I didn’t use “foreigners” here because people with darker skin are typically excluded from these “perks” regardless of their country of origin). You get preferential treatment when it comes time to find a job (often making several times what your Chinese counterpart makes)and even in Chengdu, a city with a decent number of foreigners, Casey and I were offered positions as “marketing managers” for a wine company while we shopped at a supermarket. A few months ago, I was offered a spot in an advertisement for a nearby restaurant. For reading a few lines in Chinese I would have received 2,000RMB (close to what a factory worker earns in a month), and a scrumptious banquet […]


Yesterday we explored how currency manipulation works, today we’ll be looking at tariffs briefly before examining why the currency bill isn’t going to change China. Tariffs: When we talk about imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, it sounds like a great way to promote the American economy. Lawmakers argue that these tariffs will force China to revalue its currency, help create jobs in the US, and hopefully force China to open its markets to American products (although this chart from The Economist suggests otherwise). It sounds like a miracle solution to America’s economic problems. But what if we called it a 10-20% tax on everything imported from China? As Tim Harford explains in his book “The Undercover Economist” (a fun introduction to economics that goes a […]


Yesterday we looked at how China can be rife with small crime, while still seeming safe to foreigners. Today we’ll be exploring a few of the ideas Chinese citizens hold about other countries, and why these views might be promoted by the state. I’ve honestly lost track of how many times I’ve been told that everyone in America has a gun, and that I come from a very dangerous country. While the US does have the highest gun ownership in the world, that doesn’t actually effect my daily life in the way my students might think. My wife actually takes a little joy in responding to this with her students, her grandfather sells antique guns and in the past had a room full of them. […]


The other day I was visiting my favorite jianbing salesman (煎饼 a delicious crepe type breakfast food), and he asked me if America was safe. I told him that regarding food and transportation, America is pretty safe, but we still have too much violent crime. I figured this was a fairly safe answer, China has been plagued by food safety problems and fatal accidents in the double digits are fairly common. It would have also played into the stereotypical idea that America is dangerous because we all have guns, which would make it easy to believe (more on that tomorrow). Instead the chef just shook his head and said, “China isn’t safe”. His two female co-workers agreed. “Too many thieves,” one said. Even in the […]


On my way to the supermarket I pass a man fixing bicycles, a place that can repair virtually any article of clothing and at least three shops that can solve any problem on almost any cell phone. This culture of fixing things instead of throwing them away is something I deeply admire. In Longzhou I had a flat tire, so I went to the repairman who worked behind a newspaper stand just off campus. His body was a rich brown, and he hardly had any hair left on his head, just a few wisps combed over. He only spoke the local dialect, and I could only speak Mandarin, but he knew what I wanted when he saw the sorry shape of my bicycle. He pulled […]


Today I wanted to bring you something unique. This is from a diary written by a missionary who arrived in Nanjing at the end of Imperial China, and was integral in spreading western medicine in Eastern China.  I hope you’ll enjoy this moment from the past and reflect on how much China has and hasn’t changed. August 1st, 1891 – One amusing experience was a call to the Fanti’s Yamen to treat a man who had cut his arm and fainted from loss of blood. The Fanti is the treasurer and is a high official. The present one being a relative of the Emperor. A yamen is a palace which in Chinese style is composed of many rooms only one story high, separated by courts […]


…continued from yesterday “My problem is that the gov’t covers up this information, if the Chinese people knew what was happening they would be outraged,” I said, naively assuming that I understood Chinese people’s complex relationship to the world beyond their borders. With that the younger co-worker began searching for news of Darfur on the Chinese web. Between Western thought and Chinese policy there remains a giant chasm. The U.S. and Europe have reached a consensus that supporting oppressive regimes leads to terribly corrupt countries that are unable to pull themselves out of poverty (Zimbabwe for example).  While China argues that these dictators provide the necessary stability that allows for businesses to open and grow the economy, China itself is the proof of this argument, even though the […]


I sat down to lunch a few days ago with my co-workers and the hospital president. For some reason, when I had been watching “The Founding of the Party” (a recent propaganda film), a single line had jumped out at me that needed further exploration. The line was “Brother Mao, you are so tall.” So I started asking co-workers how tall Mao had been, their answer shocked me. Not only did everyone seem to have an answer, but they claimed he was over 1.8m tall (5’10″+). When I had seen Mao’s body though the thing that had struck me most was how small he seemed compared to his almost mythic stature (even accounting for the fact that he has been dead for ~40 years). I […]


…continued Chinese men also come with involved mothers.  Their mothers are full of opinions and criticisms.  The Chinese fathers I have known, on the other hand, are not involved and extremely difficult to have a relationship with.  The best way to deal with the introduction of a new mother-figure into your life is to demonstrate to her that you are an adult who is open to and cares about her opinions, but is not obligated to follow them (I learned this the hard way from my step-mother).  You don’t yet have water under the bridge with this woman, so there’s no need to get worked up when she does not agree with you.  I am very pleased with my husband’s mother because she genuinely likes […]


This post was written by my good friend Heather, about her new life with her husband Huichun. I had the honor of being the best man in their wedding and wish them both all the best as they work through the immigration process. None of my friends or classmates of other racial backgrounds have EVER asked me to elucidate my experience as a “white woman.”  So now that I have been called upon to give a kernel of insight into White American woman–Han Chinese man marriages, I can understand a little better the plight of the lone Black American in some of my high school and college classes who would frequently be expected to give the “Black” outlook on the topic.  How can one person […]


…continued Dating a Chinese man, or perhaps anyone outside your own culture, isn’t the easiest thing to do. There are different ideas, beliefs and customs. Even though we both don’t belong to any religion, my boyfriend is as superstitious as any other Chinese person. He was terrified when he found out that I had taken photographs from a grave yard. He also thinks it is bad for your health to go to sleep with wet hair and bought me a hair dryer. Being in a relationship and living with a Chinese guy is a process of learning. My boyfriend doesn’t speak any English and our common language is Mandarin Chinese. After learning the language for year and a half in Finland and one year in […]


Sara Jaaksola lives in Guangdong province where she write Living a Dream in China about her adventures. What is it like to date a Chinese guy? Or in more detail, what is it like for a Finnish girl living in China to love a Chinese boy from Guangdong province? I would say that it’s an adventure that I’m happy to be in. I haven’t found anything in common between Finland and China, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything similar between me and my boyfriend. Let’s start from the beginning which happened over a year ago by the Pearl River in Guangzhou. My boyfriend never thought of having a foreign girlfriend. Like many Chinese guys, he thought that laowai women are out of his league. […]


We’ve talked before about the Chinese concept of family, and how it looks at times to foreigners. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about fighting in Chinese families, which has broad implications throughout China’s hierarchical structures (family, work, government…). For example this weekend I was traveling with my Chinese friend and his family. His parents insisted on taking a “short-cut” on the way home that would potentially save thirty minutes on an hour and a half trip. The only problem was that nobody knew exactly how to take the short-cut. My friend thought it would be much easier to take the route he already knew, but his parents insisted we use his GPS to find this way. After countless u-turns and losing everyone […]


Last week we looked at many of the misunderstandings about Christianity in China (1, 2,3, 4), so today I thought we would wrap up by looking at mission in China just before the fall of the last emperor. The era we will be looking at though is not the start of Christianity in China, which first arrived around the 8th century. The following dynasties seemed to fluctuate between banning the practices, embracing them, or just flat out ignoring them. Matteo Ricci was the most successful of the early missionaries to China. In 1601 he was the first westerner to ever enter the Forbidden City, but it was the scientific knowledge he possessed that most interested the court. His efforts to understand Chinese culture, and adapt […]


A lot of words come to mind when thinking about business in China: “Booming”, “Exports”,  “Walmart”, “Cheap Labor”, “Outsourcing” – You’ll notice “Efficient” isn’t one of them, and this doesn’t just apply to manufacturing. Over these next few days we’ll be looking at the Chinese workplace, and a few interesting jobs, that seem to be unique to China. When I first arrived in China I noticed that even the smallest shops were staffed with dozens of employees. My Chinese friends explained that this was because Chinese businesses wanted their customers to have excellent service. I was skeptical as to whether or not this was true after my first trip to a Beijing Starbucks. There were at least 6 employees standing behind the counter and it […]


While I was in Huaxi another interesting topic came up which doesn’t have so much to do with this strange village, but reflects more broadly on China. As we were walking through their hall of glorious history we noticed there were pictures of leaders from several foreign delegations on the wall. Two in particular seemed to be emphasized and we looked closer. “It’s the king of Cambodia,” my co-worker’s husband said with a big grin, “He very much liked to visit Huaxi.” I recognized the man in the second photo too, a small part of me was hoping we would just move on. “And this,” her husband continued, “Is Po-er Pa-te.” “Pol Pot?” I asked trying to make sure that this was something he really […]


This is part of a series, it starts here with my trip to Huaxi village The whole experience raised more questions about Huaxi’s socialist success than it answered. Most of the Chinese people I have talked with know about the village, are quick to repeat that it is the richest village in China, but I’m still stuck on how exactly it became so rich. I have a few different theories, which as usual, I’m happy to share with you. The Government has paid for the whole thing. Or at least that was my initial reaction. After all, how could it possibly be that simply through hard work and “advanced” agricultural techniques that a village could possibly get rich enough to build all of these villas? […]


This week we’ve taken a brief look at China’s ability to project economic, political, and military power, and whether or not China is approaching super power status. Today we look at China’s cultural power. Culture a.k.a. Soft Power Chinese language is becoming widely popular in schools throughout the world. People are eager to learn the world’s most spoken language, and this has given China a great opportunity to use it’s GDP (and people’s desire to get into the Chinese market) to build China’s soft power. The Confucius Institute has been by far China’s most successful attempt at exporting it’s culture. However, many expats have already discovered that Chinese isn’t actually a necessity for living in China. I know dozens of foreigners that have never progressed […]


Seven’s post yesterday touched on many of the aspects of getting married in modern China. Today I’d like to look at a few of those issues closer to wrap up this five-part series (just check the archive). Seven called them “expired” but the more popular term in Chinese is “Left-over.” The following video features “Left-over women”(shengnu), the term describes women who are seen as being unmarriageable. One factor being that they are older than 25 (Chinese women are pretty much expected to marry as soon as they finish college), and that they make a lot of money or are highly educated (Chinese men find this kind of woman intimidating). Before you feel too bad for these women in the video, or start wondering why they […]


I think a lot of us picture China as a place where the people are completely ignorant of the outside world due to heavy censorship (yesterday’s post on the topic). Coming to China often does little to change this perception, as people will smile politely and tell you that everything has always been fine in Tibet, or that Tiananmen Square’s only remarkable feature is that it is the largest public square in the world. That is why I take so much pleasure in learning about the subversive corners of the Chinese internet, where the feelings people hide in public come pouring out for the world to read. Some simply ignore the danger of upsetting the government. Little is known about the exact methodology used to […]


Over the past few days we’ve been looking at changes in the practices of Chinese families (here and here), today we are going to be looking a little closer at how Chinese define the importance of family and why that looks so different from our own definition. The Chinese view is that “Family” is absolutely the most important part of their lives, and the responsibilities to their family trump their individual interests. These sacrifices to improve their family’s standing are seen as acts of filiality, and are the Chinese standard of a “good” child. This idea of family leads to some interesting living arrangements. In the countryside parents often will leave their children behind to work factory jobs in the cities. Nearly 1/3 of China’s […]


Today’s post is a crash course in economics (for people who don’t like economics). The truth is that we get a lot of numbers thrown around in the media about China, but I don’t think they are as meaningful as CNN or Fox news want you to think. Let’s get one thing clear straight out of the gate, China is obsessed with GDP. You can’t go more than a few days without seeing it as some headline on People’s Daily, and I was on the look out for parades or fireworks the day China passed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy. Virtually any govt. promotion relies on improving GDP and little else. So what exactly is GDP? I know it’s a figure we […]


Yesterday, we looked at some of the banking problems in China. Today we are going to start to see a trend; institutions in China are poorly connected at best. This affects hospitals abilities to effectively treat diseases, and provide responsible treatments. Before we start it is important to understand that China does not have family doctors, almost all of the treatment is provided in a hospital or a small clinic. Hospitals I’ve learned a lot working in a large Chinese hospital. There is no question that China’s medical facilities have improved hugely over the past thirty years. Many of the hospitals have modern equipment and well-trained doctors. The stumbling blocks we’ll be looking at today are caused by the system, and not by individuals (this […]


This week’s story has me scratching my head. Apparently a lot is going to change between now and 2030, when supposedly 2/3 of China is going to be overweight. Now I’m not saying that Chinese people aren’t getting bigger, they are. When I arrived in 2007 people were complaining that McDonald’s and KFC were making the children fatter, but that’s only part of the story. Really, it’s the parents’ new found wealth that has changed the diet from mostly rice and vegetables with a few slivers of meat to something that more closely resembles American portions. There is even a noticeable difference in size between people from the countryside and those from the city (both in height and weight), which further shows that it is […]


I’m not exactly sure how these things happen, but the other day my blog post got put up on a Chinese website (the section was later deleted). The title of the article had been translated pretty well. The name got translated to “China Sees Red,” which isn’t quite what I take it to mean, but its close. The post there led to some interesting discussion and a few naïve comments (it is still the internet, no matter the country). The big question though was; who is this American to judge China? It’s a fair question, so let me introduce myself. I had wanted to work in China since I was 16 and spent the 5 following years studying Chinese Language and history. I was enchanted, […]


Chinese has a few common phrases that are used to mean “foreigner” one is laowai (老外) meaning literally old-outsider, and the other is waiguoren (外国人) meaning outside-country-person. These phrases are both considered neutral. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, just a fact, and Chinese people enjoy stating the obvious (on a rainy day you will hear people under umbrellas telling other people under umbrellas that it is raining). Waiguoren is attached to all foreigners: North and South Americans, Europeans, Australians, Africans, all are lumped together into a single homogeneous “other”. This is not to say that there is no racism, or stereotypes attached to people from separate countries, but as we walk past people on the street, “waiguoren” is what they shout […]


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