Professor Jacques repeats his call for Western strategist and politicians for a change in prism in understanding the Chinese mind with another timely US/China grand narrative comparison on the BBC. Ultimately I think he asks, where and how do we want to see the Chinese pendulum swing under pressure?
Just as with the US, China will naturally tend to see the world in its own image. An unusual feature of China, in this respect, is that its history is so atypical: a huge population who overwhelmingly consider themselves to share the same identity. This helps to explain why the Chinese have tended to think of Africa as one, just like China, rather than a complex mosaic of different ethnicities and cultures. Martin Jacques, 2012
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A Point Of View: How China sees a multicultural world
by Martin Jacques
Source – BBC, published October 26, 2012
The vast majority of the Chinese population regard themselves as belonging to the same race, a stark contrast to the multiracial composition of other populous countries. What effect does this have on how China views the world, ask Martin Jacques.
I was on a taxi journey in Shanghai with a very intelligent young Chinese student, who was helping me with interviews and interpreting. She was shortly to study for her doctorate at a top American university. She casually mentioned that some Chinese students who went to the US ended up marrying Americans.
I told her that I had recently seen such a mixed couple in Hong Kong, a Chinese woman with a black American. This was clearly not what she had in mind. Her reaction was a look of revulsion. I was shocked. Why did she react that way to someone black, but not someone white? This was over a decade ago, but I doubt much has changed. What does her response tell us – if anything – about Chinese attitudes towards ethnicity? Read the rest of this entry »