Hou rui

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What is your first impression about China?

I'm a student from China, and I want to do a research on your opinions about my country. You can say everything you want, because your response will help us know ourselves better, and also, do a great help in my essay. Thanks a lot!

  • Dec 18 2013: I first visited China in the 60's and later returned in 1984. Both trips, did not like the cities or the government but loved the people -
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      Dec 18 2013: Thank you for your comment. At that time, China was much more socialistic. :) People regarded serving for others for free as a duty. Thus people were less sophisticated and much more selfless than people are today. The economy wasn't strong but now it's totally different. The cities are much more beautiful and modern. If you have chances , please come to China again in spring or autumn, I bet you'll get a different feeling.:) Welcome!
  • Dec 15 2013: Your ancient philosophers are still the very best in the world IMHO. Time has no effect on truth and wisdom.
    Lately your government has unwisely chose the America way as there goal not realizing that the American way is on it's way out! It is a mirage, it looks good but it is not real or sustainable. It is based on the principle "I am NOT responsible" and unless we can change that we are but a house of cards doomed to failure.
    If China or America is to succeed it will have to change that principle to "I am responsible", not an easy task but the only sustainable one.
    My daughter moved to China and taught English there for several years and loves the Chinese people, of course she loves all people.
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      Hou rui

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      Dec 16 2013: Thanks for your reply, I guess you are talking about the sustainable development. You are standing at a high place --the globe, to see all the problems, and I do agree with you. But the truth is, no country cares for another sincerely, except for the benefits, do you agree? that's why "I am not responsible" is still exist, that's why US is still not the member of UNFCC。

      Why our government choose the America way? In my opinion, since 1990, China has learned from the West all-round, not only our textbooks, but also values, you can see it from our second language-English, we are now learning the free market which only cares the benefit(cash).
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    Dec 22 2013: I haven't been to China, but I'm interested in visiting someday. When I think of China, it's usually in the context of history. I think of past dynasties, the invention of gun powder, Confucius, Sun Tsu, etc. While there are certainly human rights abuses, it still strikes me as a relatively free place in comparison to some other countries.

    Having never been there, I see China as a civilization that's stood for thousands of years, with a rich culture that's kept itself free from foreign influence for most of history. I see Chinese history as being pretty rough post-Qing dynasty, but today the people of China have more freedoms than they had in the past. As a Westerner though, I see China having a long way to go before its people can enjoy true freedom of speech, press, etc. I don't necessarily think China needs to become a democracy, and I'm interested to see how the system in China develops this century.

    I'm curious to know how people in China view 19th century historic events like the Opium Wars and the "Boxer rebellion". How are they taught in school? How are foreigners typically viewed today? Thanks for posting this thread.
  • Dec 21 2013: A factory. That everybody now needs and uses in more ways than one, as it allows themselves all too easily distance themselves from the responsibility of acting responsibly.

    A people that have been gearing themselves up in education, even if it meant going overseas to get that education, but are now utilizing it for their own countries benefit.

    A country that learned how to play the game, of hiding what it does not want the world too see.

    A country that financially has got itself so intertwined with western capital markets and investments and exchanges, that it has secured itself an autonomy in not having to resolve issues, less that capital is used as political leverage.

    A country that is and has become more disparate in terms of wealth and starvation.

    A country that has the ability to be so much more, for all of it's people, for all of the world.
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    Dec 17 2013: I'd like to ask all the foreigners who visited China another quesiton. :)
    What was your first impression about China when you came to China( I'd like to hear about Shanghai most if possible)?
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    Dec 17 2013: - Interesting country because although it still sees itself as a socialist country it's becoming increasingly capitalistic.
    - Huge potential that's still far from being realized
    - Chinese people seem to be much more motivated to achieve something in life than people from other socialist societies.
    - Human rights and freedom are still issues, however, those seem to be more of an issue to westerners who are used to it than to Chinese for witch it's just part of regular life.
    - IP piracy
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      Dec 17 2013: I'd say it Economy-Capitalistic but Society-Socialism.

      Have you ever been to China? Because what you have said really meets the situation here. Some of the foreigners like to discuss the human rights, but they don't know that most of us don't care.

      Anyway, thank you very much.
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        Dec 17 2013: No, I never went to China. Still on my "to do" list ;-)
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    Dec 16 2013: that 5000 years of development can easily be destroyed by a few decades of socialism.
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      Dec 17 2013: What IS your political viewpoint Krisztián!?

      I've never been fully able to understand that...
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      Dec 17 2013: Can you elaborate your point of view?:)
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      Dec 17 2013: OK, a strong word "destroy" which stands for your view.

      Actually, I, as a citizen, don't like politics very much, and this works in many of people like me. No matter capitalism or socialism, we, as human being, cares more about our living standard.

      Anyway, thank you!
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    Dec 16 2013: Well, I'm still somewhat surprised to see Chinese people on the web at all... Because much of what I read is on "The Great Firewall of China (AKA The Golden Shield Project)".

    So, either you tunneled your way out using TOR or you're being watched and censored as you're doing this...

    Further I think that you have some of the biggest problems in the world with human rights and pollution.
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      Dec 16 2013: I haven't use TOR, but I do agree that our conversation might be watched, meanwhile, I can not have the live video from the outside, but that's not the problem, I can still get the information.

      Human rights? Yes, but can you give me more details about this? Compared with the democratic Libya, I like China better. And to be honest, lots of people in my country love the present live. Thanks for more your opinions.

      As the pollution, 100years ago, US had the same thing, I don't know how to solve the relation between development and environment? we need your help.
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        Dec 16 2013: I think that any information that is kept from you might be a problem, can you get the transcripts from TED Talks? If you can, read the Talk from TED curator Chris Anderson "How web video powers global innovation" to understand why I think it's a problem...

        You know, I've heard so many stories about China that I'm actually afraid to share information with you since I fear that you will get in trouble somehow... But since you're asking I must expect that you can handle it.

        Are you able to read Wikipedia articles? If so here's a huge one on human rights in China, outlining most of the problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_China

        If that source isn't good for you we have Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/china

        Or the Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/china

        There are more sources I can share if you can't access them.

        Some of your major human rights problems are;

        Legal system
        Freedom of speech
        Freedom of the press
        Freedom of the Internet
        Freedom of movement
        Treatment of rural workers
        Freedom of association
        Political freedom
        One-child policy
        Political abuse of psychiatry
        Ethnic minorities
        HIV/AIDS and rights on sexuality

        Now I understand that your government justifies all of those and that they tell you that the west is worse, very little of what you've been taught is true. And that is also the reason why you can't talk to or visit us freely. Over here we get a lot of documentaries on the conditions in China, which is one reason why you can't watch video I think. Also video is hard to monitor and you might get information that is "poisonous" or whatever they call it.

        And yes, the western world also had huge pollution problems once (and continue to have those). I think that there are much better ways that aren't polluting to build development.

        And I'm not from the US, I'm from the socialist country Sweden. :)
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        Dec 16 2013: But you also seem to have a lot of good, but that is not my first impression...
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          Dec 17 2013: Thank you very much, and I have red most of articles from your links, thank you.

          This is not a debate, but I truly want to say, Welcome to China, and eat with us, drink with us, sleep with us, only trough this experience can you understand our culture. You may not believe,however, what you have mentioned above, especially the "rights-thing", to most of the Chinese who have no education background,, they don't care. Trust me, they even don't care about who is going to be the president. Some of the policies might be wrong, but most Chinese will do them without too much complaints, because we trust our leaders. I don't know why, I won't myself, but they will.

          Maybe we will care about the rights when no one in my country will experience the feelings of starvation.
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        Dec 17 2013: Pardon me jumping in here. Just to comment on the politics thing.

        I think the tolerance in Chinese have been a great help when in difficult times and the flip side of it is that you may also get tolerant with "evil"as well and it in return reinforces the cycle.

        To konw where we are coming from, I think the Confucius teaching promotes authority hierarchies,social orders and obedience to authorities.That has become a part of the culture and people accepts it at a subconscious level which drives people's political behaviors or attitudes.

        There is no legal protection that guarantees personal safety like the author Lin yu tang writes in his book a several decades ago the last thing a Chiness mother would say to his son leaving home is "Don't meddle with the politics."while the American mother will probably say:"Always keep your chin up."

        Honestly I think China would have been better off if the GV have more faith in people,individual people .America has once come to the point of deciding whether to put faith in people or in GV as well and thanks to Thomas Jefferson he has supported the former one.
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      Dec 16 2013: Jimmy, have you seen this TED talk on the great firewall? http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_anti_behind_the_great_firewall_of_china.html It seems like China has its own versions of YouTube, Facebook, and so on.

      But I was talking to some people under another TED talk, by Eric X. Li, and they said that anyone can get access to YouTube and Facebook in China, they just have to buy a device which is perfectly legal to buy. Not sure if everyone in China knows about it, however. I'll have the link for you in a moment........it's http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_x_li_a_tale_of_two_political_systems.html?c=788560
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        Dec 16 2013: Yep, seen it. I've actually watched every TED Talk there is. But thanks for sharing.

        I think that the device may be legal but that it isn't to use it to access outside sources. Most Chinese people avoiding detection usually use TOR.
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          Dec 16 2013: you realized the li link was not just to the talk but to some comments from people who certainly seem like they could be Chinese, judging by their name and imperfect English? They are saying they have lived in China, and appear to assert that anyone in China can buy VPN legally and connect freely to sites like YouTube and Facebook. It sounds possible. This is not to say that a Chinese person could then talk freely in public about human rights abuses in China that they learned about on YouTube, so there is limitation of freedom.
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        Dec 16 2013: If they can buy and use it freely then why is Youtube blocked at all, doesn't make sense. See my point?

        And I don't fully trust Chinese people on the web to be honest with what their government is up to since they have a thing called "self censorship" in China...
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          Dec 16 2013: well, maybe the government is trying to promote the Chinese version of YouTube, so they make it hard to get to the American one. Or maybe they're trying to convey to their people that you have some freedom but don't get crazy with it.
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        Dec 16 2013: Do you always speculate in favor of oppression Greg?
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          Dec 17 2013: Thank you for Greg and Jimmy, I wanna say that over the past 30 years, China has did a great thing--Feed all 1.3 billion people by ourselves. We have just coming out from the poor, while some of us still live below 2$ per day. Here we are discuss those, but there might die of no food or no medicine. As a Chinese, thanks for your care, because I know what you two have said are good for us. But please give us more time, 30 years ago we don't even know the "law", and now we have our constitution; 30 years ago a Chinese might be sentenced to death because a abuse to the government, but now they will be ok. Jimmy, trust us, we will be better in those problems
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          Dec 17 2013: well, let's see, Jimmy. You had said "if (the Chinese) can buy and use (a software that lets them access YouTube and Facebook) freely, then why is Youtube blocked at all, doesn't make sense. See my point?" I thought your point was that the people who are saying you can access YouTube freely in China by buying VPN are lying or mistaken, because why would the government block YouTube but then let people get access to it by buying this software. Was this your point? I was trying to say maybe they are telling the truth accurately, there might be reasons why the government would block YouTube and yet allow people to buy software that lets them legally access YouTube.
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    Dec 15 2013: My first impression might be that the people are somewhat restrained and inhibited. Here in the U.S. you might have a wild rock concert where the people are all dancing, slamming into each other, climbing on top of each other, jumping on stage and diving off into the crowd, but it's hard to imagine that in China?
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      Dec 16 2013: I think that's the difference of culture, but not restrained. Is there anything good? Thanks a lot.
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        Dec 16 2013: Yes, it's the difference of culture. But isn't that one of the things you were looking for when you asked your question? Are you saying Chinese people are not restrained? In what way are they not restrained? But being restrained can be a good thing, making a person calm.

        Here in the U.S. we get to enjoy "Chinese food," which is food supposedly typical of China. It is meat in sauces, vegetables, rice, tea. One famous dish is orange chicken, chicken in a sauce that has a taste of oranges. Do Chinese people really eat like this? Also I think Chinese women really beautiful.
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          Dec 17 2013: yeah, Chinese food is good, especially the spicy hot-pot!
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        Dec 17 2013: Can you tell me what spicy hot-pot is? By the way, which is your first name, Hou or rui? Here we put our first name first, then our family name.

        I should mention that I am grateful that China intervened when North Korea was proposing to do nuclear tests and persuaded them not to.

        In the United States we have a tradition that if we want to criticize our government, we can. And this is a freedom that Americans value very much. But we hear that it is very dangerous for a Chinese person to criticize their government. What is the truth, Hou rui?

        By the way, I would like to get your answer on why you think Asian people, including Chinese people, don't drink much milk.
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          Hou rui

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          Dec 17 2013: You know, some of the things can not be described by words, especially the taste of food, but you can see the picture:http://image.so.com/v?q=%E7%81%AB%E9%94%85&src=srp&fromurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nipic.com%2Fshow%2F1%2F55%2F4586224k2acea8ac.html#i=1&pn=30&sn=46&id=e11ae45c5ba763dc1a378a95b67afc34
          If you have a chance to China, I will be pleasured to treate you a meal.

          Like I have said, 30 years ago, if a Chinese criticized the government in private, no matter he was right or wrong, he would face some of the darkest things, even death. But now, its better, much much better. One citizen can criticize the government whenever and wherever he wants, but not in the public. You can still say why not the public and make complaints about our human rights, but we see it as a huge development. Step into the 21st century, with the help of interenet, we can talk more, and some of our criticism finally are heard by the government, this is also an improvement.
          China has a long way to go, it has problems inside and outside, but it is changing
          Greg, Welcome to China!
          Hou Rui(Hou is family name)
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        Dec 17 2013: thanks for the invite, Rui. I don't travel much. Well, it does feel good to be able to say what you think in public, I hope your country will attain this. Here we have a concept of "loyal opposition," you can oppose the direction the government is going but not wish to overthrow the government, just to change their direction. But you don't have this concept there?

        Do you have restaurants there where you can get different kinds of food? Here you can go to restaurants for food from any country, you can get African food, Swedish food, American food, Chinese food, Irish food............the list goes on and on.

        I still would like to get your opinion on why Asian people don't drink much milk. Here is a list from Wikipedia (can you see Wikipedia where you are?) of how much milk people in different countries drink per person (per capita means per person), starting with the country where they drink the most and then diminishing. You can see that no Asian country shows up until #75: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_milk_consumption_per_capita