Monday, August 10, 2015

Peter Hessler On China vs United States

From a new Peter Hessler piece in New Yorker about Chinese in Egypt:

One evening in Cairo, I met with a diplomat from another Asian country and described my experiences with Chinese lingerie dealers in Upper Egypt. She said that their behavior and outlook reminded her of what she observed as a diplomat. “The Chinese will sell people anything they like,” she said. “They don’t ask any questions. They don’t care what you do with what they sell you. They won’t ask whether the Egyptians are going to hold elections, or repress people, or throw journalists into jail. They don’t care.” She continued, “The Americans think, If everybody is like me, they’re less likely to attack me. The Chinese don’t think like that. They don’t try to make the world be like them.” She continued, “Their strategy is to make economic linkages, so if you break these economic linkages it’s going to hurt you as much as it hurts them.”
If you remember, Hessler wrote Country Driving (5/5) and River Town (4.5/5).

1 comment:

innerscorecard said...

Indeed, the Chinese attitude is that others cannot and should not be like them. Being Chinese is an ethno-nationalist identity, which is not exportable.