From the People of China
Part II - Some Things You Should Know
You questioned your 'human rights activists' on how we feel about "the arbitrary exercise of power in our everyday lives", and "how the omnipresence of the state affects the lives of real people (like us)".
You won't want to hear this, but power is not exercised arbitrarily in our country as often as we see it being exercised in yours. And, to be honest, our state is not only not 'omnipresent' but sometimes a bit too 'absentpresent' for our liking.
We are told that one of the great things about your country is that anyone, even a person with no education, training, knowledge, experience, ability, or even intelligence, can rise to become the President.
Well, the number of our citizens interested in your US-style multi-party democracy is about the same as the number of Americans interested in communism.
Most educated Chinese (and that means most of us) don't see the Western model as particularly appealing because we don't look on politics (as you do) as a team sport where everybody can play. Most of us don't feel we have the knowledge or experience to affect the course of our country in any positive way - and we believe we're correct.
Our Country's one-party democratic (meritocratic) government is in for the long term and makes no decisions for political expediency, in contradistinction to what we see in the US. We make decisions for the good of the whole country.
You appear to hope that the lack of a Twitter or a Google is just cause for widespread unrest and social disorder. But to tell you the truth (and I apologise for resorting to the vernacular) most of us really don't give a shit. Your internet platforms were developed by Americans for Americans and we don't want them as our standard. We have our own, designed by us for us, and we're happy with them.
You promulgate the hope that we'll see a bit of internet censorship as a violation. Mr. Obama, we opened the window expecting to receive fresh air and a breeze, but mostly what we got was flies coming in. So naturally, we put up a screeen. We are quite aware of your CIA's connections with Twitter and Google. Maybe you should think about that.
In a recent Article in The Economist, the writer, in deep shock, bemoaned the fact that "a disconcertingly high percentage of China's population appear very happy with their government", or words to that effect. And that's true. In a recent survey by your own Pew International, 86% of the people in China are happy with our government and our system - compared to 23% for your country.
And in the latest Edelman poll, 88% of our people trust our government - compared to less than 40% of yours. In fact, your country was just above last-place Russia on these scores.
You have criminals in your country, and you have corrupt politicians too, but it would be mean-spririted and dishonest of us to suggest that their actions represent the moral standards of all America. Do you agree? Why are you so eager to believe it's different for us?
We were just as shocked and appalled as you, to learn that some of our milk was contaminated with melamine, and you may be surprised to learn that Chinese dogs don't like poisoned food any more than American dogs do.
Our country is still developing. We have made enormous progress, but for sure we still have a long way to go. However, we look forward to our future. We have changed many things, and will change many more. But we want to do it ourselves.
We believe we see ourselves, our country and our future, much more clearly than you do. We know what needs to be done, and don't feel we need anyone directing us, and especially not a country that is in many ways in worse condition than ours.
Maybe your "Free World" could learn a lot from our government system. We know you don't want to hear this, but our government works, beautifully. It has transformed our economy and brought hundreds of millions of us out of poverty.
It has put our men into space, built the world's fastest trains, the longest undersea tunnels, the world's longest bridges, the largest dams. It is rapidly creating the world's largest genuine middle class. And we've hardly begun.
China is a pluralistic society. You don't understand that, and you may never understand. We don't want winners and losers; we want a consensus that everyone can live with.
Truth be told, many of our Chinese values, attitudes, virtues, are arguably more desirable than yours. The family, relationships, saving and thrift, the avoidance of conflict and search for harmony. If you had these, you wouldn't want to change them either, and for sure not because some arrogant foreigners were telling you how superior they were.
Instead of us changing all our values to suit you, maybe some of your values should change to be more like ours.
Our letter to you is not yet complete, but we offer you here a brief informational interlude before moving on to the conclusion.
We recommend these brief articles to you. They will help you to understand us, and to understand more clearly how we see you.
The first is a photo essay about China and its people today, titled, If We're Going to Learn About China, Let's First Meet Some Real People: A Look at China and its People the Way They Really are Today。 We recommend it to all Americans. You can access it here.
The next is a short poem written by a Chinese, directed to Americans. It's titled "What Do You Want From Us Anyway? Enough is enough。" You can read it here
The next one is a brief list of some of our country's recent accomplishments, things of which we are proud. You can read it here.
And we're sure you will enjoy this next one. It's titled What's Good For the Goose ... A Humorous Look at Foreign Policy, if China Were to Copy the USA. You can read it here.
The last one is not so amusing. It contains facts that reflect the image of the US from outside your borders. You no doubt already know all of this, but reading it may help you to understand that we also know all of it. You can access it here.
Return to Part I - Prelude
Continue to Part III - Where Do We Go From Here?