Overview of China in ten minutes

Below is a good ten minute video on the main facts about China.

The points that are most true for me are:

1. Every 5 days, a new skyscraper is completed and you can see this in Beijing. People who were in Beijing 5 years ago are known to exclaim at how everything is different and unrecognisable. This is not an understatement. Apparently, 3 years ago there was only 1 subway line…now there are almost 15!!!

2. Losing face (miàn zi) – a huge issue that cannot be underestimated. Living in Malaysia, I was not unaccustomed to this cultural concept. However, I never expected it to be an underlying issue that under-girds so much that takes place here. While it is very tempting to say that people just need to harden up here, I have slowly come to appreciate how it can have its positive sides too (ie we respect others more and learn to be more gracious).

3. Connections and networks (guānxi)- the biggest shock is how guān xi is so important here. While everyone knows that it is important, no one really understands how integral it is to your survival here until they start a business or job hunt.

4. “This is China, one big contradiction that refuses to be put in a box”. So true. Ask any foreigner or ‘wai guo ren’ about their life here and they will tell you about their goods days and then their ‘China days’. This is China.

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