A Chinese Tragedy

“Distrust saps the foundation of things.” R.H. Graves _ h/t

The Chinese, as individuals, have no friends. China, as a country, all the less so._ Source

Nobody Trusts China

Certainly overseas Chinese in Hong Kong do not trust China, after long observation. But neither do mainland Chinese trust each other. Westerners who try to do business in China are quickly losing trust in Chinese “partners.

Children everywhere are told “Don’t trust strangers.” In China a lack of trust toward others is fully justified, if one looks closely at the long history of Chinese social culture. And as China’s economy dips yet lower, the trust problem is not likely to be solved any time soon.

Trust among people in China dipped to a record low with less than half of respondents to a recent survey feeling that “most people can be trusted” while only about 30 percent trusted strangers.

… The study, conducted by the Institute of Sociology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was based on a survey that asked more than 1,900 randomly selected residents in seven cities including Beijing and Shanghai about their opinions on trust. __ Source

In China, one is in constant danger of being reported to authorities for any behavioral anomaly from the prescribed norm:

Individuals can earn points, for example, for reporting those who violate the new restrictions on religious practice, such as Christians who illegally meet to pray in private homes, or the Muslim Uyghurs and Kazakhs in China’s far west whom they spot praying in public, fasting during Ramadan or just growing a beard.

Of course, as the state progresses ever closer toward its goal of monitoring all of the activities of its citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week, society itself becomes a virtual prison. __ https://nypost.com/2019/05/18/chinas-new-social-credit-system-turns-orwells-1984-into-reality/

Prisons are the exemplification of “low-trust” environments. That is China.

There is little trust toward China from Xinjiang, Tibet, or Taiwan either. Religious practitioners inside China — those who are still alive with their organs intact — tend not to trust most institutions in China — or strangers. Their lives depend upon staying suspicious toward those outside their tiny inner circle. China’s neighbors don’t trust China — it’s hard enough holding onto their territory without being suckers with the world’s biggest territorial thief.

Russia Doesn’t Trust China

China has stolen a significant amount of military technology from Russia. So when these Chinese clones crash and burn, Russians tend to chuckle a bit.

Remember that Russian carrier-based jet that China copied without permission? Those airplanes are crashing, and Russia doesn’t seem too broken up about it.

Though Russia and China are now friends, even holding joint exercises, Russia’s Sputnik News recently trotted out an article titled “Chinese Navy Short on Carrier-Based Fighters, Only Has Problem-Ridden J-15.”

The J-15 is an unlicensed copy of Russia’s Su-33 carrier jet, which is a 1980s derivative of the Su-27K land-based fighter. China had acquired a T-10K-3, an Su-33 prototype, from Ukraine and then reverse-engineered it. __ https://news.yahoo.com/china-stole-russias-jet-fighter-203000780.html

Russia’s problem with China’s thieving is a perpetual one, and is not limited to aircraft.

Nobody Trusts China

After being ripped off repeatedly by Chinese kleptomaniacs, a growing number of western manufacturers are moving operations and supply chains out of China.

60 percent of Japanese companies operating in China have been transferred or in the process of transferring out of China to other countries, while the remaining 40 percent are planning how to withdraw their funds, according to a recent report by Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency based in Tokyo.

… Taiwan factories in China that manufacture shoes for Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and other brands have moved their production lines to Southeast Asia and India, according to a Sept.16 report by Japanese financial newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

… It has become less advantageous to set up factories in China. Over the past decade or so, China’s average manufacturing wages have tripled. Taxes, including social security, energy prices and exchange rates have increased. The soaring costs have weakened China’s competitive advantage as the “world’s factory.” __ Source

Even “normally trusting” American companies have started an exodus from China to other locations less likely to steal technology and other intellectual property.

It is difficult to say whether the unique Chinese relationship with superstition, or whether the high prevalence of gambling addiction among the Chinese, may play a role in the “shifty” nature of Chinese loyalties or allegiances — at least in the world of business. What may appear to be a sign of low character to westerners may simply be a manifestation of something much deeper and more integral to a statistical portion of the Chinese “behavioural phenotype.”

Another significant role is the emphasis and high regard Asian cultures place on superstition, numerology, and the notion of “luck” compared to Western culture. As a result, winning or losing carries a much heavier sense of identification as it can be perceived as a reflection on self. “Asians also promote themes of good fortune, are superstitious, and feel that fate is predetermined by the ancestors, i.e., a person who is ‘lucky’ in gambling is considered to be blessed from the gods.” (Dr. Tim Fong)

China is not the only low-trust nation to be experiencing financial problems and growing unrest. In fact the growing media scandal is that this global unrest goes largely unremarked.

Yet the growing unrest and hardship in China stand to have a more significant effect on world affairs than riots in Lebanon or Venezuela. China is “the world’s factory,” and when China stops importing raw materials and high technology manufacturing machinery, its trading partners quickly begin hurting.

“The Chinese Tragedy” is not so much that no one inside or outside of China trusts the dragon — within written history Chinese culture has never produced societies of overwhelmingly “trusting or trustworthy” populations in the western sense of the word. It is simply that everyone has been pretending for so long that they could indeed trust China. This pretense has left both China and the world in a very precarious situation, as shifting economic sands rub the world’s nose in the sad reality.

We certainly live in Interesting Times. It would not hurt for readers to ramp up their “Dangerous Factor,” and to make provisions for a somewhat uncertain future.

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