Today is Beginning of China’s National Holiday — 10 day vacation. There’s so much patriotism everywhere you go. Chinese Flag shops are being robbed (figuratively). A lot of people are very happy with China, its future, and its current leaders. This is the 60s year of the New China being declared independent. Watching the celebration of people on TV and the powerful military parade, I cannot but being touched and influenced by such atmosphere and nationalism.
China is very different from many of the Western capitalistic nations. China still retains many notions of a socialist society: vast differences can be seen in its culture, construction, and government policies and regulations in comparing with the West.
For example, the government genuinely tries to take care of its citizens – the people who make up China. Everyone’s well being in China is guaranteed under a universal health care coverage, no matter who you are. This include all the poor farmers that makes up for its large population in this still developing country. Also, poor people — esp. Farmers — do not have to pay single cent of tax. Instead they are subsidized by the government for their labor and produce.
The government also builds free exercise machines and street dancing corners everywhere
to promote citizen’s health, entertainment, and (most of all) social harmony — a sense of safe and loving community. Lots of people gather at these free places everyday to meet friends, make friends, and to just simply socialize and have fun. Every night, there’s a dancing party in the street’s corner square outside my condo to celebrate… well, perhaps just being alive and living well. Children run freely on the streets playing with each other, carefree, without any fear of violence and crime. It’s fun to watch them have fun with their simple games and toys and play with their little dogs and cats in our neighborhood.
And all culture performances are subsidized at the city’s large cultural centers for everyone (not just the rich but the poor as well) to experience international performances and their cultural characteristics. My wife and I and some friends went to a Brazil dance performance and a Violin Concerto not long ago — each costing 20 Yuan / person. That’s less than $3 U.S. Dollars! And the show was spectacular! And museums and art galleries are all free too.
It’s so easy to get to know people here in China and make friends. People are everywhere here in China and open to new relationships. (China is a very populated country). The communities here are not like the isolation that the “American Dream” offers. The people here are delightfully friendly and very open about their lives. It’s a common sight to see a variety of people gather around in neighborhoods after work to chat friendly and intimately – sharing their individual happiness and sadness. There is such a strong sense of community bonded by the strong threads and fabric of thousands of years of Chinese collective tradition and culture.
People here judge less, are less critical of people around them (even strangers), share communal responsibilities, and are simply more open-minded about differences that this pluralistic society of 54 different ethnic groups has to offer. Diversity is welcomed here in the modern China with National Unity as its center ideal. People’s attitude towards ethnic and racial diversity can be simply described as humble in today’s China. Because of the fast paced growth of modern China’s economy, the strength and expertise that diversity often brings is well received and respected.
With the culture of collective and harmonious society and community as the backdrop of people’s lives everyday, most people here are always willing to help you out or talk to you if you need it. You will never find yourself lonely here in China. There are always people who want to talk to you, share with you their life, help you, and invite you into their little community or clique, and have fun together.
And the citizens of China are getting richer by the day. Their lives are getting better. There is so much optimism in the atmosphere towards China’s future and the people’s individual well being — esp. amongst the young people here.
There’s a spiritual communal sense here that cannot be denied nor explained with words.
An example of this sense of collective aura can be seen on the children cartoon channel here (in comparison with that of U.S.A.). America’s children channel is filled with commercials of materialism and the next new toy or fad. However, most of the children commercials here in China are bought by government to promote ethics about how to be a good citizen and a socially responsible member to your family, to your community, and to society in general.
Another heart-warming example of this great society is when the big Earth Quake happened in SiZhuang last year. Everywhere, the Chinese people showed their empathy, compassion, and their sense of national brotherhood by donating over ten trillion Yuan to help SiZhuang’s people — to ease the suffering and lose and to help rebuild the people’s homes there. Some Chinese sports stars, movie actors, CEO’s, and well-off people donated their entire life’s savings to help their country in need. Every TV broadcasts, local assemblies and actions, and the speeches given by high branched government officials were made to assure the nation that every effort and action (including that of the military) are been taken to save lives. The overwhelming people’s empathy, nationalism, action, and generosity really make you feel like this whole country is just one big family.
Finally, the Chinese government refused to back down during the worst global economic crisis since the Black Thursday on Wall Street in 1929. The government refuses to accept a recession in China. And the result was the biggest stimulate package in the world (even greater than the USA and Japan) was injected into China’s economy to ensure an 8% growth rate this year and to ensure a minimum unemployment rate. (One has to remember that China is still a relatively poor country compared to some of the First World Developed Countries, such as US and Japan.) And this bold move in China proved to be a decisive and major success as anyone here in China can witness!
Of-course there is still many problems in China to be faced up to as a Third World, Developing Nation. Things are not perfect. There is much to work on and to overcome in the 21st Century as a rising Superpower in the World. But the government of today’s CCP is becoming more capable in its expertise in governance, in its anti-corruption campaigns, and in implementing the precise policy and regulation in the right place at the right time. The Socialist CCP of the 21st century is more democratically represented, technically-equipped, decisive, and fit for meeting the needs of a 1.3 billion people nation and its lofty goal of being a harmonious and a relatively rich society. And on an individual level, there’s just so much more caring and sharing in this some what, communitarian society. More people here simply just give a darn about each other.
It will be a complete new feeling for you, either if you are visiting or living in China, as the threads and fabrics here bring out the best in people in this new era of modern China. This century is a brand new chapter of success, stability, solidarity, and sustainability for China.
And unlike the greed, the rugged individualism, and the status-seeking culture that’s often seen amongst many of the Western societies, which brings out the worst in people (e.g. corporate corruptions, racism, unjust and unimaginable wealth-gap and social inequality, teen suicide rates and the population’s general depression rates, and violence, murder, and incarceration rates), China’s experiment with Modern Socialism (in addition with its five-thousand year’s history and culture, valuing family, friends, community, and nationalism) will prove to bring about the rise of a new dynasty of great material wealth, social well being, and national prosperity (in harmony with other country’s interests and needs). China is changing at the jet speed rate: sky scrappers are literally erected over night!
Example from my 15 days trip:
In the 21st century, I believe China will return to the power status that it had attained on the world stage during the 15th century. And like me, most Chinese secretly believes that the 21st century will be China’s century.
In the recent decade in America, people’s salaries have almost doubled (along with American’s materialistic desires and spending beyond one’s financial means). Despite of the greatest recession since the “Black Thursday” of 1929, America is still the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the World. However, in America, Depression Rates have doubled. Teen suicide rates have tripled to be the highest in the world. Isn’t this ironic in the most prosperous, mighty, and “free” nation on the Planet?
While Al Gore is calling out America’s social problems (‘America is in a social recession; there’s a deep spiritual hunger that’s present here.’), optimism is China’s biggest and readily available asset nationwide to build a great harmonious society of the 21st century. You can see the heartfelt and honest smiles and a deep sense of faith everywhere here in China that its people believe in their future – and in the future of their children, which will be better and happier.
Just as China had learned a great deal from America for the past 3 decades, since Deng Xiaoping first visited America in 1978 and started China’s Opening Up and Reform Program – “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”: reversing China’s backward economy; alleviating the pervasive “shared” poverty of Communism; and bring hundreds of millions of Chinese people into the middle class; I believe in this decade, America also has a lot to learn from China — a five-thousand years old country, rich in its history, culture, and values.
The 21st century, modern and harmonious China welcomes you! You won’t regret making a trip to visit here!
See some pictures that I took of the Modern China: