[OT] China: A long wait at the gate to greatness

John Pomfret was the Washington Post’s past bureau chief in Beijing. He seems to have spent sufficient time living and working in China at a low enough level to truly understand the problems there. This article is pretty accurate. His conclusions are probably not far off the mark.


2 responses

  1. I am chinese and unfortunately, I am also a chinese basher. I criticize the chinese in hope that they will wake up. But the chinese are just too proud of themselves to be corrected.

    Centuries after centuries and dynasties after dynasties, history and time have proven that the chinese people has a serious problem among themselves.

    An obvious problem which I always say – the chinese people will never be united, always greedy for money and selfish.

    The article has nailed some points correctly. So if anyone asks me if China or even Asia will ‘take over’ the West?

    My standard answer – HELL NO!

  2. I have a rather more relaxed attitude. I don’t bash because whatever I say doesn’t change anything. Life is short, and my energies and time can be directed at more meaningful things.

    China may never take over the West, but it will surely provide a counterbalance. That’s probably about the best they can hope for.

    The collective Chinese mind is complex, compartmentalised, and contradictory. I spend a lot of time with my colleagues in our Beijing office and I can see all kinds of attitudes, ranging from the greedy and selfish kind, to the open and more altruistic. But I see one thing in common, and that is a growing sense of self-confidence and identity. This has happened because the central government has moved the country away from the hard ideology of the Mao era.

    It is really fascinating to watch history unfold on a global basis and in real-time! You should read Paul Kennedy’s book ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers’.

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