Thursday, June 12, 2014

China Is It's Own Continent

The Han represent the vast majority of Chinese. But the Han are not monolithic.

This is not too shocking:

A recent American scientific research project revealed what many China experts have long known; China is a big place with lots of different cultures. The big divide is between the “wheat eaters” north of the Yangtze River and the “rice eaters” to the south. The fundamental (and now documented) conclusion is nothing new; the northerners and southerners. The southerners are collectivist and reflective while the northerners are more individualistic and analytical. In short the southerners fit the Western stereotype for all East Asians while the northerners are more “Western” in their attitudes.

I've wondered if we will one day view "China" as a geographic term rather than a political term.

Of course, there is another side to having a sizable portion of "Westerners-at-heart" in China. I hadn't really thought of this angle:

The lesson for the West is that while the Chinese may appear monolithic they are anything but. There are many who very much agree with the Western thinking that has given the West an economic, political, scientific and military edge for the last five centuries. But now the Han have noticed that they have among themselves many people who can think and operate like the Westerners and are increasingly turning to these Western thinkers for leadership and a way out from under Western domination.

Or the Western-thinkers lead China upward.

And maybe the West stops being dominated by Western-thinkers to accelerate the relative power imbalance.

Interesting times, indeed.