Positive things about China

Note: This is a guest post by reader/commenter Ecodelta. It doesn’t necessarily reflect my own viewpoint, and it’s kind of ironic that TPD has come under attack this past year for being too positive about China. What can you do?

Ecodelta, thanks for the guest post. I hope you’re ready for some spirited comments. 🙂

Talking positive about China

I propose a post for people willing to say positive things about China.

Not a few of our Chinese posters usually complains about China bashing, and they may have a point here. Many of the posts in PD have something to do with something bad or catastrophic in the country. We seem to be fixated in the dark sides of China, but should we overlook other sides?

Yes, I know, there is much to critic about social, economic, political and environment problems, but how would you feel if the only thing anyone of you would hear about your own country? How would you feel if you will not receive any praise or at least some good comments about the efforts to improve it? About successes, about new hopes.

People in China know better than we how the situation there is, should we remember it to them all the time? They suffer it day after day, and cannot easily avoid it or change it (without risking much). And no matter how terrible it may seem to us, just go back 20, 30 or 40 years in the past. Tell me, you see any difference? For the worst or for the better?

Yet, like anyone else, they feel proud of their country, of their history, their culture and also of what they have achieved in such a sort time.

But by “bashing” them with the bad sides of their country, we risk to alienate them. We risk to loose interesting opinions and views, and also the opportunity to learn something new.

Therefore I propose I post for positive things about China. For example, just for starting.

• How about raising more than 400 millions out of poverty.
• New communication infrastructure that revolutionize (for real) transportation of good and people through the country.
• Massive movement of people from poor rural to urban areas improving their living standards.
• Young migrant women that through the possibility to get a job at the factories, get a wage that make them more independent and raise their self consciousness.
• Middle class making enough money to send their sons to better education institutions inside and abroad.
• Enough money for travelling abroad, and met for themselves the “fabled west”.
• Greater freedom for access to all kind of information, previously closed. (yes, I am aware of the limitations).
• Etc, etc, ect.

And for those of you (or us) who feel too much attracted by the “dark side” of China, please refrain yourself just for a moment, at least just for one post. No need to be impatient, there will be enough posts for criticising China, of that I am sure.

And no, I do not forget some of our respected China patriots and some of our beloved fenqins. Just do not overdo it. OK?

Regards from Ecodelta.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 71 Comments


Well, I’m not in China and the news rarely covers any of that really heartfelt good stuff that really could compliment a culture or personal resilience, so maybe Richard and other bloggers in China can provide more of this inspiration stuff for us to have a better understanding of thegood qualities of Chinese people.

Eco, you mentioned the people in the CCP being criminals, well since there are tens of millions in the CCP we can’t totally generalize, but they do take some pretty wacky pledges to do anything for the party and they seem to follow through with it, I think most people are in the party cause it gives them financial leverage, not because they have some ideals , the young ones maybe are tricked into believing in some false ideals of the CCP cause they haven’t experienced the senseless power mongering bloodbaths that the older folks have.

The question might be,

1. how many party officials have used their position and party membership abusively, to unjustly gain the upper hand over others?

2. How many party officials have had a hand in persecuting people who are not proven guilty in any real legal system?

3. How many party officials, such as media personal have had a hand in lying to the masses?

4. How many party people have supported the party while it carried out human rights abuses with various excuses, ignoring the suffering of the people violated?

5. How many party members have had a hand in suppressing, logical intellectual, justice seeking voices in China? Have they not suppressed the Chinese culture and inhibited a balanced social development?

6. How many party members make excuses for killing based on financial development?

7. How many party members know the extreme brutal, violent scenes occurring in Gulags and other detention facilities such as psychiatric hospitals and keep quiet?

8. How many party members know about or participate in planned and forced organ harvesting of “criminals”?

9. How many party members serve as judges in a totally corrupt and unjust legal system?

10. How many party members work as educators and fill the children etc with crap cause they care more about the party, or their own skins then the minds of children?

This can go on and on. I don’t know the answers, but if I could I would DEFINITELY put each one of them through and investigation procedure and find out which ones are criminals, I’m afraid the number is really not small, although the immoral trend and nationalist brainwashing I suppose would have a lot of people making endless excuses for their uncles who are torturers and that kind of sad pathetic craziness.

Oh wait, was this that good things about China thread? Oops…

All people who are above these crimes and still have their dignity despite all this crap are SOOOOOOOO GREAT! I really want to hear more about that kind of great people (- :

July 7, 2008 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

If I didn’t live here and see the “good news” on China everyday coming from the state media I would be more sympathetic to ecodelta’s post. In the states we get shit on everyday by our own press and people around the world, and I don’t see any people whining about not representing the good things about the U.S.A. So why do Chinese people need the world’s coddling? Why should we just play the role of your own media and kiss your government’s ass? China’s culture is neat, the country is really old, they have developed fast…we’ve heard the same thing over and over again, why do you need to hear more of it? If we waste all our time fawning over China in order to boost its national self-esteem, these problems will just continue to be ignored. Personally, I think any really patriotic Chinese would be ashamed to grovel for compliments like this…

July 7, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Comment


one positive thing you might want to do for China is go there (rather than hang out by the vietnamese-sino border) as I recall you said in a recent comment you never have. perhaps that would be an excellent starting point for you.

July 7, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Comment


Already in the task list.

Definitively after the Olympic games.

To many people will be in CH for the games, more than usual…

July 7, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Comment


July 8, 2008 @ 12:20 am | Comment

Totally agree with Andy Raynor and Si.

July 8, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

@ Not_a_Sinophile

I have to thank you for proved my points by typing your words

You first assumped I learned about China from state censored news and travel very little. I am really tired to point out that I have 38 English news websites in my IE bookmarks and I read them reguarly, ranging from NYT to CC.

But since you hate CCP so much, I would give you the following suggestion if you want to convince Chinese your points
1.Do not make the assumptions that Chinese know little than you, only learned facts from censored news
2.Do not make the assumptions that Chinese travel little
3.Do not make the assumptions that Chinese do not accept good intented critism

What you wrtie only makes you look funny in Chinese eyes

July 9, 2008 @ 5:10 pm | Comment

I’m tripping out on how evasive this thread is. Instead of saying “Oh, this is for good stuff about China and I have nothing to say in that regard, so this is not for me.” People respond to the very implication that there are good things about China with urgent indignation. Why not just simply say there are good things and bad, and let it be.
I have to go to class now, but, just to compare Shanghai with Norwalk, California, my hometown:
There arent many kids here who idealize violent savages intent on killing on each other
I dont run the risk of being shot, jumped, attacked for being white here.
People dont complain about foreigners not speaking the language.
People dont treat foreigners like idiots and freaks
I make damn good money here.
There are a lot less obese people here.
And, Chinese people are really friendly, even though they may all be secretly evil fascists, they are so much more friendly than the people where i live.
Also, my students don’t physically threaten the teachers here. And, there isnt drug dealing in the schools, like at the high school where I’m from.
I want to have a home in Shanghai, it’s a fun city.
p.s. my class is over now and i thought of more things.
1. the shanghai library on huaihai lu is fucking awesome.
2. jiuzhaigou, guiyang, hangzhou huangshan haunglong shan, are all beautiful,
3. all of my students are so nice and imaginative and none of them have, as of yet, harvested my fat organs
4. chinese people generally try to be reasonable and equitable and , nowadays , dont freak out and demand the deaths of arabs or abortion doctors.
5. chinese people dont say “how can you looke at the beautiful sky and not bielieve in god?”
6. so rock magazine is from china
7. In china i have bought books on the language of the Yi people, a book in uyghur, and a book on the zhu wen of the lissuzu

8. linguistically china is much more intricate and systematically fascinating than america.

For the sake of all you valiant crusaders against this evil communist empire, i should note that i have lived her for six years, I have an evil chinese wife, i work as a translator now and then, and i don’t care for answering questions with non-sequitur accusations.
But, thank you for pointing out the bad things on this thread whose topic is the good things. Let it be a wake up call to the china expats who dont complain enough!


July 9, 2008 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

Darren, I like China a lot. As you say, there are good and bad things here. I do think you diminish your credibility, however, with lines like the Chinese don’t “freak out and demand the deaths of arabs or abortion doctors” as though that is a typical American trait. And did you read the message boards after the bombing of the Belgrade embassy? There will always be assholes in every society. The jerks on that message board are not what China is, just as some crazed kid in an American school threatening his teacher is not what America is.

July 9, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

you are right, that comment was unfair. thank you for pointing it out. and thanks for staying objective. its hard to deprive oneself of the joy of simplistically bashing. I do it too.

July 9, 2008 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

One thing I would like to see in this post is more comments not from expats but also from mainland CH about positive aspects in CH.

Either from the recent social/economic development of CH or which were always present in the country

July 9, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

I think what would be great would be a thread on non-political parts of China – perhaps what first attracted us to the place, culture, people etc etc. Otherwise it just comes across as repeating the same old ccp line

July 9, 2008 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

I mean comments form mainland Chinese people

July 9, 2008 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

i know, but sadly many comments from the mainland tend to be of the rabid angry kind. Good luck

July 9, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment


No problem. Anti-“rabid comments” vest put on! 😉

July 9, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

Can I just say, Darren is awesome?

Other than that, little else to add… we all know all we talk about all day long at blog.foolsmountain.com is why China is awesome, so I won’t bother repeating myself here!

@ecodelta, appreciate the effort. We’re contemplating a “negative things about China” thread, just to return the favor.

July 10, 2008 @ 4:55 am | Comment

@tang buxi

“We’re contemplating a “negative things about China” thread, just to return the favor.”

Just send me a tip when you do it. I may participate. 😉

July 10, 2008 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

I’m a mainland Chinese, and have never been abroad 🙂
here is the positive things about China
1, Food is really good and cheap
2, People are friendly.
3, Free access to information on the Internet if you know how to use a proxy
4, Value family
5, Can download music,movies,even softwares for free and lots of pirate DVDs (well, that’s a good thing in my perspective)

@ Raj “we are annoyed because you are not one of us’Four legs good; two legs bad!'”
not like that,it’s just national identiy,and due to the doctrine by CCP and the grievance we had in the past(manily the invasion of western countries and Japan),it’s not suprise that Chinese are sometimes a bit nationalistic. Moreover, Chinese people are not good at telling apart PARTY, GOVERMENT, NATION, STATE,ETC.

I don’t like CCP,but I have to admit that my living standard today owe to CCP. So I just can’t understand why people sometimes hate CCP so much and even think it evil. CCP is neither the best nor the worst, it’s just a party.

July 15, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Comment


Thanks for your comment Claire. 🙂

I really would like to get more opinions from people of Mainland China

Yes, CCP is not the ultimate evil nor the ultimate goodness. Some of the hefty discussions you may find here rage about where in the scale between bad and good it lies.

And in these discussions we often forget the normal people….

July 15, 2008 @ 12:41 am | Comment

[…] know, we’ve had the Shanghai-Beijing conversation before. But my trip brought it all back, and the timing of seeing what Fallows wrote — within […]

March 23, 2009 @ 5:44 pm | Pingback

The mayor of baoding met us at the train station and had lunch with our group. We are from the USA. I was impressed and honored by such a gesture. The people of Baoding treated me with respect and hospitality. I was invited by complete strangers to have dinner on the streets of Baoding almost everynight that i was there for 1 month. The people of baoding are some of the most honorable and fun people I have ever met.

November 20, 2010 @ 12:54 am | Comment

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