What do Russians think of China and Chinese people?
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Kastus Lobandievsky, Just me
Different people - different opinions.
Some love, some hate. Some think China is example what Russia could be, some think China is shit and to-n state. Some fear of China’s rise, some think its good opportunity for Russia and good ally.
Usually Rusisians know about modern China a few.
Vassily Sidorov, M.S. Artificial Intelligence, DePaul University (2000)
Very hardworking, bring their own culture, rarely integrate, lack creativity, steal most of the design from other countries and quickly reproduce it, eat loudly, spit on the ground/floor, cook well, always answer “yes” even if they don’t understand the question, quite well-off, keep their own council.
Chris Goodwin, Social Science is a pose, not a sciance. I embody culture, + Culture
Mostly that they’re foreign. But what can anyone think about over a billion people, similar only in that they have the label “Chinese” put on them ? Some are nice, some nasty; fewer to a more extreme degree, but most not so much. Some very clever, some dumb, fewer to a more extreme degree, but most more normal. All speak a weird language, very polite -but then, are they sincere, or just being polite ?
And which Russians are being asked ? The “average” Russian, or the (rare) extreme Sinophiles, or extreme Sinophobes, or those with a less emotional rsponse - or the majority (?) who have little personal opinion, one way or the other ?
Daniil Ishchenko, Russian business owner and conservative.
China was never 'an enemy'. Not even during tense relationships between the countries.
Today China is viewed as a partner. Reliable and good partner. Perhaps not as an ally in all sense, but as a close neighbour that one likes
Matthew Roust, lives in Russia
In my early years, we were laughing of Chinese people. China was associated with those cheap faux leather shoes, where your legs heated to astonishing temperatures during walking, with 100%-unnatural fabric clothes, with brands like Pawasonic and Nitacni, with funny and bright, not overly sophisticated plastic toys. You know, all that 90s atmosphere in Russia has a strong tie in my memory with that type of goods. It was a poor man’s Fate to buy Chinese-made products, so that’s why we, with the rise of our incomes, had immediately switched to Italian, French and American goods.
Considering their population, I thought of China being populated with mostly village people with their own village mindset (ie: overly simplistic and not aware) without any idea of what contraception is. And rice. Rice everywhere and on a daily basis. It was then.
Seeing China now, I greatly admire their achievements. Huge high-speed train network, new cities, immense growth of personal incomes etc. The government did a great job in creating infrastructure for its people. Their economy growth resulted in a lot of spare money going to investments into foreign countries - I know about Pakistan roads projects, Africa’s development and infrastructure projects, and even the new Panama channel. Have you heard of something about Russia’s companies investments somewhere beyond CIS? I’m not talking about sponsorships of bicycle teams and putting small Aeroflot logo down the Manchester United website. You got my point. All of Russian spare money are in offshores, and only to maintain one’s families level of consumption, the high living standard of the 1st lover, of the 2nd lover, a kid from the 1st lover, a kid from housekeeper, gardener, their in-laws… You got it.
Considering Chinese people, the ones I met during my journeys, kept to themselves, but tried to blend into other societies (EU, UAE, the States). I never had any incident with some rude Chinese at all. They are pretty different culturally to what I used to think, but overall they are fine.
Chinese rise is mind-boggling! In 20 years the country became an economical trend setter. Everyone wants to deal with Chinese businesses. The country we were making fun and feeling superior surpassed us. In 2016, average Chinese salary was higher than Russian. Thanks to our lovely government!..
Juri Mirlander, studied at Karolinska Institute
An ancient civilisation built upon Confucian philosofy and buddism. Can coexist peacefully. Cultural, technological, historical center of the far eastern region. The major trade partner. We look positively on China, but we are concerned about overpopulation. Why so many people? What will they all do when robots will take over the production?
I love Chinese people and China) I used to work as an administrator in one of the souvenirs shops in Saint Petersburg last summer. And we had a lot of Chinese customers. But this is not the reason that I love Chinese people) Due to this work I had great possibilities to communicate with guests from China. They are very humble, love nature, kind and with the great sense of humor ) The only one thing that made communication a little hard at first is that not so many Chinese people know English. But I learned some words and expressions in Chinese and it helped me. But sometimes I had a feeling we understand each other without words) we sang USSR songs together - it was exciting and funny ) It really surprised me that some Chinese guests knew these songs =) I wish I could have a possibility to come to China and know this beautiful country better.
Well, most of the answers so far were about China, so let me try my luck describing a Russian perception of Chinese people:
+ Very hard-working
+ Extremely goal-oriented
+ No bullshit, always talk business, get straight to the point
+ Very loyal to their country and to their extended family
+ Very curious about everything and not shy about it
+ More often than not have a commercial bone, are eager to trade
+ Most Chinese I have dealt with were very smart
+ Man, can they cook!
- Rude and uncultured. Will cut to the front of any queue she/he sees, will make a loud scene if ejected. And don't even get me started on spitting...
- Very pushy
- Not trustworthy. Not one bit. Most Chinese I knew will walk away from any deal the second they think it would not bring the expected profit
- Very short-term business thinking. Would do everything for a bit of extra profit right now.
- No empathy. Zero respect for other people's feelings
- Not compassionate to people or animals
Most Russians are in awe of what the Chinese have accomplished, and many admire Chinese work habits and perseverance. But in personal contacts, Russians value trust, empathy and manners a lot. The Chinese, on the other hand, often see Russians as lazy, inept, snobbish and stupid (they are so easy to fool, they must be stupid!) Because of that clash of perceptions, it's difficult for a Russian to do business with the Chinese, and vice versa.