Why do you love China?
1.For one, China is perhaps the only surviving ancient civilization in the world, in the sense of still strongly retaining its roots. From the language and distinctive writing system, to the philosophy, and the structure of government itself. Ancient Egypt, which can (depending on what your dating conditions are) be considered as originating earlier, also died out a long time ago and modern Egypt is very, very different. Nobody cares about the gods like Ra and Hathor anymore, and hardly anyone worships them. Hieroglyphics have been a dead writing system since 1500 years ago. The dominant language is Arabic. Egyptian, now called “Coptic”, is relegated to limited use in religious services. No modern Egyptian president or ruler will get a pyramid, or even a rock tomb of the traditional style in the Valley of the Kings.
2.But in China, the native languages are spoken as much as ever, though having naturally undergone their own evolution just as English. The writing system in use bears a straight line of connection to the original one invented at least 3500, if not more, years ago. (There is good reason to suspect that the reason there aren’t earlier samples of writing is not that the script was invented at this point, but that this was the first point they were written down in durable media. Likely, before this point, all writing was on things like Bamboo, which decays away. The actual time, thus, is quite unknown and may not ever be known.) The old gods still get their worship at least by some - it’s called “Shenism”. Moreover, while foreign religions were introduced like Buddhism, and there are also non-theistic native religions like Daoism, all these go back far into history. While most Chinese are “officially” atheists, there’s some saying that goes something like that Chinese are, at different points in their life, Daoist, Confucian, Atheist and finally Buddhist at death, or something like that - don’t remember the details or the order of “stages”.
3.China has made amazing progress compared to most other developing countries in building out a modern infrastructure, all while still retaining these strong traditional roots. While your typical Chinese city may not quite be up to snuff for the typical big cities in the West, they sure have come a long way and are well ahead of the pack.
4.The Chinese philosophy toward foreign relations - despite all the much-ballyhooed concerns regarding so-called “debt traps” which are much less clear-cut but let’s just say that there are no pure saint countries anywhere - I’d say is still generally better than that of the West. It’s much closer to the “live and let live” kind of way I think it should go in most cases. China does not, despite all the media rhetoric saying otherwise, seek to destroy Western values or destroy “individual freedom”. It has its own standards for what freedom is does and doesn’t allow its own citizens, and it also applies those same standards against foreigners operating within its own borders. Those standards are at variance with Western standards, and while as a Westerner one may disagree with them, the point to make is that unlike the West, it is not seeking to demand others abide by those standards in their countries. China is not seeking military, economic or subterfuge operations to sabotage and destroy “Western democracies” and convert them into little clones of the CCP and its techno meritocracy. Instead, people ask for development, and China gives them development with no strings attached. If the West wants to compete honorably with this, it needs to make its development aid similarly unconditional and lose the colonizer/moralizer attitude.
5.Chinese food. What else can I say?
Wish I could have some more DanDanMian :(
I think my love for China stems from my research of finding out what I really am. It was quite a transition.
I didn’t start out loving China like today. I actually grew up with negative stigma against it, with the same reasons mentioned above. In fact, it took me a long time to open up and actually see eye to eye with it. I was already in a phase where I hated and felt shame about my background, and doing research on my origins helped a lot. I figured “well, I should probably look into my country of origin. It’s the least I could do.”
Looking deep into China’s history gave me a lot of mixed feelings. For one, it’s long rich history gave me a tiny bit of pride, and looking up it’s Century of Humiliation, Nanjing Massacre, and Cultural Revolution gave me a lot of feelings. I cried, I was angry, I empathized with the victims. Many of my interactions here with Chinese people have been quite positive, some were even surprised that they were talking to a Miao American.