How to Make a Chinese Woman Cry (Please Try This!)

Last night my wife and I had the pleasure of speaking with a large group of students from a US university who were touring China to learn about business and life here. I was with part of the group in one banquet room and my wife was with several others, and both of us were telling our story while they ate. We talked about how much we love living here, how great the people are, how proud we are of China’s progress in IP and innovation, how wonderful my wife’s Chinese students are, etc. There was no agenda to praise China, it’s just impossible for us to talk about our 8 years here without recognizing that we love this place and the vast majority of the Chinese people we know.

While my wife was speaking, a highly educated Chinese woman, a professor living in the US, started crying and explained why: “It’s been so long since I’ve heard anybody from the US say anything nice about China.” She’s heard so much bashing, so much hostility, and knows of Chinese people in the US who get told to “go back to your own country!” That very day they had met with a US government representative who rather openly said negative things about China. How sad that our few sincere words would be so rare that it made a woman cry. Know some Chinese people? Try this on them and let me know what happens. Say something nice and make the world a better place.

This week a large group of performers from Brigham Young University are coming to perform at what may be the nicest performance hall in Shanghai (the beautiful Shanghai Culture Square, site of many Broadway musicals and other high-end performances). It’s a celebration of BYU’s 40-year relationship with China. I’m so grateful to the leaders at BYU and the many students, coaches, and others that made this huge event possible. Doing this in the middle of tensions with the trade war is an important symbol of BYU’s commitment to friendship in spite of whatever is happening with politics. I believe Utah itself also stands out as a place with high interest in China and other foreign countries, with a willingness to learn, to share, and to be friends. Please don’t let the acrimony of politics destroy our ability to be friends with others from afar.

There is so much the West needs to learn from China, including its culture and history, its rise and rapid growth, its innovation, its people, its rich languages, its family values, and (please oh please oh please!) its food. A great Chinese meal brings tears to my eyes — here’s hoping some of you might make me cry when I’m back in the States for a while this summer!

Author: Jeff Lindsay

23 thoughts on “How to Make a Chinese Woman Cry (Please Try This!)

  1. There is of course a difference between people and government. The Chinese government has been stealing technology from U.S. companies and the U.S. government for many years.

  2. Early America did similar things, British engineers would sew textile blueprints into their coats and setup textile factories in the newly formed US. The British caught on, and started prohibiting engineers from leaving. It is amazing that today America is practically encouraging engineers like Jeff to defect to a MAD nuclear power ruled by a dictatorial oligarchy with interests so opposed to modern ideals. Forget buying the rope from us, let's just give it to them. Who were those idiots that said China would be tractable if we gave them a seat at the WTO table? Doesn't matter, if we stop blaming others for are own mistakes and learn from our mistakes.

  3. People are people no matter where they are from and should be treated with love and respect. Thanks for reminding us of this Jeff.

    As for China, I think it is nothing short of miraculous what they have been able to accomplish to better their society and infrastructure in the past 20 years. They seem to have been able to find a compromise between communist ideals and capitalist practices that has served them well. Soviet communists they are not. We should be encouraging them rather than baiting them. There are still imperfections in their society, as with all societies, but they have promoted more citizens from poverty to middle class in the last two decades than any other developing country in the world. This should be applauded.

  4. I would be curious to know more about the susposed compromise between communist ideals and capitalism. There may be an aspect of capitalism, but most major enterprises are state owned. This is more similar to socialism, but without the welfare. 100s of millions are told it is their fault if they do not benefit, despite the fact the government restricted what cities their families can migrate to. Yes they started w far greater problems to solve and they contributed to solving them, but it was Western financing, management, engineering, and consumer demand that solved most of their problems. Chinas contribution to solving these problems was political stability, abortions, currency manipulation, and IP theft. The west tolerated these on the hope China would enter the modern liberal order. China had now made it clear they will not, the West is done helping them. Will fascism win this time around?

    1. Western financing? Do you know who owns the majority of America’s debt?

      They do have their government problems, ie equality, overbearing state control, etc., but I’m confident that as they continue to be more involved in the international community, they will become more and more liberal with their domestic freedoms. In time, history may show us that they phased out communism in a much more stable way than did Russia. I see their progress in the past 20 years as an overwhelming net positive (on a macro level).

  5. "Do you know who owns the majority of America’s debt?" That is a common misconception. The majority of American Government Debt is owned by Americans. 1.2 trillion of 20+ trillion is what the Chinese own (largest foreign holder), and purchasing the debt is a form of currency sanitation (manipulation). Should we let foreigners buy our Government Debt? When Nixon showed up with ping pong players, Western financing came in, with Western Factory designs, to feed Western demand.

    "as they continue to be more involved in the international community, they will become more and more liberal with their domestic freedoms." Milton Friedman said something similar once. Before he died he admitted was wrong.

    "history may show us that they phased out communism" That is already done, as they are no longer communist.

  6. Well you learn something new every day. Not the largest debt holder—merely the largest foreign debt holder.

    “China had now made it clear they will not“

    How? Are they beyond any hope of redemption in your opinion?

    Also, most countries do what is best for their own national interest. The US has done a lot of unscrupulous things over the years in that name, including espionage and theft of state-owned intellectual property in addition to outright war. None of it is right, but neither is it uncommon.

  7. "“China had now made it clear they will not“ How?" China had multiple opportunities to reciprocate cooperation. What evidence do you have that the nearly unanimous Western consensus is wrong?

    "Are they beyond any hope of redemption in your opinion?" Redemption??? What are you talking about? Who is asking for redemption?

    "Also, most countries do what is best for their own national interest." Now you are finally getting it. The onerous is on you to explain how it is the West's interest to continue to helping China. So far all we seen in this thread is an appeal to hope (been there, done that, no change in behavior) and charity. Why is it the US's interest to be charitable? Because it is imperfect is what you are saying, therefore it must pound its chest, for my faults, I go against my own interests? So far that is your reasoning, pretty weak. When has China shown gratitude, even a thank you for freeing it from its enemies in WWII, etc?

  8. “When has China shown gratitude, even a thank you for freeing it from its enemies in WWII, etc?”

    I can buy a pair of Jeans for less than I paid for them in 1985.

    I have nothing to prove so I have no “onerous.” I hold out hope for a better future. I also see a country poised to take a major leadership role in the world. It is in our interest to create bonds of friendship, not push away and alienate. We should recognize the good that has happened.

  9. Anon 6:53.

    You’ve pointed out a lot of problems with China and our relationship with them. What’s the solution in your mind? How do we approach them? I’m still not trying to argue or place an onerous onus on you; I’m just curious to know since you seem to be informed and passionate about the issue and I’m obviously under-informed. Honest question with no intended snarkiness or baiting.

  10. Anon 8:10 –

    We all hold out hope for a better future. You seem to imply somebody isn't. Who?

    The US has sought to create bonds of friendship. You are arguing it is in the US's interest to do so without limits or reciprocity, and despite China's pushing away and alienating. The onus is on you to back up your claim that continuing in an unhealthy relationship is in the US's interest, but as you admit, you cannot backup it up.

    "We should recognize the good that has happened." Who hasn't?

  11. Anon 8:33 – Have you ever turned down a job offer or declined to go out on a second date? Relationships are fluid, not "problems".

    It might be in China's interest to steal all the IP they can, I don't know. We have approached them and made it adundantly clear that is not in our interest, etc. It is like asking someone to quit smoking around you, and after the hundredth time you say, you know what, I don't want to be around you anymore.

    Where is this imperative coming from that we have to be everyone's friend?

  12. So what’s the solution? Isolation? Trade war? You’re trying to argue and I’m trying to get information.

  13. I am trying to argue? I did not realize I was. So in your mind I am dancing a tango by myself. I am little confused how the only commenter actually answering questions is the one arguing.

    Some Anon here spoke of treating China with love, respect, encouragement, create bonds of friendship and not bait, push away, and alienate. I don't know what world that Anon lives in, their attribution is completely reversed.

    I have addressed that Anon's false analisis of the relationship.

    What problem are you seeking a solution to? I am just trying to get information to help you.

  14. "I am trying to argue? I did not realize I was."

    These are words you used:

    "Onus," "claim," "back it up" "You are arguing. . ." Are these not terms related to argument?

    "What problem are you seeking a solution to? I am just trying to get information to help you."

    What is your opinion of how America should approach China (ie China is the problem)?

  15. "Are these not terms related to argument?" Now you are getting it. You were making a claim, an arguement for America's interest. Being you could not back up your claim there was nothing for me to argue. The fact you view a country/person a problem, further indicates an argumentive disposition.

    If you read the thread the answer has already been given. The way America has approached China is the way it should, though maybe it has been almost too generous and patient.

    Sometimes, when someone you are in a relationship with pushes you away and alienates you, it best just to give them their space and just call them on them on their birthday to say hi.

  16. What a crock of BS. Jeff Lindsey is using the Mamet Principle as are some commenters. The first Anonymous commenter 10:56 a.m. May 30, 2019 is absolutely correct.
    China could not have arrived to where it is today without stealing everything from the West. China does not know how to invent… just steal. Typical Communist way of doing things.
    And corrupt bought off politicians in DC have helped China by literally giving China our secrets. Diane Feinstein and just about every Communist Democrat politician including some Communist Republicans like Justin Amash and Mitch McConnell, possibly the fake Christian Mittens Romney. Just as every Democrat Communist is owned by drug cartel and Russian oligarchs.

    Even the Morman church is corrupt by siding with Communist politicians in the USA.

  17. >When has China shown gratitude, even a thank you for freeing it from its enemies in WWII, etc?

    >>I can buy a pair of Jeans for less than I paid for them in 1985.

    >>>That is a common misconception also. When Americans complained of cheap textiles from South Korea, Richard Nixon put a tariff on them. South Korean financing and managers moved the whole operation to Bangladesh, textiles remained cheap. With or without China your knock off Jeans designed to fall apart after a few washes would still be just as cheap. The only thing China provided was a dictatorial competence that African/Middle Eastern/Other dictators lacked. It was tolerated by the west out of hope for change and the West's big heart – Richard Nixon said you can not ignore a billion people … Oh yes you can, especially when they push you away and alienate you.

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