AMERICAN GUN AND CHINESE FLAG

Root for the cultural differences between American and Chinese

Nowadays, it is widely agreed that Sino-US relations have the potential of defining the following decades and changing world order. Apart from the rhetoric from some American politicians, there are polls showing that the majority of American people has unfavorable views of China. For Chinese, America has been a very controversial topic that often leads to heated discussion.

Western media in most cases attribute the conflict to ideological differences.Yet, looking back, we can find that before 1949, even with Chinese regimes practising other ideologies, relations still seemed patchy to say the least. Finding that Chinese areimpossible to assimilate, US enacted Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 during Qing Dynasty, and abolished the act in 1943, years after KMT(Kuo Min Tang) came into power. KMT was the nationalist party of China and supposedly had far less ideological differences with US, but both sides at that time had plenty of negative views about each other. Another good example is that other Asian countries like Singapore or Japan, albeit deemed democracy, there still exist quite a lot authoritarian elements in the eyes of Americans.

So, ideology may not be sufficient to understand Sino-US relations. There are people believing that the cultural differences between the two countries are the defining factor. But, the elements in both cultures are so many and so fragmented that it is hard to see a clear picture, even after some scholars wisely distinguished both cultures as group-oriented culture and individual-oriented culture. Following this theory, digging a little deeper, we may find it is not so hard to understand why the drama today.

Gun-- symbol for American culture of individualism

The one thing many Chinese people dont understand about America is its gun culture. Americans just love their guns! Even with gun violence and school shooting constituting a serious problem and leaving tens of thousands of people dead, most Americans are still unequivocal about their gun rights.

Looking back in history, actually it is quite easy to understand why Americans hold guns so dear. European immigrants landing in American were equipped with modern science and technology, but no other apparatus or tool was more effective and powerful than guns. With guns, people expelled aboriginal Indians, standing firmly on American soil. With guns, people fended off intruders, claiming their rights of property. With guns, militia fought against the British and won the independence. It was inconceivable that America would become what it is without guns. Without guns, instead of roaming the land full of free spirit, the cowboys in Hollywood movies had to be in groups and always on guard against wild animals or Indians. Without guns, liberty,equality or individualism would be such a luxury under the circumstances. Guns meant security. Guns meant rights. Guns made America dream possible.

Surely, the role liberal values played in American achievement should not be downplayed. But compared with UK, France and other European countries that features liberal traditions, America still appears unique in its gun culture. It can be easily explained that when European culture came into being, gun did not exist. While American culture took root, gun was there and played an essential role.

Flag-- symbol for Chinese culture of collectivism

As for Chinese ancestors 4000 years ago(arguably 5000 years ago), gun did not exist even in their dreams. They had to compete with other predators by group hunting during hunter-gatherer era. Later on, agricultural development required stable residence and months-long waiting to harvest crops, which made them vulnerable to nomadic tribes and barbarians more than ever before. Without effective collective defensive actions, the dense population would be easy prey for enemies. Early domestication of animals left them with a long history of being infected by diseases of various kinds. They would depend on their community to raise their offspring in case of early death. Famine caused by flood and draught were exceptionally deadly after the early exploitation of natural resources, thus some government relief went a long way enhancing their chances of survival.

All in all, quite a lot people from western countries do not understand why Chinese think and behave differently, why they seem to cling to family, country or other organizations and their authorities so much. The answer is that, historically, only within an organization Chinese could find security. Their enemies were equally armed with sword or wood sticks. They did not have the powerful weapon like guns as advantage. Without the group-oriented culture, Chinese ancestors might not survive. Over generations, this culture had been strengthened by every war,every pandemic and every famine. When gun was invented and put into use widely, this kind of culture had developed for thousands of years.

For the symbol of organizations that represents the group-orientation, I can find no better item than a flag. A flag perfectly embodies Chinese culture.

Gun&flag -- a key to understand Sino-US issues

In terms of the protection offered, guns for Americans are the organizations for Chinese. They are all closely linked to peoplessecurity concern. In the course of hundreds and thousands of yeas, this concern shaped culture in a profound way. Even with a rather short history, America gun culture has been so ingrained in society , guns are like something people can not break away from.

Guns and flags are not only the symbolic difference between American and Chinese culture, but the understanding of which also have great significance in real life. Because of the security concern behind these cultures, it can be reasonably inferred that, in America, the more some liberals talk about defunding police or sweeping police reform, the more insecure people might feel and the more difficult it will be for a meaningful gun reform. In the case of China, the more America has its aircraft carriers cruising in south China sea, the more Chinese people will unite around the central authority.

The benefit of understanding the cultural differences could extend to every level. On personal level, only after having some knowledge about the expectations of the organization for the individual you are talking to, you can understand his behavior. On state level, to talk about regime in China is like talking about second amendment in America.

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AMERICAN GUN AND CHINESE FLAG

AMERICAN GUN AND CHINESE FLAG

Root for the cultural differences between American and Chinese

Nowadays, it is widely agreed that Sino-US relations have the potential of defining the following decades and changing world order. Apart from the rhetoric from some American politicians, there are polls showing that the majority of American people has unfavorable views of China. For Chinese, America has been a very controversial topic that often leads to heated discussion.

Western media in most cases attribute the conflict to ideological differences.Yet, looking back, we can find that before 1949, even with Chinese regimes practising other ideologies, relations still seemed patchy to say the least. Finding that Chinese areimpossible to assimilate, US enacted Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 during Qing Dynasty, and abolished the act in 1943, years after KMT(Kuo Min Tang) came into power. KMT was the nationalist party of China and supposedly had far less ideological differences with US, but both sides at that time had plenty of negative views about each other. Another good example is that other Asian countries like Singapore or Japan, albeit deemed democracy, there still exist quite a lot authoritarian elements in the eyes of Americans.

So, ideology may not be sufficient to understand Sino-US relations. There are people believing that the cultural differences between the two countries are the defining factor. But, the elements in both cultures are so many and so fragmented that it is hard to see a clear picture, even after some scholars wisely distinguished both cultures as group-oriented culture and individual-oriented culture. Following this theory, digging a little deeper, we may find it is not so hard to understand why the drama today.

Gun-- symbol for American culture of individualism

The one thing many Chinese people dont understand about America is its gun culture. Americans just love their guns! Even with gun violence and school shooting constituting a serious problem and leaving tens of thousands of people dead, most Americans are still unequivocal about their gun rights.

Looking back in history, actually it is quite easy to understand why Americans hold guns so dear. European immigrants landing in American were equipped with modern science and technology, but no other apparatus or tool was more effective and powerful than guns. With guns, people expelled aboriginal Indians, standing firmly on American soil. With guns, people fended off intruders, claiming their rights of property. With guns, militia fought against the British and won the independence. It was inconceivable that America would become what it is without guns. Without guns, instead of roaming the land full of free spirit, the cowboys in Hollywood movies had to be in groups and always on guard against wild animals or Indians. Without guns, liberty,equality or individualism would be such a luxury under the circumstances. Guns meant security. Guns meant rights. Guns made America dream possible.

Surely, the role liberal values played in American achievement should not be downplayed. But compared with UK, France and other European countries that features liberal traditions, America still appears unique in its gun culture. It can be easily explained that when European culture came into being, gun did not exist. While American culture took root, gun was there and played an essential role.

Flag-- symbol for Chinese culture of collectivism

As for Chinese ancestors 4000 years ago(arguably 5000 years ago), gun did not exist even in their dreams. They had to compete with other predators by group hunting during hunter-gatherer era. Later on, agricultural development required stable residence and months-long waiting to harvest crops, which made them vulnerable to nomadic tribes and barbarians more than ever before. Without effective collective defensive actions, the dense population would be easy prey for enemies. Early domestication of animals left them with a long history of being infected by diseases of various kinds. They would depend on their community to raise their offspring in case of early death. Famine caused by flood and draught were exceptionally deadly after the early exploitation of natural resources, thus some government relief went a long way enhancing their chances of survival.

All in all, quite a lot people from western countries do not understand why Chinese think and behave differently, why they seem to cling to family, country or other organizations and their authorities so much. The answer is that, historically, only within an organization Chinese could find security. Their enemies were equally armed with sword or wood sticks. They did not have the powerful weapon like guns as advantage. Without the group-oriented culture, Chinese ancestors might not survive. Over generations, this culture had been strengthened by every war,every pandemic and every famine. When gun was invented and put into use widely, this kind of culture had developed for thousands of years.

For the symbol of organizations that represents the group-orientation, I can find no better item than a flag. A flag perfectly embodies Chinese culture.

Gun&flag -- a key to understand Sino-US issues

In terms of the protection offered, guns for Americans are the organizations for Chinese. They are all closely linked to peoplessecurity concern. In the course of hundreds and thousands of yeas, this concern shaped culture in a profound way. Even with a rather short history, America gun culture has been so ingrained in society , guns are like something people can not break away from.

Guns and flags are not only the symbolic difference between American and Chinese culture, but the understanding of which also have great significance in real life. Because of the security concern behind these cultures, it can be reasonably inferred that, in America, the more some liberals talk about defunding police or sweeping police reform, the more insecure people might feel and the more difficult it will be for a meaningful gun reform. In the case of China, the more America has its aircraft carriers cruising in south China sea, the more Chinese people will unite around the central authority.

The benefit of understanding the cultural differences could extend to every level. On personal level, only after having some knowledge about the expectations of the organization for the individual you are talking to, you can understand his behavior. On state level, to talk about regime in China is like talking about second amendment in America.

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