I believe most of the issues are non-issues until you see your own children need to face themselves. If my child is 10 years older I may not need to leave, but you are right. Even Chinese can't be Chinese easily. Jay August 12, at Sir - I don't contest what you say about China.
However, having lived in the UK for the last three years, I doubt that it's a place that can offer either you or your children a viable economic future. The education system at any level is a shambles unless you are willing to pay a king's ransom in private fees. The levels of xenophobia in the UK today are as high as anything you will experience in Saudi Arabia or Alabama.
The experience of living in any country comes with its pros and cons and if you live somewhere long enough, you take the pros for granted and focus on the cons. I think they key is to be able to be grateful for what you have while learning to deal with cons. Dear Matt August 12, at Mark Newham August 12, at The only thing that surprises me about this article is that it took MK so long to reach the same conclusion I reached after just two years.
Mind you, I did have the short circuit advantage of being a system insider.
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Doing time with the Xinhua News Agency - China's prime state propagandist - does have the effect of compressing the learning experience rather. Just a few weeks as a system insider was enough to convince me that us 'foreign experts' are only of use to the system for long as our brains continue producing useful information. Once picked clean, that brain becomes surplus to Chinese requirements - unless, of course, it can be harnessed to foment the best-of-all-possible-worlds message, the only one the PRC seems interested in conveying to the rest of the world.
I got out before the full effect of the insidious re-education process kicked in with but one thing on my mind - warning the rest of the world of China's true intentions. The result was 'Limp Pigs', an insider, evidence-based attempt to explode the great changing-China myth. Sounds like MK has something similar in mind. Daniel August 12, at Tommy B August 12, at Thanks for this Mark. It merely feeds my own concerns about living here and I have no children. All the best for you and your family back in the UK and I hope to catch up with you on two wheels at some point in the future or at a Grenville reunion!
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Viktorious August 12, at Zao shang hao Mark I just arrived in China on 29 Feb English Teacher of course. Frankly I love it. I've been treated wth dignity by my students and faculty and by the people here in Qing dao. I feel safe anywhere I've been and I do realize Zhongguo is "da", it is not the end of all worlds for me I'll do a few years here and from there try another country for culture and food and sights I think it's it to each his own or something like that. I'm sure you're pissed about the mega-millions biz, but you had to realize sir -- Those riches, You sound like a smart fellow, but that piece I question sir.
Anywho -- I enjoyed the article and I wish and your piao liang family all the best sir. Yes, I must agree with all negative points of this letter but Because I'm fully convinced that do not exist the perfect way to govern any society, from the tiny island to this mammouth. Because of my convictions, i would like to ask the same in deep analysis of any of our old developed countries, or underdeveloped or whatsoever Paradise is where I and my family feel good to stay, because we stay by our free decision Good Luck Mark.
Bandhu August 13, at Interesting articles but not very different experience than any other immigrant in any other country. But I and my family will always be second rate citizens. Our patriotism will always be questioned because of our religion and color of skin. Yes, it is easier to start up a business here as compared to China or India, but the social and cultural alienation is a constant. I spent many years fighting stereotypes and then decided to just spend more time with my own kind.
Of course, I am cordial with the others and have a large circle of friends, but that does not mean that I fit in, or ever will. So, if the author leaves after so many years because of suppression of minorities, unfair economic opportunities, lack of sense of community, I can tell you that's the case in the US too. Jacob August 13, at I live in South East Asia and I agree with some of the statements the author makes. It's not just China: they can be applied to other countries too.
There's a bit of religion in the belief that money and love always go together, for example. I am a Humanities lecturer in university and when I got here I was shocked to learn that my students don't read those who read, read Harry Potter and other fandom crap and are not willing to visit the library on a regular basis, or to do any substantial homework, for that matter. Camus, Nietzsche, Agatha Christie are foreign and nobody makes the effort to understand them precisely because they are foreign.
I am Spanish, so all of these authors are foreign to me as well, but in my country we readers made the effort to catch up.
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Here there's no such thing as admiring the cultural output of those who "invented" civilisation. Inward looking patriotism is a substitute. Foreigners here are business. I honestly think that's the only downside of Asia. I love it here, I am here because I want to, but there's no place for philosophers here, nothing that doesn't have a price tag.
In you could run away from the ruthlessness and ugliness and selfishness of Industrial Britian very similar to China today by reading Dickens or by being Marx. There was some marginal value in it. That's not the case in Asia.
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Japan might be an exception. CR August 13, at Once again, those who start to bark like angry dogs, show again the intolerance that we live in.
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China, the untouchable, where everything is "harmonious". Mark is talking from the pain of his heart and has the same right to express himself as any Chinese living in USA or New Zeland. Once again, in this country there's no respect for truth. And yes, many things have to be changed, of course, as have to be changed in many other countries. Life is exactly that, a continous change and evolving process. August 13, at While there is definitely the ubiquitous flaunting of new money in the newer areas, I found there still to be an extremely strong traditional family culture, and most everyone I knew held strong traditional family values.
I was always talking about my family, my health, meeting for group meals, taking trips with friends into the mountains or parks. I felt very much a part of a community during my time there and can't wait to get back to China to see my friends and catch up.
I know I'm a foreigner and I know it's not my country that I'm living in. I have no illusions of expecting China to morph into the country from which I came, or any desire to become famous and teach the Chinese people to live in the way I think they should. I think with this attitude it's less frustrating dealing with what are the obvious shortcomings in the way the government and public systems operate and treat their citizens. While I can't disagree with most of what you write, I think that it's important for others who are reading this article to remember that there are 1. There is no doubt about the ills of the communist government and public systems you write about.
But I hope that you made enough good friends in the 16 years you were in China that you aren't regretting the whole time. Phil August 13, at I am the lucky one who made a killing during the past 13 years staying in China and I couldn't agree with the author more. I'm surprised the author lasted in China that long, because he is--like me--vehemently against the way the Chinese government operate and behave. What is quite funny about this paper is that it seems to be lifted from the pages of Western writing about Russia. Many of us of the first generation of Westerners who flocked to Moscow have become embittered as we have become increasingly irrelevant - an August 13, at Many of us of the first generation of Westerners who flocked to Moscow have become embittered as we have become increasingly irrelevant - and Russia develops not according to our plans, but according to some Russian plan.
The remainder of us have gone native - fortunately, one can become at least superficially Russian. The West will have to suffer some serious humiliations before it understands that its own secular model is not the sole option available to all of mankind! Elle August 13, at China is unique and controversial country. Actually ,you can teach your children how to handle the problems,insted of complaining China,that is the point. If they can deal with trouble in China,would other countries be a problem for them? Steeevyo August 13, at Pretty bitter and not very nice way to write about your host country of 16 years.
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I have been living in China for 4 years now and I was always completely realistic about what to expect and what not. I am also happy to leave China end of this year without a tiny bit of regret and with an invaluable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
China is a developing country and the arrogance with which it is judged by the uninformed Western eyes make me feel ashamed to be a Westerner. As for the part about China being a 'Me-culture' that can only be a joke right? The West invented the 'Me-culture' but now suddenly the sophisticated Westerner raises his arrogant nose over the Chinese because they are not as altruistic as his clicheed perception of the Far Far East had made him believe.
As for education: Anything that was said could be equally said about South Korea and Japan. That's how they do it in East Asia. Who tells you that China won't reach that same level in a few years time?
Personal decisions are personal decisions but to mix it in a bitter and highly speculative rant all these worst case scenario future predictions made me laugh actually about China doesn't look good on the author. Every way that you describe China, the people of China, the treatment of foreigners -same exact thing in Korea. It's sad and disgusting. Excellent article. Many of the points stated are part of the reasons why my wife who is Taiwanese and I left China. Education along with the resentment, verbal abuse, systemic distrust, and aggressiveness to foreigners, especially those with a Chinese or Asian spouse, were probably the bigger reasons for us.
It was pretty much a daily occurrence to receive some stupid comment or the Chinese "tisk" of disapproval when out and about together and weekly occurrence to get a more nasty comment such as people shouting derogatory terms at me or calling my wife a prostitute. Not nice, especially when the kids are around. Lee August 13, at Fantastic article. You have managed to put into words what I never could about living in China. You do sound kind of bitter about the whole experience, however you would certainly not be the first to leave like that. I have so much to say about everything that you have written, that actually, I will say nothing - other than what a great article.
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