China is home to one of the world's greatest cultures, and the 5,000-year continuity of that culture is largely attributable to the strength of its values. Chinese tend to hold their values close to the heart and to express those values through their everyday life. Chinese cultivate the self, and deeply respect those who demonstrate self-control, harmony, and personal integrity. Chinese typically do not promote their values to outsiders, but rather expect them to observe and learn for their own betterment.
The enduring strength of Chinese values stems from a profound commitment to family and, by extension, to the concept of being part of historical Chinese civilization. Chinese culture is a birth right, and its values are inculcated at home, in school, in society, and through government. All human beings are motivated by individualism and loyalty to various social units. Americans focus on one polarity of the continuum; Chinese on the other. It is natural for Americans to love freedom and democracy; it is natural for Chinese to love social order, respect their leaders, and uphold the primacy of relationships. Both cultures can learn much from the other.
In terms of foreign policy, Chinese leaders hold themselves responsible to history; and in the Chinese historical context, nothing is more important that protecting society from unwelcomed foreign intrusion, whether it be military, economic, social, or cultural. From experience, the Chinese people have learned that international respect comes from national power. No matter the ideology, modern Chinese governments have responsibility to strengthen the country, unite its territory, improve the economy, and control foreign influences.
May 28, 2012