How to get to the Way It is?
What’s the biggest challenge in understanding and handling international and inter-cultural issues? It’s about how to get to know truly the other parties. The easiest trap we can get into is to use our own experiences, background and assumptions to assess and judge the other parties. We often forget the other parties’ experiences, background and assumptions may go very different ways.
Using the US vs. China case as an example, in order to work, deal or even compete with each other effectively, the side who can achieve better know-how on the other side will enjoy the upper-hand advantages.
One 3-step working formula to bridge true understanding in certain key field, is to first find out what China embraces, then compare with what the US upholds in parallel, and then figure out the main differences and impacts.
But this is easier said than done. Finding what China flows in depth is tough enough for the Americans, and then gaining insight on how the US operates culturally and system wise is equivalently tough for the Chinese. Hence such difficulties can often topple the 3rd step, making things really misleading, challenging and even conflicting.
To make this 3-step formula really work, the key is for one side to grasp the core concepts and practices of the other side. This is similar to focusing on the building pillars and baselines instead of getting lost inside a big maze like palace.
This will be the endeavors this blog series of mine attempts to make. We will take the challenges to identify the pillars and baselines of China and the US in major fields such as political-governmental systems, economy-trade, military and defense, education and social culture, science and technology, etc.
Then we can make our comparisons and assessments, and hopefully come up with some interesting and intelligent judgements and findings. I will label our major findings as like Top 10 Strategical Cultural Shocks between the USA and China.
We will also look into and highlight some famous case studies from the histories and hot spots from current affairs of the US-China relations, in order to demonstrate the special and powerful effects of these strategical cultural shocks can bring about. Our hope is that a better awareness of these strategic cultural shocks can help better manage and reduce the shock effects going forward.
This will be a long journey day in and day out, while I am sure we will have a lot of fun on the road as well. I very welcome readers’ feedback and participation. We plant the seed now, and by the end can expect a big tree standing out of the landscape. Lets’ get started and go!