Opinion / From the Readers

China has enough attention, but not enough respect

By qingchris ( Updated: 2015-06-05 11:11

China has enough attention, but not enough respect

Foreign tourists take a selfie photo at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on August 21, 2014.[Photo/IC]

I remember a phrase: the thing that mostly terrifies you is large enough and changing rapidly. Absolutely, China meets both of these. In recent years, China has been getting more and more attention from all over the world. We could get in touch with more and more foreigners in our lives and at work. We also hear lots of comments from the foreign media, positive and negative. Yes, we should be proud of all of them. Through the effort of one generation, we finally stand near the center of the world stage, and get the spotlight to have a show.

Never let excitement lead you to a lost. The question is why is there so much attention on us from the outside? We must realize that more attention doesn’t mean something is better. Attention doesn't equalize respect. The Middle East peace progress has attracted people’s eyes for many years, but I don’t think it is an exemple to learn from.

If you live in China for a long time, you could feel internationalization is the most important direction for Chinese companies, both small and large, never mind if it’s necessary. You could find many foreign experts working in different fields of our economy. Can you imagine how these experts do their work well without the basic language skills and common sense of our culture? Behind all of the above is the influence of Western culture. It looks unequal but reasonable.

We have set up a market economic system, and accumulated some advantages through thirty years’ development. But we still stay at the base of the pyramid in a global market. As a participant in current global economics, we only follow the rules built by Western countries. It is not caused by our current generation, it is the historical reason. On one hand, we must face the fact that this world is basically shaped by west. On the other hand, we must change it and become a rule-setter. The task is tough. Our country is a socialist nation, but our competitors are nearly all capitalist countries. The huge difference reveals we must do a much better job, only this can make others recognize our achievements. That means in the future, we need to build a kind of different developing model, which will let us be better, at the same time others will learn from it. By then, we are the rule-setter, not only the follower, spontaneously. But what does the model look like? That’s the direction of our next effort.

To gain more respect from other countries requires the development of a peaceful, beautiful and vigorous country. No one would respect a country that only is rich. If in one country, the environment is polluted and not fit to live, the food is strikingly dangerous for your health, and the citizens’ behavior makes others uncomfortable, how could you expect people from other countries to respect this kind of country? Now we are facing a lot of problems. Our political civilization is not one of the standard schemes to show our advantages. Our social management is far from a good example. The western countries never stop advertising democracy and freedom to everyone around the world. What are our core values, and how will we propagate them? That is a question we should think of deeply.

What attracts foreigners to our country? We need to clarify it. Do they come here to learn something or to earn money? Different reasons reveal different countries. There is no doubt China is always an attractive country to outside world. We have 5,000-year history of civilization. Our culture contains numerous and enormous content. These will shine in human history forever. But that is the past, now China is a developing country. It rushes to follow the industrial civilization derived from Western countries. To some it means we are copying this kind of civilization. We are proud of our ancient civilization, which other people can’t stop admiring. But how is modern civilization? China is a student and follower. We not only need to keep pace with the world’s development, but also build a new kind of civilization on behalf of the direction of the next development. It requires sweet wisdom and innovation.

China now has gotten enough attention, but not enough respect. It is not necessary to earn respect through showing how powerful you are, but showing how beautiful and harmonious you are. Economics, politics and culture, only combining them together could make our country become unique, thrive and respectable. None of them can lack. It’s a long way on which we never have a rest, generation by generation. I am confident we could reproduce the prosperity in history some day and earn the greatest respect from the rest of the world.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.

China has enough attention, but not enough respect

iTalk is a program for our readers to share their extraordinary experiences and thoughts with China Daily. We highlight the best on the homepage of our portal website. Contact us if you have something to talk at




Most Viewed Today's Top News