What is the real image of China? Are there 2 versions of China? The real one and the one they are making the world think is the real China?
Jack Penny, I've traveled around all of China and studied in Harbin
Updated Nov 20, 2016
China is big. China is very big.
I’d like to elaborate a bit:
This is China, not Russia.
If you go to the very west of China, it will look a little bit like a middle eastern country. If you go to a few of the northern cities, you’ll feel like you might be in Russia. If you go to Beijing, which is kind of in the north, you see the stuff you see in newspapers - but if you go to Shanghai you feel like you’re in Europe. Not so far from Shanghai, about 5 hours by train, you can go to a city that used to be a German colony and has a brewery started by Germans making some of the best mass export beer in all of Asia. If you go to Guangzhou, you can enjoy the endless markets and stereotypically rude China you hear people complain about.
There are deserts, mountains, plains, vast cities, villages, farms, factories….There is Russia, there is the middle east, there is Europe…There are towns where people will say ‘hi’ to you and be friendly, there are towns where someone will try to sell you a fake iPhone for $100 in the most unfriendly tone you can imagine.
There are hundreds of languages spoken in China. Mandarin is the one we all know about, but it’s not even the native language of most the people there. And many people can’t even read or write.
One time, I met a guy doing shaokao (outside BBQ stalls/restaurants) in Haerbin, he was white and looked kinda Russian (Haerbin is near Russia…kinda, and looks like Russia,) so I asked where he was from. He was like “uhh…China.” He was actually from the west of China, and some language using arabic script was his native language.
There are people who pipe down to the gove*ment’s strict laws and control, and there are those who don’t care, and openly disgrace the g*rnment on social media when they do something they don’t like. There are cities that are so polluted you get a bad throat after 1 day of walking around, and there are cities where the sky is blue and beautiful.
To sum up, If I was to compare it to the media, as you wrote in your question. I would say that yes, China is the factory of the world, a huge exporter of raw materials, and very polluted in some places. They can be rude (but only because their culture is different,) and can be very traditional. But that’s just 5% (or something) of China, it’s a very diverse place with many peoples, languages, and cultures.
Edit: Some people are responding to this answer with “oh Shanghai isn’t like Europe,” or something like that. Actually you need to take some of this answer less literally, I’m just giving a general overview of China from my perspective. There are cultural roots in these cities that are definitely reflected today, in the architecture and in the culture too. Please don’t take it too literally, of course Shanghai isn’t really Paris, Haerbin isn’t really St Petersburg and Qingdao isn’t really Stuttgart.
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