By Rei Tanotsuka, 11 May 2020
“The size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.” Lee Kuan Yew
To deny that Asians in general are still enamoured with a Western ideal, is both mendacious and heretical. Anglophilia due to the lack of real life interaction with Americans Australians, British etc gives rise to an unshakeable faith in the inerrancy of the West.
Asians do indeed hold the Anglo Western sphere in rhapsodic awe. Living in Japan for almost 20 years, I can attest that irrespective of how often America traverses into territories uninvited, plunders other nations resources or violates “international” rules which do not rig the game in its favour, most Japanese people tend to offer condolences of the inevitable flawed human nature.
Yes, they will attest that avarice is the anaesthetic that permits us to cut out the figurative soul from the living entity because it’s for the “overall good” of survival. As the Japanese are wont to say “shouga nai” (it’s inevitable).
However, what happens when another Asian country even partially replicates the American spirit? It will be bombed into oblivion and the lamentation will never be one of a universal flaw, rather that of an exacting characteristic pertaining to that Asian nationality, and hence can never be forgiven.
This, my dear friend is what allows us to scarifice our esteem, safety and remain ignoble to a group of people who have sanctioned bullying to a religious fervour in order to remain ahead.
Yet, we desire to learn from them?
But it’s sooo cool to go to America!
Right now, the most generous slush of educational revenue for the Anglo West are Chinese students. They contribute a whopping $13 billion to America and $12 billion to Australia. That’s $25 billion in total that Chinese parents need to pony up for their darling Shu Li to learn that she is officially offensive to the Western palete because she was born under a red flag, and that her nickname is now Ching, coronavirus, bat eater or simply, fuck off. That’s right, a noun becomes a verb simultaneously when addressing the Chinese. Beautiful…. and they say the West is not parsimonious!
But what precisely is this elusive notion of “cool”? Is America really this?
OR is it more like a Walmart Trump who declares that he thinks “Asian girls are boodiful” trying to lure 20 year old corporate law student Shu Li into his boudoir, believing that a young Asian tail is a comparable match for a 6 decade welfare cheque collecting aficionado?
Maybe it’s the giddy surprise of a cadre of new friends who will introduce your much adored Cheung Wei into the world of athletics, morphing him into supermodel proportions after a year of balanced studies and soccer?
OR is baby Wei infact surrounded by a pack of sinophobic wolves disguised as welcoming lambs telling him the greatest joke he’ll ever hear – his name. Of course his name will carry a different rendition. *see above section on nicknames.
What’s worse is that Wei is a BOY. He will learn the meaning of micro, to be used concomitantly as an adjective to denigrate his manhood, and he will come to despise what he ought to love, the ubiquitous Asian Western girl, whose self esteem is so low that plain chubby vanilla can still make her milk shake.
Living with Mao
Witnessing the number of Chinese students, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, I sometimes think these people are stuck in a time warp. They honestly think that they live in Mao’s China and believe the West is Jetson turf, and hence would do anything to taste this futuristic elixir.
For some bizarre reason, Chinese kids STILL pine to go abroad to the West, believing this experience will somehow propel them into the legions of a chic nobility, a class that still turns head or bestows credibility, when in reality Asia, and China in particular, is the nouveau cool. It REALLY is, but they can’t see it.
Everytime I go home to Australia, and when I travelled to Europe, I cringe at the internet access connection…. in Japan we almost NEVER have problems with the speed, we are all on the same wavelength. Whenever I call mum, Telstra gives us so much shit during a call, I’m beginning to think that inside Australian WiFi, homunculi are employed to relay messages. The worst internet connection is probably in Germany. They are probably still on 3G!
Short of the huge typhoon that ripped out trees from the ground a little more than a year ago, in the almost 20 years in Japan, I have experienced NO BLACKOUTS. Even during said typhoon, my area did not have a black out, though my ex co-workers did have that problem. In Australia, I remember experiencing black outs so frequently that candles were always a stand by item, and I’m not talking about Gwyneth Paltrow vagina scented candles, I’m talking about the cheap Woolworths ones.
China is definitely state of the art in terms of internet availability, but not only that, it’s AHEAD in most things now.
Jesus didn’t perform a miracle, Deng did.
Now remember China in the 1970s. If you wanted to take your hols there, firstly you would probably wouldn’t get through, but say you did, you would probably be the lone Hawaiian T-shirted, khaki shorted, thong wearing bogan. You would be swimming among a throng of Mao suits, bicycles and barren streets. Go to Beijing now and you would think that an alien species had landed and this time instead of giving out mysterious Pythagorean pyramid blueprints, they gave out skyscrapers and high speed railway patents.
Our ex PM Kevin Rudd calls China’s development, a compression of 300 years of the English Industrial Revolution and global information revolution, into 30. Rome may not have been built in a day, but China could have done it in a fortnight.
China, if measured by square feet, was building the equivalent of a Rome every TWO WEEKS by 2005, yeah not a day I know, but still a feat that can challenge Yahweh on a sleepy day.
China’s infrastructural feats are nothing short of jaw dropping.
So what, you say? What has that got to do with the kids education? Well, alot actually.
Exactly one generation ago, China’s educational institutions ranked right at the bottom. No places worthy of mention.
By 2015, PISA (Program of International Student Assessment) revealed that China was already outperforming the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average. A Stanford University comparison of Chinese to local American students entering the engineering and computer science disciplines, show that the Chinese students are THREE YEARS AHEAD in terms of CRITICAL THINKING. You know, the trait the West keeps reiterating that Asians lack? Guess not when it comes to empirical evidence, rather than racist conjecture.
The most IMPORTANT reason why Chinese students, especially engineering nerds should STAY in China, is because Tsinghua University has officially surpassed THE MIT in 2015, to become the NUMBER ONE UNIVERSITY IN THE WORLD for engineering.
As per usual, the Western media is the FIRST to defecate all over the new crowning by quickly pointing out that Tsinghua “won” because of the quantity rather than the quality of their research papers. As we all know though, quantity begets quality in the end, it ALWAYS HAS, and we will see China truly eclipse the West in every way possible pretty soon, especially with 4 times the STEM graduates.
So when I say Chinese students should remain in China, I’m saying this in terms of what would be the best education for them. The bejewelled Western education of the past, where Chinese or Asian students in general, used to claim a spring of epiphanies no longer hold true. In all honesty, the buzz and adrenalin are all in Asia now.
Asia is the FUTURE, and what’s disheartening is that ONCE AGAIN it’s the West that has recognised this FIRST, this is why they feel the threat.
Asians are again trailing behind, waiting for the nod of the white man to knight them into official success. When will we realise our own worth if not when the data already attests to us being at the top?
Why spend all that time and money only to be called a virus, teased relentlessly for your phenotype and more importantly, why do you want to get certified by an institution LESS CREDIBLE than your own?