In what way is China doing better than the West?
Farzin S, Author, Teacher, Business man and an Entrepreneur
I’ve lived and worked in both China and South Korea for few years and both countries are doing exquisitely well when it comes to infrastructure, transport and entertainment.
I have honestly come to believe, East Asian countries are the future building 22nd century infrastructure and implementing digital technologies to everyday life.
This was my smart apartment in China in a tier 2 city with everything being connected to the Internet. Both kitchen and bathroom were connected and I was able to manage my apartment energy consumption through the app on my phone. This apartment was 50 square meters modest living space yet being highly functional. Apartments came furnished with television and all the other appliances - I did not buy anything both in China and Korea.
I was also able to measure the quality air and water through a smart device attached to the wall checking it on my phone.
Both apartments were also accessible to the gym, swimming pool, grocery store, and 15 minutes bus journey to the downtown. Well, if you think that’s not the future then I’ve no idea how to convince you anymore. To have a smart apartment like this anywhere in Europe in any city would be like a dream for many 20 something year olds but in China and South Korea is just the norm.
Can you guess how much I paid for such apartment? 230 Dollars every month including water bills, management fee and the Internet. Now that’s bargain. Due to housing crisis, many young people are led to either share their accommodation with others or move back with their parents in Europe. I just wish I had the same option at such a low cost in Ireland & UK but unfortunately that’s not really the case.
The transport and the hospitals are also highly efficient too. It took me 20 minutes to see a doctor and 30 minutes to see a gastroenterologist at the hospital. It was fast, quick and effective. The medicine and pharmaceuticals are definitely higher quality in Europe versus Asia but the efficiency was just priceless. All of that for just 10 Dollars and in Korea, I was covered by the national health insurance.
I lived in smart apartments both in China and South Korea, they were not for the elite, it was pretty much the norm for ordinary people.
Welcome to life in 2050 with basic necessities being so accessible and available at such a low affordable cost without breaking the bank.
It’s something I truly love and miss about East Asia, China and South Korea to be specific. I wish I could bring that back to Europe.
Sam Karthik, Living in China
I have been living and working in China (Suzhou, Jiangsu province) for over two years now. Been to 51 cities, big and small. Seen countrysides and mega cities.
From a foreigners perspective, let me give you a quick helicopter view about how China is doing lot better than the West:
1.China is safe, day or night. Nonviolence is a culture in China.
2.No immigration crisis: need I explain? You just can't enter China illegally. Some exceptions might be there, but nothing like what you see in the UK and USA (a caravan of thousands trying to enter southern border of USA).
3.Growing economy: despite all news of slowing economy, Chinese GDP growth rate is still about 5%, much better than the West.
4.C�ٻ���Ʊ��¼hinese food: Man, the whole western diet is full of junk food, pizza, burger. All carbs. What's surprise that the western food oriented lifestyle has lead to health epidemic. For example, now we have about 500 miliion people world wide with diabetes (a carb/sugar disease). A few decades ago, it was hardly 20mn. Go eat more pizza, and the time will teach you lessons. To the least, you should monitor your fasting blood sugar levels.
5.Chinese cultural values: in China, there is a huge emphasis on family system. Divorce rates are still much lower in China than that in the west.
6.Online shopping: Well, Amazon sucks. They still don't provide live chat with the sellers. No wonder, in China Amazon (both .cn and .com) sucked very badly. They just couldn't compete with the local giants like Taobao.
7.Chinese girls: they are skinny, sweet, nurturing and feminine. China is a great place to find love and get married.
8.High-speed trains: China's infrastructure development could be felt in the form of the high-speed trains. If you have taken a long distance train in Australia or USA, you know how fast they are.
9.Payment wallet: you don't need to carry cash in China. Just scan tbe QR codes using phone. Now even that is being replaced by the face recognition system.
10.Medical facilities: in a typical Chinese hospital, it'd cost me about RMB 10 (US$ 1.5) to meet the doctor. The medical expenses are much lower than in the western countries. There are good number of hospitals in each city.
Also, don't blindly trust the western media, they often don't tell you the whole truth. Even the BBC and Guardian run western propaganda against China. That's not right.
China is a sweet and loving county.
I love China!
The only challenge about living in China, to a foreigner like me, is the language. If you can learn the Mandarin language, you will have a great time living here.
Sunny Mewati, Indian living in China
China is doing better than the western world in a lot of areas, because of its sheer size and different spending priorities etc. Some of them out of my experience in living and studying in Shenzhen are,
Big Bang Economic Reforms: China is better at making hard choices to sustain and guide economic growth. Chinese leaders wowed to control air pollution as it reached hazardous levels. At the expense of marginal industrial output, China reduced its coal consumption by 8 percent in just four months.
European countries are still struggling in deciding which path to follow to get out of recession. China on the contrary has been actively undertaking economic reforms to rebalance its economy. The short term effects of the same are detrimental to growth and hence not populist but they are needed. I have never read of such fast paced economic reforms in the context of western countries.
Public Safety: Chinese cities are very safe. China spends as much on domestic security as on national defense and while there might be many motives to do so, one clear benefit is that cities in China are very safe. This is not just in comparison to the western world though. I feel infinitely more safe in Shenzhen than I do in New Delhi. No matter where I am in Shenzhen, I am not more than a kilometer away from one of the mobile police vans scouring the city. China is so safe for tourists and backpackers that I feel bad for my friends who travel abroad as exchange students that they would expect the same standards of public safety and later feel disappointed and at worse, hurt themselves.
Investing in Human Capital: Higher education is becoming expensive and inaccessible by the day in the United States. China on the other hand has done an amazing job of ensuring quality higher education for most high school students. It has not just invested in human capital but taken an active role in creating the kind of talent it needs for development. China Scholarship Council, an arm of the Ministry of Education funds Chinese students abroad with the condition that they come back to China to work. A couple of my friends are pursuing their PhD's at Oxford and Yale under this scheme.
Infrastructure: The Chinese approach to infrastructure despite its criticisms is miles ahead of that of the western world. The Chinese forego the short term rate of return with the long term benefits of the project. The high speed rail in China even though it will run in losses for another decade has fundamentally changed people's perception of distance and benefited Chinese businesses. A western country (or even India) would have deliberated for a decade before building the Three Gorges Dam and the dam itself would have died a slow death because of an avalanche of litigation against it (ex. California HSR).
Renewable Energy: For all the media coverage regarding environmental pollution here, China has invested more than the western world in developing renewable energy sources
Sam Katse, Spent some time in small-town China
I spent around four months in a medium-sized Chinese city ~400 km from the coast not that long ago.
The positives I noted:
- (a) Blue-collar workers seemed really motivated to take pride in their work;
- (b) Women appeared to be going around freely at all hours without a fear of harassment.
- (c) China's investment in its young people appeared obvious.
- (d) The people appeared genuinely pro-active and helpful, while keeping a polite distance.
This is remarkably different from what one sees in the US or Europe (or even India);
I didn't consider the construction boom to be a great positive as away from the big cities it has given really shoddy results.
Personal freedoms (in terms of the intrusiveness of authorities) don't appear that different from post-9/11 US or France.
Read the Western press for all the standard negatives. It's obvious that a fairly miserable mix of jealousy and contempt appear to be its prime motivator
Adam Supernant, Former sourcing manager in southern China
Maybe my answers seem a bit trivial, but this is day to day stuff I see.
1) Crime, especially violent crime. Relative absence of slums and "bad areas," even in big cities.
2) You can get a cell phone signal seemingly anywhere
3) Hours of operation for most services. Lots of Western cities are dead by 8pm, but you can still easily find food and supermarkets open at 11pm in China.
4) Frequency of bus service, but I think it's largely due to the fact that there are so many more customers.
5) Availability of medicine for non-serious illnesses. Getting an antibiotic in the US is a huge ordeal. You have to schedule an appointment with your family doctor (who only works 9-5, Monday through Friday) or pay a king's ransom by going to the emergency room. In China it's extremely easy and cheap to see a doc and get a prescription. Maybe this is bad in the end because of overused antibiotics, but it sure is convenient.
6)Teaching kids math. At least it seems like it