While China has never been a prime example for how to deal with human rights, they do have a lot of reasons to brag. Their economy is much stronger than the United States’; they have the fastest growing middle class in the world; and their government is able to make decisions while ours is either too divisive and quarrelsome or too clueless and out-of-control to get anything done. (Not that we’re pointing any fingers.) If you’re ashamed of the things China does better than us, just remember that it’s never too late to change.
Capitalism didn’t start in the United States, but it was certainly popularized here. However, in recent years, shocking though it may be, China has been beating us at our own game. Since the late 1970s, the country has brought more than 500 million people out of poverty, and the Communist government has been able to mobilize resources for massive economic stimulus in spite of having a population that is about four times the size of the United States. (Of course, a government big enough to stimulate is also big enough to confiscate, but that’s not our topic.) Meanwhile stateside, the “big two” political parties have done nothing but fight over and abuse power, increasing resentment between business and government as well as distrust between the population and elected officials.
Okay, so this one’s not quite as important as capitalism, but it’s still worth mentioning because, damn, have you ever seen an American trying to negotiate the sticks? It’s pathetic. Of course, this one shouldn’t be as much of a surprise. After all, they were the country who invented them (around 3,200 years ago). That’s quite the head start, so of the things China does better than us, we shouldn’t feel as badly about this one. And really, have you ever tried eating a steak without a knife and fork? This may not be the most practical choice of eating utensil.
According to Random Facts, China was responsible for inventing the compass, soccer, ice cream, the original seismograph, the waterwheel, the iron plow, the crossbow, suspension bridges, the parachute, and, most importantly of all, toilet paper. As “refined” and “sophisticated” as we of Western Culture think that we are, a quick look at history indicates that we’re always a couple of thousand years behind in “inventing” the obvious.
Not going to say we don’t all need to live up to a higher standard as human beings, but politicians especially should be mindful of their positions. After all, in a Democratic form of government, they carry the trust of the people who elected them — millions of people. But in China’s Communist government, they don’t need votes to take their duties seriously. For example, in 2007, supplies of dog food, antibiotics, and toothpaste were found to contain poisonous ingredients. Specifically, one antibiotic approved by the State Food and Drug Administration killed 10 patients. Upon further investigation, authorities found a paper trail revealing the department head, Zheng Xiaoyu, was taking bribes from pharmaceutical companies. He was executed. While we are certainly not advocating the death penalty for corrupt politians, one can’t help but wonder how quickly, say, members of Congress or heads of government departments would shape up if there wasn’t a white collar prison (and eventual pardon) in their future.
Chinese/Chinese-American actors like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Lucy Liu, have all been incredible performers and amazing martial artists. They’re symbols of the fact that yet another of the things China does better than us are the martial arts. Now, keep in mind, we’re using the general term. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), designed for combat, is a much different thing, and China hardly has the market cornered. But as far as the pure art form is concerned, it originated with the Xia Dynasty about 4,000 years ago, and much like the previously mentioned inventions entry, how can you compete with that?
The Gini Coefficient is a measurement of income inequality that ranks countries on a scale from 0.00 to 0.50. To place it in simple terms, the United States, with a 0.45, is in the same company with countries like Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Who’s responsible for that is open to debate, but what isn’t debatable, is the fact China is ahead of our game. In addition to a more stable and quickly growing economy, the country boasts a 0.415, and the majority of citizens think the country is heading in the right direction. Compare that to a recent Rasmussen poll that showed just 30 percent of Americans believed the same, and you can definitely see things are getting worse.
So there you have it — 6 things China does better than us, big and small. Now if we could just get them to improve factory conditions and work on the whole human rights thing.