Are You Your Government?

Originally Published at Speak Without Interruption on February 16, 2010 by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption. Posted on iLook China, 3/9/10 at 08:00

On October 1, 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formally established in a speech given by Mao Zedong from the Imperial Gate at Tiananmen Square. I stood at the very spot where Mao gave his speech and took the photo at the right.  From speaking with people – in China – who lived through his reign it was beyond believable.  What he put his people through is an unforgivable act of power and brutality.  However, it is images from Mao’s era that some – outside of China – still have of the Chinese people.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!

Mao Speech

I never met a Chinese government official – did not even see one at least that I can recall.  What I did meet were the people of China – the people with whom I had my business and personal interactions.  I did not ask them questions about their government nor did they ask questions of mine.  The only political statement that I ever heard was a reference that China’s policy would probably change when the younger generation came into power, someday. (for more on this topic read Changing the Guard at http://wp.me/pN4pY-e9 )

In meetings, over two years ago, I heard about the oil pipeline being built directly from Iran to China.  None of the people in that meeting expressed an opinion one way or the other regarding this pipeline.  It was a decision the Chinese government made.  Maybe my associates did not approve of dealing with Iran—maybe they did?  The point being here is their government made this decision—not my associates.

Whether the officials in power in the US are republican or democrat, they have all made decisions of which I don’t agree.  They did not consult me or ask my opinion—am I my government in these situations?

The point I am trying to make is that I found the Chinese people I met just like me in a lot of respects.  I enjoyed doing business with them – learning their culture – and becoming their friends.  No government – or its actions – is ever going to change that for me!

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