The Collective Culture versus Individualism – 3/5

September 1, 2010

When I wrote why China is studying Singapore, my goal was to show Westerners why China couldn’t model itself after an individualistic culture like the United States.

It wouldn’t fit China’s culture.

Even Dr. Sun Yat-Sen – China’s Democratic Revolutionary, said any democracy in China would have to fit China’s culture saying, “An individual should not have too much freedom. A nation should have absolute freedom.”

Individualism promotes individual goals and encourages each person to express him or herself freely.  Each person is encouraged to be unique. Rules and laws attempt to ensure independence, choices and freedom of speech.

There is no need to fit in or conform to the group or society.

Relying or being dependent on others is often seen as shameful, and people are encouraged to do things on their own, to rely on themselves. Source: Psychology – Collectivist and Individualist Cultures

However, James Surowiecki says, “We once accused the Japanese of being copycats and now we turn on the Chinese. But the truth is that we have all become imitators.… In many situations, collective decisions are better than individual ones.” Source: Co-Society.com

Go to Collective Culture versus Individualism – Part 4

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Defector / Traitor (3/4)

August 5, 2010

The most famous Chinese defector/traitor may have been Sun Tianqin, a fighter pilot in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, who flew to South Korea in 1983 in an advanced fighter aircraft.

From there, Sun went to Taiwan to live. He left behind his mother, Mrs. Liu, his 18-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

While Americans see these defectors as heroes, the Chinese see dishonorable and selfish individuals. While Americans help one Chinese man or woman defect, an entire village in China pays the price.

Before defecting, Sun’s mother was so proud of her son that she displayed a large picture of him in uniform at their home and after learning of her son’s defection, she was so devastated that she fell ill and never recovered, finally dying, for which Sun’s family members put the blame on him.

Sun eventually married another defector, Ms. Li Tianhui, a musician. The sad fact is that all Chinese defectors leave knowing that those left behind related to them will pay a price. After all, they are Chinese and they grew up in the same collective culture.


Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese Diplomat, defected and liberated his spirit, but how many suffered in China for that act?

Sun Tianqin was not the first PLA fighter pilot to defect. Soon after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, Jiang Wenhao, defected to Taiwan. Wiki lists the first PLA pilot defecting on January 12, 1960 and the last in August 1990. Source: Wikipedia

Since the standard of living has improved in China and people have more personal freedom, defections have decreased and it is much easier to travel to the US.

Return to Defector/Traitor – Part 2 or go to Part 4

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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