Men’s “Face” – Part 3/4

February 18, 2010

Face is why the Chinese businessman will take great risks or take only a few risks and if given a chance may steal another person blind—that is if they believe they can get away with it.  If they are caught and it is against the law, that is a loss of face—one reason for suicide. Most Chinese men will wait until they are successful before they let others know. If they fail, it’s possible no one will hear about it beyond the family unit.

Face is why Chinese men often work twelve to sixteen hour days, seven days a week earning small but saving big. The Chinese will do without luxuries and save to pay for their child’s university education. Chinese women will work just as hard.

Regaining face may be one reason why Mao reoccupied Tibet for China in 1950. The other reason may have been tactical—to control the high ground like Israel controls the Golan Heights.  Having control over that plateau was one of the tactical reasons Britain convinced the Dalai Lama to declare freedom from China in 1912.

Some of China's Seventy Million Leaders

Face may be why China’s leaders get so angry over Taiwan. As long as Taiwan is out there and not ruled by the mainland, it may be seen as a loss of face. It’s why the Chinese want to walk on the moon and reach the other planets before anyone else. In China, “face” is universal to the entire population and different for each person.

Continued at Gambling for “Face” – Part 4 or discover The Power of Public Debate in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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China Going Green

February 8, 2010

The evidence shows that China is waking up sooner than Western countries did after their industrial revolutions. China now leads the world in hydroelectric power providing 20% of the country’s power. China has made it a priority to use hydroelectric power to reduce pollution in the future. Chine also plans to lead the world in solar cell and wind turbine production.

The Dabancheng Wind Farm – At 100 megawatts, China’s largest

China plans to relocate 15,000 citizens from an area poisoned by lead (due to manufacturing) that would cost the government 146 million dollars or one billion yuan.

In August 2009, two chemical factory officials were convicted of releasing carbolic acid into a river and they were sentenced to prison terms of 6 and 11 years. In the past, such acts usually resulted in little more than a fine. Recently, Chinese authorities made it clear that China is entering a new era in environmental enforcement.

In April 2009, China’s leaders announced a plan to turn the country into the leading producer of hybrid and all-electric cars in three years. In addition, subsidies of up to $8,800 are being offered to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each hybrid or all-electric vehicle purchased. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

One goal is to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent. Another is to close down polluting factories including the heaviest polluting coal power plants. The plan is to switch those plants from coal to natural gas something that is also being considered in the United States. China is also building nuclear power plants with plans for thirty in the next fifteen years.

Another goal is to increase the amount of land covered by forests from 28 percent to 30 percent over a five-year period. If you have traveled extensively in China recently, you may have witnessed this taking place. We have.

I am optimistic. Considering that the Chinese built the Great Wall and the Grand Canal more than two thousand years ago, I predict that the Chinese will do this too, but it will take time–maybe decades to reverse a trend started by the rest of the world hundreds of years before China became the world’s factory floor.

At the Copenhagen environmental conference, China sounded like the bad guy in the Western media—as usual. You may want to read this piece to find out more at

Also, consider that the call to have China policed by the world to make sure they cut back on carbon emissions as they said they would was a slap saying, “We don’t trust you?”  That’s a loss of face and embarrassing to the Chinese. If China made it public that they are going to cut back a certain amount of carbon emissions by a certain date and they do not, that will also be a loss of face. There’s a good chance that they will cut more than they pledged. Let’s wait and see.

Return to Where Did All That Pollution Come From


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 love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

Honor Chinese Style – Part 3

February 5, 2010

In 1935, Lin Yutang wrote, “Face cannot be translated or defined. It is like honor and is not honor. It cannot be purchased with money, and gives a man or a woman a material pride. It is hollow and is what men fight for and what many women die for.

“It is invisible and yet by definition exits by being shown to the public. It exists in the ether and yet can be heard, and sounds eminently respectable and solid. It is amenable, not to reason but to social convention.

“It protracts lawsuits, breaks up family fortunes, causes murders and suicides, and yet it often makes man out of a renegade who has been insulted by his fellow townsmen, and it is prized above all earthy possession.

“It is more powerful than fate and favor, and more respected than the constitution. It often decides a military victory or defeat, and can demolish a whole government ministry. It is that hollow thing which men in China live by.” (Lin Yutang, My Country and My People, Halcyon House, New York, NY, 1938, page 200)

Chinese like Yue Fei and Guan Yu were honorable men and gained much face because of their beliefs and behavior.

When anyone in China reacts to anything, politically or personally, honor plays a big role. It doesn’t matter if one is a member of the Communist Party, a farmer or a factory worker or one of the wealthiest members of the new capitalist elite.

Most Chinese measure what is important in life by a different standard than the rest of the world.

Discover Honor Chinese Style – Part 1


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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