How Chinese and Americans Are Misreading Each Other -- And Why It Matters

How Chinese and Americans Are Misreading Each Other — And Why It Matters

China-U.S. relations are at an important stage of mutual adjustment. We should ease thisprocess by building up mutual understanding and people-to-people exchanges.

A senior American scholar asked me what the Chinese dislike about the United States. Isought views from people around me. Among the responses, there were both heartfeltpraises and sharp criticism.

Many Chinese admire the achievements of the U.S. and strength of Americans. On theother hand, the Chinese have reservations about America’s bias on China and hold theiropinion on its foreign policy. Many Chinese people hope the U.S. will behave moreresponsibly in promoting peace and development in the world.

The differences of perception have something to do with the “structural contradictions”between the two countries. The most prominent manifestations of the structuralcontraction are the negation and stereotypes on Chinese political system.

To many Americans, China focused on collective interests, lack of democracy and humanrights, and thus “not correct”; in the eyes of many Chinese, the Americans respect theirvalues, tend to engage in political evolution in other countries, and thus need to remainvigilant to it. Such simplistic, pattern recognition, inevitably affect each other’s views onmany issues. The so-called Sino-US “strategic mutual doubt”, to a certain extent, alsostems from this.

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