Forgive my ego, but I could use some guidance.

Now that The Economist recognises/publishes what I have been saying about China v The US, for some years now, while I am flattered, it has made me realise that I need to understand China even better.

It’s easy to find US books on China, but harder to find China books on China. I know all the Western concerns about things like missing/altered history, the inability of authors to criticise etc. Even so I think it would be useful to learn about China from a Chinese perspective.

Spending a few years there is out of the question nowadays, so I am back to books. I have read Xi Jingpings “Government of China” vol1. And I was impressed at his speeches. Though I understand the English translation does not have the critical stuff. I am halfway through vol 2.

But does anyone know of any good books, in English, by loyal ordinary Chinese Party members? History, politics, whatever.

While I share the same concerns about China many in the West do, I accept China’s dominance as almost inevitable (and remain concerned about the possibility of the US falling into the Thucydides Trap). Unlike some in the West however I like China and have a lot of time for it. Even if I don’t like some of its actions.

I just want to understand better, from a Chinese perspective, China. Especially now that conventional wisdom is (sorry for my ego…again) catching me up.

Thanks in advance.

You may need the services of a Hong Kong (or Taiwanese) bookseller if you want something that hasn’t been lost in translation. Good luck with that.

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It’s my own fault for logging on to track a delivery due ‘today’. :roll_eyes:

What @AndyG said.

I’ve not been to China, but have been to Eastern Europe before the Wall came down.

Never underestimate how difficult is it to write ‘the truth’ in one party states.


What are the actions of China you do like?

@SloggingScotsman - Sorry, I did say I wouldn’t give you any more grief.

So I’ll try harder to ignore your posts going forward.

Cheers, Paul. :slight_smile:

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As I explained above I am looking to read something written by a loyal Party member. Why? In a bid to help me get my mind around their perspective/truth. Trying to understand the other mans position. To aid balance, comprehension etc.


  1. Remember my belief in reincarnation, if you read it, I think I was a fisherman in China in times gone by. That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

  2. They have taken an economically backwards country to a global power. How they achieved this is another matter, but they have been impressively successful.

  3. They have forced the US to wake up and realise that to maintain power they need to keep inspiring (after Gitmo, Trump etc reduced US global soft power).

  4. They have forced the US to wake up and realise that their thinking may need to change as China didn’t develop the way they expected (democracy, easily fitting into the global system etc).

  5. There seems to be a genuine concern from the top that no one should be hungry. (Contrast with Britain today where hunger is not uncommon including children)

  6. In effect they are offering competition to the US, and competition breeds success. Though as more countries now trade more with China than with the US, it’s a difficult place for the US.

It’s easy to criticise China, from a Western perspective, but plenty want to be China Communist Party members, far more than they accept, so the system from a Chinese perspective suits many ordinary Chinese.

Just like a book I read on Saudi Arabia by a German reporter who spent years with Saudi women. Some very much like the way things are. In the West we often hear about women’s rights/driving etc, but it seems many Saudi women are perfectly happy with the Saudi way.

Similarity, as CCP membership suggest plenty Chinese are happy with the Chinese way. Notwithstanding those that aren’t, the internal power struggles, the two ways the country could have gone after Tiannamen (and other cities), and all the stuff that is negative from our Western perspective.

I just want to try to get my mind around the Chinese perspective better. Just as that journalists book opened my mind to how many Saudi women are perfectly happy with their lot.

As a Westerner it’s a bit arrogant to suggest that our way is the only way and only to look at things from our perspective.

There is an esoteric lesson in there for you about self mastery. Know yourself Paul. Find precisely what I wrote incited you to respond, then work out why, and why you could not control the impulse. Then look a level deeper where the truth often lies. Inner work is rarely wasted. I could explain it in terms of energy threads but that probably a step too far.

Been to China a couple of times and being responsible for the European relationship with Huawei in my previous role, that’s about as close to a Chinese version of China you’ll get in the UK.

They offered me a job once. yeah, nah :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I have only had 2 encounters with Chinese people (3 if you include a Taiwanese, who very much considered herself Taiwanese not Chinese).

The first was an odd encounter a few years ago now, which I thought little about at the time. But on reflection seems a bit odd, though plausible. Nice chap.

The second is a Hong Kong lady I took French classes at Oxford Uni with. She most definitely considered herself Chinese not Hongkongese.

Fella, when the current madness is done, take a trip there and see what it is like.

Insane and open corruption, polluted to the shithouse, rude people (until they find that your trip is supported by local bigwigs, then nothing is too much trouble) - and I’m originally Australian so I’ve a fairly high rudeness threshold.

Two observations/anecdotes.

Firstly, joining the party isn’t necessarily an agreement or alignment with the CCP. For a lot of people it’s a career choice. Party membership opens a lot of doors. Very hard to get positions above a certain level if you’re not a CCP member.

Secondly, a story related to me by an M and A bod (which speaks ill both of the Western company that he worked for and the Chinese company they were seeking to partner with). He’d worked on a deal for a year plus - financials, legals, you name it. Come the signing ceremony he wasn’t invited by either company - his bosses were and perhaps wanted to take credit and I’m certain he’d pissed off the Chinese company and was back at home.

Panicked phone call was received: “this isn’t the contract we agreed to!”. The Chinese company had unilaterally altered the contract to its significant advantage, and had bet that the Western company wouldn’t make a fuss and would sign anyway because they were just so lucky to be dealing in China.


Wow, is my instinctive response altayloraus. Sadly it fits in to what I have been reading so far. The second anecdote is new to me so thank you.

A laudable stance.

My understanding is biased by my profession, but from what I have gathered they* do not see the distinction that we do between individual and family, individual and business, business and state nor individual and state.

*They meaning anyone I am likely interact with, eg people with elevated status in IT

But behind this masque of unity and uniformity lies a mass of racism and ethnic segregation as one might expect of any human society. Debt and wealth distribution does not adhere to communist principles, and the poor suffer more than they do here.

Let me know if you find even a half credible source.

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Why would a loyal party member write a book?

Indoctrination is a wonderful thing…


Let’s hope you don’t come back as a Chines fisherman…

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Or a shark!


What do you think the Chinese Government response would be to citizens of a province wishing for independence from the state? And what do you think would happen to people originating from that province who supported the independence movement on any kind of web forum?


What’s wrong with sharks!

I had this conversation with one of my doctors, actually 3, but one was Hindi, where I believe coming back as a fish is considered a bad thing. I see no problem, a short life (unless you are a Greenland whale which live for 400 years). I know the definition of fish is tighter, but conceptually.

Between nearly dying in hospital c10 years ago (or simply going through a fever spike, down the old white tunnel etc), and my incurable cancer diagnosis I can assure you…

  1. Death isn’t to be feared. (How is a separate matter). In fact at the final stages all human desires become irrelevant. It’s a weird place to be. And by the time you pass judgement and are about to take that final step, you have forgotten all about Earthly matters iirc.

  2. Approximately half (made up figure) the world believe in reincarnation, tribes to major religions. It’s hardly a fringe view. It just seems that way in much of the West.

  3. I intend to return in a spaceship to buzz you all! Actually I have no idea but I doubt I will reincarnate on Earth as a human anytime soon. Phew! I hear echoing around the Internet. :crazy_face:

It would likely not be very pleasant given separation is illegal in China. Thinking of Xinjang, Tibet and Hong Kong. Taiwan (and its history re the Nationalists v the Communists is an interesting if unusual case). Certainly what I have read (a fair bit) and seen on tv isn’t pleasant.

Mind you China itself is interesting given that the power is held within the Party and I believe that the armed forces are part of the party not the state. And then you have the historic PRC v DPRC issue.

I simply meant that if you’re a shark (in Africa especially) you could have your fin cut off whilst you’re still alive, be dumped back in the ocean with no means of surviving, just to be part of a Chinese bowl of soup.


Don’t worry, I know precisely why what you write winds me up. :wink:

However, I will try to do better at controlling the impulse to reply.

In the mean time, I’ll just leave you with a few counter-points…

Your #1 choice?

Absolutely pointless trying to debate that. :roll_eyes:

So, in your view, the end justifies the means?

Because in this case, the means isn’t just “another matter”, it is the whole point that taints the end result.

Don’t get me wrong, how other ‘Super Powers’ became ‘Super’ in the past isn’t always great either.

Surely you must know the difference between propaganda and the reality on the ground?

Or, are you genuinely suggesting Britain is worse than China for child hunger?

Also, do you want to put some of China’s other policies on children into any context?

For example, the treatment of women in order to reduce the number of children in the first place (enforced contraception/sterilization, etc).

Or do you believe the significant male bias in under 25s is a purely natural event?

Finally, which British Government policy, post WWII, can compete with the PRC’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ and the resulting famine which lead to a death toll in the tens of millions?


Oh indeed, never seen the attraction to it myself and I do feel sorry (really I do) for the sharks.

I write this tongue in cheek, but you are succeeding, how many times now have you said you will ignore me, publicly and privately? but you do ask sensible questions.

While I do not see reincarnation as religion (many do, including to my surprise (wiki warning) 22% of Christians in the US and more than that iirc in parts of Europe?. Plus all the religions and tribes where it is their core belief.

Debating beliefs is I agree pointless, that just leads to war. Best just to accept the other mans belief for what it is, just as yours is yours. Even Atheism is a belief in a way.

Far from it. A resounding NO. How you analysed and interpreted that is simply wrong. I was simply commenting that China’s growth has been impressive, and if you reread above you see I did quality it with how they achieved it being another matter.

Assuming you are not interrogating me, you seem to have jumped too quickly to the wrong conclusion. If so again I recommend some inner work as explained above.

Yes. Though I will qualify this.

The Netflix series Scorpion (based on a real life Irish Walter) is about geniuses with crappy social skills. While I am no genius, I do have crappy social skills nowadays. One pertinent point from that series is that Genius’s always tell the truth, and expect others to do the same. I can suffer from this failing eg I don’t really get banter.

But I have read enough western books on China (and some YouTube historically) to know that there are real issues with what we call propaganda, but every nation does it (350m a week for the NHS?, Care Homes are being Protected? I could list many more).

I honestly don’t know. In absolute terms you are undoubtedly correct, but in relative terms? While I am crappy at reading people, take as an example, Xi Jingping himself. When he is on walkabout he does appear to be more concerned about village food and clothes than any western leader, but that may be because he is the only one that I have seem directly address the issue. But as you say maybe propoganda.

While not excusing it, in fact if I were Chinese I would probably have a bullet through my head for not liking this/be in prison myself, it is their country their laws.

I do feel for those women, but that is the Chinese way, mainly in Xinjang I believe nowadays. I am not sure what anyone in the west could effectively do.

Every country does stuff people from other nations don’t like, here n Britain for example that same woman could die of hunger etc (coroner evidenced), while her children go to school hungry with teachers providing toast for their breakfast, or as in the news recently her sister stealing lunch food to take home for fellow sibling child.

You can whataboutism as much as you like Paul. China’s business is China’s business, just as we ignored the 2? United Nations negative reports of welfare poverty in England.

Obviously not. One, now two child policy. Some I believe can have 3. Unless you are in Xinjang where I believe one of the re-education songs is about big families being disloyal/terrorist/something else.

You see Paul I am fairly well read on China to that level of detail, from a Western Perspective.

Whataboutism again.

We are talking about China. But to answer you question there obviously isn’t, but statistically we don’t have anywhere remotely near the same population so you are mathematically talking about apples and oranges (assuming that the sample sizes and ‘events’ are not accurately comparable between populations….maths geeks here please correct my thinking, I am currently stewing my brain on Scots Higher Advanced level).

The closest I guess would be Thatcher closing the pits. But since 2010, and this is all now evidenced in parliamentary committee, by coroners and doctors see it routinely, and iirc twice by the UN, we as a nation have been happy to starve people including children. As we live in a democracy that is something every voting adult bears some responsibility for.