“Chinese-style Democracy: The Reality” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

Barry Li’s view on the mindset of the new generation of ‘new Chinese’ (basically those born from the 1980s on) can be summed up in the final paragraph of his extract:

“They do not like to hear anyone, including the mainstream Australian media, describe China as an extreme communist country, because it simply is not true. They probably will not be offended if you describe the Chinese as realists, because they mostly are. They will be offended if you tell them that the South China Sea does not belong to China, even though they personally do not own a single drop of water in that sea.”

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The political sensitivities that should be observed when doing business with China

By Barry Li

There was news recently that a lecturer from Monash University had unintentionally offended Chinese students with a question regarding Chinese stereotypes in a course quiz. Following university inquiries, the lecturer was suspended and Monash has since removed the popular textbook (Human Resources Management by Raymond J. Stone) while apologising to the incensed Chinese community. The business school textbook quoted outdated information about Chinese government officials and skilled labours, resulting in Chinese international students feeling humiliated.  While I personally believe that some may have overacted to the inappropriate question, the textbook – despite being republished in its 9th edition this year – clearly needs its contents revised and updated; universities and lecturers from this experience should enhance their awareness of political sensitivities while doing business with China, and this very much includes when teaching Chinese international students.

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