The China Relationship
It amazes me how our politicians remain ignorant of the customs and cultures of other countries and we proceed in ignorance – perhaps this is the basis of the proverbial “ugly American”. I have personally witnessed this by Americans in other parts of the world. When the Ugly American is in another country full of foreigners, there is a lot of criticism of the foreign ways – good grief, this does not promote positive relationship building. There is an ingrain Chinese mentality, which subtly underlies all business and political exchanges. While most Americans may strive for an equitable, win-win, agreement as a solid basis for any agreement and good-business, the Chinese mentality is there is always a winner and loser in every interaction; and, they are strongly motivated (culturally ingrained) NOT to be the loser – they must “save face”, and they will do what is necessary to “win”. Our political leaders seem to be ignorant of this and only think of near-term profit, and seemingly are insensitive to the long term “price” that we must pay.