7 comments

  • bobjordan 102 days ago

    American living in China, here for 10 years now. Even before the current tensions, as an American visiting China, you'd be likely to feel like you've stepped into another planet on entering. China is just so utterly different, and if you are non-Asian, you attract a lot of Chinese eyeballs from everyone from young children to Grandpa's, as they are just generally curious about foreigners. Everyone openly refers to you as "foreigner", like "hey look at that foreigner over there". On top of that, they are security conscious here in China. In 10-years in China, I've never found myself in a place where I've felt unsafe. Frankly, having personally been in serious danger in America a few times and further, my little brother got robbed, shot and killed and died in the middle of a street. I can't say the security here in China is a bad thing. The society in China prefers to be secure and have cameras everywhere, and it seems to be working for them.

    So, I think those factors I mentioned above can naturally magnify incidents which are probably just going to happen to a foreigner here in China regardless, especially if the foreigner is already a bit concerned about anti-American sentiment. As far as the anti-American sentiment. I can remember it happening a few times and this is probably the worst it's been for Americans. But, I can remember times where anti-sentiment for Japanese appeared much worse. Locally to where I live, some Chinese nationals vandalized a few Japanese cars and stores. I don't feel like it's come close to getting that bad for Americans, yet. And largely, I feel like the Anti-American sentiment from Huawei and trade tension stuff hit a spike a few months ago, and people have pretty much moved on now.

    • chantelles 102 days ago

      I lived in Taipei for a while - I am a white blonde woman - and everywhere I went kids yelled HEY WHITE LADY. It was, as you describe out of shock as there were few other white women there. I saw none in my time there. I have never felt so safe as I did there, and, because I am a woman, having people stare or comment was nothing new. What was new was that most of the attention was positive and coming from women and children who wanted to come and look at me up close. It was very instructive for me, especially upon return to Toronto. The white men I know who have traveled to Asia all complained/were shocked by the attention because they are not used to it. In this context, alongside the current trade/media-war going both ways, I expect more and more stories like this to counteract the stories of Chinese folks in America being treated differently, tho I would argue they are nothing the same.

      • RickJWagner 102 days ago

        Thanks for sharing your experiences and first-hand knowledge.

        I work with some Chinese employees of my global company, I have only been impressed with them. I have high hopes for global relations as time goes on.

        • AFascistWorld 102 days ago

          Reaction of the Huawei thing seems to be focused more on Canada. Canada is weaker, like Japan, Korea and to some extent Sweden on which the furor had found success.

          • rolltiide 102 days ago

            It is hard for me to balance this reality with the general fear and paranoia Americans have about everything, especially in another country, especially when that other country is China.

            I know your experience is the most likely, but telling people that they most likely wouldn't be subject to civil rights abuses that they think China is all about is almost akin to stepping on their ego.

          • reaperducer 102 days ago

            Two plainclothes officers asked him to go with them to answer questions. They asked him about his diplomatic status and whether he had diplomatic immunity, the people said. They demanded to see his passport, which he refused to show.

            What is the best way to deal with something like this? Not that I'm going back to China any time soon. Just from a curiosity standpoint.

            • seanmcdirmid 102 days ago

              comply? It isn’t weird to have to show identity to authorities in any country; having to provide a passport on demand is a given when traveling in China.

              Strange that this guy attracted black Audi cop interest, I’ve only ever seen them when they were hauling away a North Korea student from a Haidian Starbucks.

              • NotSammyHagar 102 days ago

                What is the significance of an expensive car cop? Does it means they are from some top paid government agency?

                • seanmcdirmid 101 days ago

                  A Black Audi has symbolism in China, it means mid grade official at least (Audi beijg in China much longer than anyone else). Normal police don’t have access to that of course, if you see police in a black Audi wearing suits and sunglasses, they are very elite and are often involved in political crimes (Eg Party enforcement).

                  As an example, normal police in Beijing walk on egg shells since many people have lots of connections to bare. So a bunch of rich kids smoking weed isn’t something they will go near, so those are busted by the Black Audi people (who have strong enough connections to resist whatever).

              • MaupitiBlue 102 days ago

                > What is the best way to deal with something like this? Not that I'm going back to China any time soon.

                I think you answered your own question.

                • module0000 102 days ago

                  > What is the best way to deal with something like this?

                  Bribe them, it's business as usual there. When approached by officers, this is what they are likely expecting.

                  • seieste 102 days ago

                    Don’t do this if you’re an American—it’s illegal to bribe anywhere in the world.

                    • joewee 102 days ago

                      Follow this advice. If you are working for an American company bribery is a horrible idea and in a situation like this would likely be used to make a case against you. The only exceptions made for bribes is if you feel like your life may be in immediate danger, in which case you are supposed to report the incident immediately to your employer and the local embassy.

                      The other downside to bribery is if you have money, you become a real target as everyone will start harassing you in exchange for bribes.

                      • Nullabillity 102 days ago

                        Yet half of your economy seems to be built around it (tipping).

                        • dang 102 days ago

                          "Eschew flamebait. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."

                          https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

                          • blaser-waffle 98 days ago

                            Bollocks. Tipping is predictable and normative. You assume 15% when going to restaurants, and roughly the same amount in other contexts, like getting a haircut.

                            No one is fleecing you, and the costs are predictable using basic math.

                            You may be thinking of Lobbying, which is a totally different phenomenon.

                            • LocalH 102 days ago

                              The validity (or lack thereof) of tipping may be debatable, but it's not equivalent to bribery.

                          • module0000 101 days ago

                            > Don’t do this if you’re an American—it’s illegal to bribe anywhere in the world.

                            Is this a US-citizen thing? I haven't heard that before and am curious.

                      • peterkelly 102 days ago

                        Like how the CFO of Huawei has been detained in Canada since December of last year?

                        https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/05/tech/huawei-cfo-arrested-...

                        • _iyig 102 days ago

                          She was credibly accused of a crime. The Koch executive wasn’t formally accused of anything, according to the article, not that such formalities matter in a system such as China’s.

                          • freeflight 101 days ago

                            > She was credibly accused of a crime.

                            The "crime" of breaking sanctions against Iran, which happened after the US left JCPOA to reinstate said sanctions against Iran.

                            Which was a very convenient way to manufacture the "formalities" to arrest the Huawei CFO.

                            • ABCLAW 101 days ago

                              Sorry, this is bullshit. Huawei structured the Iran deal to obfuscate that they were providing the equipment in question.

                              Not only did they know they weren't allowed to sell telecom equipment to Iran, they intentionally tried to do so while hiding it.

                              Don't pretend this was a secret post facto play by the US to strike at China. It wasn't.

                        • sunstone 101 days ago

                          This is very short sighted behaviour on the part of China. Clearly world business will avoid the country if they feel their personal security is at risk due to political interference in the judicial system. International supply chains will now seek to avoid China if at all possible.

                          • contingencies 102 days ago

                            Chances are this is only part of the story.

                            • mrtweetyhack 102 days ago

                              American kidneys are worth more money and are make penis strong

                              • justasitsounds 102 days ago

                                I'm no fan of authoritarian regimes, but given Koch Industries history of spreading FUD for profit I am reluctant to take this at face value.