The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chinese state media once called China a "world superpower in stress". According to a 2012 survey, 75% of Chinese workers are stressed, compared with 47% in the United States, 42% in the United Kingdom, and 58% in Germany. Over 70% percent of Chinese white-collar workers suffer from overwork, which poses a serious risk to their health. … Continue reading The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

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Directness, Hierarchy and Social Roles in Chinese Culture

Social hierarchies, "face" and etiquette have traditionally played an important role in Chinese society. These elements of social interaction are reflected in the way people talk and act. In particular, it has been argued that Chinese people "are much more vague and indirect than Westerners". One may find such views even in authoritative news outlets. … Continue reading Directness, Hierarchy and Social Roles in Chinese Culture

Face, Filial Piety and Work Motivation in Chinese Culture

"Sometimes, kids feel that studying is hard and stressful because parents are over anxious and expect too much," writes the Student Health Service website of Hong Kong's Department of Health. "If parents’ expectations go far beyond their kids’ ability, the kids would be discouraged and lose confidence as they are not able to meet their … Continue reading Face, Filial Piety and Work Motivation in Chinese Culture

Civilized Taiwanese vs Uncivilized Mainlanders: Peng Mingmin and Anti-Chinese Rhetoric

In recent years it has become common both in Taiwan and in Hong Kong to portray mainland Chinese as backward and uncivilized. Some controversial episodes that were covered by the media have shaped this perception. Only to name a few, in 2014 a mainland couple allowed their child to urinate on a street in Hong … Continue reading Civilized Taiwanese vs Uncivilized Mainlanders: Peng Mingmin and Anti-Chinese Rhetoric

The Concept of Face in Chinese Culture and the Difference Between Mianzi and Lian

Lu Xun, one of China's most influential writers of the 20th century, once described "face" as the "guiding principle of the Chinese mind" (中國精神的綱領). "Face" (面子), he remarked, is "a word we [Chinese] hear often and understand intuitively, so we don't think too much about it." But Westerners seemed to struggle to grasp it. "Recently … Continue reading The Concept of Face in Chinese Culture and the Difference Between Mianzi and Lian

“The House of Lim” and the Myth of the Harmonious Chinese Family

In 1959 the renowned American anthropologist and sinologist Arthur P. Wolf went on a study trip to Taiwan with his wife Margery. They spent two years in the house of the Lims, a "joint" family who lived in a small village in the countryside. Living side by side for a long period of time with … Continue reading “The House of Lim” and the Myth of the Harmonious Chinese Family

Western Values – Asian Values: A Chinese Revolutionary’s View on Western and Chinese Family

One of the major differences between China and the West is the importance which the family - with its hierarchical structure and its complex web of social roles, regulations, duties, and moral values - has in Chinese society (see: Filial Piety in Chinese Culture). Despite major social and economic changes, the Chinese-speaking world has retained … Continue reading Western Values – Asian Values: A Chinese Revolutionary’s View on Western and Chinese Family

Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

China's Televised Confessions On January 17 Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen, made a high-profile confession on China Central Television (CCTV), saying that he had turned himself to the authorities voluntarily. He confessed to having caused the death of a 20-year-old woman while drunk-driving back in 2003. According to China's state media, Gui had subsequently fled … Continue reading Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

Legalist Tradition And Criminal Law – Republic Of China vs People’s Republic Of China

In a previous post we have demonstrated that the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) contains fundamental elements which are consistent with, if not directly derived from, Legalist principles. In this chapter we shall analyse and compare the Legalist elements contained in the criminal codes of the Republic of China (ROC) and of … Continue reading Legalist Tradition And Criminal Law – Republic Of China vs People’s Republic Of China

Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions

In the previous post we have described the similarities and differences between Maoism and Legalism, and in particular we have shown the parallels between Maoist and Legalist doctrines regarding the establishment of an autocratic, centralised state. Moreover, we have demonstrated that Mao Zedong rejected Confucian values, which he viewed as "reactionary". In this post we … Continue reading Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions