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Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

livinginchina (187 posts) • +2

I've lived here for a little over 15 years and I/we are still 'tourists' in the eyes of the Chinese government. Oh well. If I knew back then what I know now, my choices would have been different. Hindsight is 20-20 right?

bubblyian (91 posts) • 0

@livinginchina I've been here around 4 years - I am curious as to what you would do differently with 20-20 hindsight? Maybe help us 'newbies' avoid some obvious mistakes?

livinginchina (187 posts) • 0

If you have been here for 4 years then its's too late for you. My advise is to stay for not longer than 6 months to one year to get a taste of Mainland China. After that go back to your home country and study Chinese on WeChat.

jj123 (99 posts) • +3

The time is over, for sure, 100%.
The dystopian state has been creeping slowly until the last month, where now it's very clear and obvious.

Not good for the world, not good for us laowai here.

How's that for a good drink of cynicism?

JR305 (5 posts) • +1

@DasIstAoWPhOL @Tom69

In regard to your response to my "the same China" comment, I am in 100% complete agreement. China is a rapidly changing country, and especially due to the firm grip that the CCP has on the minds of the people, China can completely change over night. In my mind when I wrote that, I was really just thinking of the good old days when Chinese were more curious than suspicious about me. The days when I could have a long chat with somebody at a BBQ and share a couple beers with without having me or my country constantly being verbally attacked. I swear every time somebody asked me where I was from during the pandemic when I was there, they instantly had a negative reaction. Either they'd say something like 美国人吗怎么可能你的皮肤这么那么黑啊!(well comments about my skin color and nationality were always common) Or just make some negative comment about the US related to the pandemic, riots, etc. Oh yeah... or just run away lol

I remember in the very beginning of the pandemic I was joking around with a friend saying how I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow China just blames the pandemic on us laowai and everyone just eats it up, which sadly that is pretty what happened. Also by specifically designating the US as the primary enemy and blaming us for the pandemic, it was just something that I got sick of hearing knowing it's obviously not the truth and also felt like it was frequently being used to demean me in a way.

Anyways, I actually don't really have harsh feelings towards the country. I have many amazing memories that I will cherish and would love to go back one day once they open up a bit more and the hangover from the pandemic has subsided. Saw some of the most beautiful scenery in my entire life, ate tons of amazing food, met great people, but nearing the end I knew my time there was over and my long term future wasn't going to be in one of the least free countries on the planet. I think a lot of foreigners still living there are clinging on to the past and trying their best to live in the foreign bubble and ignore the dystopian authoritarian path that the CCP is taking. Reality can be tough to accept out there, especially when you've invested so much time, energy, and emotion into building a life in a place you love.

michael2015 (774 posts) • +2

The USA is a great country, with great people - however its politicians and political allies have a rather bad habit of finger pointing and scape goating for political gain, and then end up spastically poking themselves in the eye. China responds to finger pointing in kind, for which it is globally and grandly condemned and criticized. Expats are merely collateral damage from the pervading nationalistic sentiment and international power plays for hegemony or supremacy.

That said - China continues to be the industrial capital of the world with a focus on the belt and road revival with a goal to be a competitive financial center and influencer.

While many may bemoan the current state - please remember Chinese businesses (such as the cram schools) are also suffering as the country realigns itself. Also bear in mind that despite the western rhetoric - China sustainably eliminated poverty for over 600 million rural residents over the last 20 years. That's twice the population of the USA, with half the GDP.

The western model of IPO and finance is steeped in corporate greed, corruption and an inestimable lack of social responsibility. The current trend of reigning in the rampant profiteering of tech giants, to encourage them to balance rampant profiteering with social responsibility to both it's employees and the communities they serve is a debatably welcome and long overdue act of sustainable social engineering.

Expats have been and will always be guests in whichever country they choose to live. That's the price one pays. I suspect in the distant future, China will slowly open up it's immigration rules to also allow citizenship, beyond the debatably difficult to get green card (perhaps that's just a Yunnan thing, due to lack of training or motivation).

JR305 (5 posts) • +2


Well those statistics are incredibly misleading. The poverty line in China is incredibly low and the CCP recently lowered it yet again in order "lift millions out of poverty." If you're making over $2.30 a day then you're not impoverished in China. Also, the CCP were the ones to push the Chinese people into poverty in the first place, so even though the country has made a lot of progress, they were the ones to also deal the damage. 60+ million died during the cultural revolution (mainly due to starvation) and it was only until the PRC embraced capitalism and opened up under Deng Xiaoping where they were finally given the chance to prosper economically.

The CCP has an immense amount of soft power, and they are very good at misleading people in believing their "achievements." An example could be with lowering carbon emissions and investment into green energy. China does invest more money into renewable energy than any other country in the world which is great, but they also emit more carbon than all developed countries combined and they are not slowing down. They are still constructing many coal plants that have an awful impact on air quality, and not to mention they are out-fishing the world's oceans and are the number one demand for poaching.

On to the US, politics here are incredibly decisive and toxic. It is no longer about who is right or wrong, but more-so whose side you're on. This country has lots of potential, but the political state of this country is currently as polarized and divided as ever before. Still however, there is a lot of economic opportunity and Americans do enjoy a lot of freedoms that Chinese do not. Just wish we could come together to fix our broken healthcare system, I personally think it's one of the biggest issues we face.

livinginchina (187 posts) • 0

Not to mention the immigration problems we have in America. Too many illegal immigration is denying better wages and opportunities for actual citizens. There are hundreds if not thousands who have been waiting in line to come to America legally or to become citizens. Meanwhile people are just walking into porous borders. They are even giving them tax dollars benefits and housing above our own veterans and our poor. It's sticking.

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