Myths about China and the Chinese

This country with a rich culture and an interesting fate remains a mystery to the rest of mankind, which sometimes gives rise to conjectures and misconceptions about the life of the Chinese people.

The whole world knows two things about the Chinese: there are a lot of them, and "iron" discipline reigns in the country, but otherwise people are content with rumors or believe information from news releases. This country with a rich culture and a difficult fate to this day remains a mystery to the rest of mankind, which sometimes gives rise to conjectures and misconceptions about the life of the Chinese people.

Some of the rumors are funny enough, but sometimes the Chinese are told such things that you involuntarily begin to understand: even in the age of information and the Internet, few are still able to separate the wheat from the chaff and understand what is worth believing and what can be ignored. Here are some of the most common myths and legends about China that many take at face value.

1. The Great Wall of China is visible from space

One of the most popular misconceptions in the world says that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure on the planet that can be seen from space, but this is a lie: a unique architectural monument cannot be seen from orbit with the naked eye, as recently stated by a Chinese astronaut, who was supported by the country's government. In fact, the Celestial Empire caught the authors of some school textbooks that contain such information, and other writers and journalists who claim this “phenomenon”, as lies.

2. In China, access to the Internet is completely controlled

Many people know that the Chinese government restricts its citizens from using the Internet and believe that it is almost impossible to go online in the country. network, but this is not true. Censorship mainly concerns criticism of the ruling party and calls for protests and organizing riots, while users constantly find more and more new ways to get around these prohibitions - they invent code words and entire ciphers that are understandable only to “their own”.

The more actively the process of computerization of the people of China goes on, the more difficult it is for the Communist Party to control access to the World Wide Web. As Bill Clinton once said, the Chinese government's efforts in this regard are like trying to nail jelly to a wall.

3. Chinese hackers are the best in the world

There is an opinion that virtual hackers from China are the most dangerous and skillful in the world, and some even claim that all hackers attacks on various sites are directly supported by the Chinese government, but there is no conclusive evidence for this.

Experts have studied the most high-profile scandals related to the hacking of popular resources and government websites of some states by the Chinese, and state that the myth of the special sophistication and aggressiveness of hackers from China is associated with the low level of computer security of these Internet resources and the carelessness of giants the Internet industry allowing such incidents.

4. Chinese women have no rights

Sometimes we hear that in China, women are considered as something like “second class” people, because of which their lives looks like hell, but in reality, the policy of the Chinese government regarding the fair sex is generally more progressive than in other developed countries.

Problems certainly exist, but the leaders of the Communist Party are taking various measures to deal with them, such as passing laws that increase the penalties for prostitution and providing women with employment benefits. Over the past six years, the number of Chinese women with secondary and higher education has increased significantly, which means that the situation is not as dire as it is usually “drawn out”.

5. The “one-child” program is rampant in China

There is indeed a limit on the number of children in Chinese families, but this does not apply to everyone. The law contains amendments that lead to the fact that only about 35% of families are forced to follow this decision of the party. In addition, the "ban" is only to increase the tax on each "additional" child, so many wealthy Chinese can afford to have two or more children.

6. Children who "do not fit" into the "one child" policy are killed

This terrible information is not true - the Chinese and their government do not encourage infanticide. However, there are problems: the fact is that the birth of a boy is often considered more preferable than the birth of a girl, so some parents sell female babies to childless families or decide to have an abortion.

The Communist Party is trying to fight this practice in every possible way, because it leads to a significant demographic "skew" - at present, about 20% more boys are born in China than girls.

7. For the Chinese, there is no concept of copyright

Chinese counterfeiting of well-known world brands has long become a parable, and many believe that the government of the Celestial Empire does not regulate the activities of various intellectual property companies.

However, in reality, European and American brand and technology owners often simply do not understand what such violations are connected with: in China, it is not necessary to register your product in order to receive a trademark, however, in this case, the company is not immune from borrowing from competitors. If the owner formalizes the rights to intellectual property in the Middle Kingdom, in most cases the government of the country does everything to protect its interests.

8. The Chinese eat children

The hysteria around cannibalism, which flourishes among the Chinese, began with a performance by a well-known Chinese artist who allegedly ate a baby and recorded the whole process in detail on a camera. The story received such wide publicity that many believed that eating newborns and cannibalism in general for the Chinese was a common practice, but it turned out that the artist’s provocation was nothing more than a trick using a duck carcass and a doll head. In fact, cannibalism in China is no more common than the world average.

9. Animal grin of communism

Some Western journalists and public figures claim that the Communist Party oppresses the Chinese people and will soon lead the country to economic collapse, however, in reality China is doing somewhat better - the state demonstrates to the rest of the world sustainable economic growth even in the context of the global crisis. In addition, in recent years, the government of the country has taken significant steps towards capitalism, for example, sending many young professionals to study at the best universities in the world so that they can later apply their knowledge at home.

10. China is preparing for war

Perhaps this is one of the most dangerous and widespread myths about China. Politicians and political scientists convince the world community that China is constantly on alert and can start military operations without hesitation. However, China does not see the point in unleashing any kind of war, because this will most sadly affect the economy and trade relations with other states. Of course, like any strong country, the Celestial Empire defends its interests in every possible way, but at the same time it is ready to resolve issues peacefully.

Photo: Sebastien Poncet