My students, colleagues, and I have been forming an impression of the Chinese during our trip to China these past ten-plus days. But what do the Chinese think of Americans?
We put that question to one of our guest speakers, C.J. Wang, who has spent a lot of time with Americans because he’s worked as a translator (his English is outstanding). He is now a small-business owner manufacturing various types of axles for American companies, so he spends a fair amount of time traveling to the U.S. for business. I mention this because C.J. understands Americans as well as any Chinese person can; he knows our quirks and idiosyncrasies. He’s sympathetic.
“American culture is well-received here,” he told us. “Chinese people, especially young people, like to wear Nikes. They like to wear jeans. They like to drink Coke. American culture is very popular.”
Americans themselves? C.J. said Chinese think Americans…
…are very generous.
…are very open-minded.
…are very noisy.
…have a weight problem.
…are spoiled. They have too much good stuff and don’t always appreciate it.
In international affairs, Americans are nosey. They are pokey. They enjoy being the world’s policeman.
“Americans like to have fun,” C.J. said. “They like to play hard. They work hard and play hard.”