China In Ten Words

The last three chapters of China in Ten Words reveal phenomena about China that are supposed to be revolutionary and provoke the masses. I don’t think “grassroots,” “copycat,” or “bamboozle” represent any revolutionary sentiments or even overly provocative. I think this book’s censorship made it seem more appealing to the masses than its content even reveals. The “grassroots” chapter talks about the people in China’s society that go against the mainstream and find creative ways to operate in the economic and governmental system. They typically aren’t overly educated, but still find ways to make money and live comfortably. I don’t believe the “grassroots” example shows any real issue with China, it just highlights people who are forced by necessity to innovate.

The “copycat” article talked about the phenomena of Chinese companies making knock-off cellphones, cameras, and other goods without investing in the R&D, turning quick and large profits. Yeah, they aren’t ethical companies by business standards, but they make money and are extremely adaptive making them hard to stop. Again, I don’t see this chapter as anything Chinese people don’t already see and recognize. They are well aware of the knock-off brands and aren’t concerned with them, especially because of the rapid economic boom during the 80’s and 90’s.

The “bamboozle” chapter too, is not unfamiliar to people in China. I think it draws the most provocative sentiments, but still is not overly radical. Of course people try to pull fast-ones on the government to avoid persecution. People will always be adaptive and try to avoid negative governmental actions. It happens in every country. It is certainly not going to persuade the people to rebel against the government, because the sentiment is already throughout the masses.

1 Comment so far

  1.   hmarshall4 on April 5th, 2013

    I think your analysis is really interesting. I had never thought of it that way, but I completely agree that a big part of the book’s appeal would be because it is censored. I do think that Yu Hua is bringing a critique that is often not seen. I really liked the “grassroots” and “copycat” chapters, just showing the amount of opportunities the Chinese citizens have and the positive and negative aspects is pretty revealing of the modern economic movement.