The B’s and P’s of China – China at a Glimpse

By on July 1, 2014

By Norine Rae –

Before moving to China my views of this society were clouded by judgments influenced by the media. Even today, I read the headlines on Yahoo and question the daily lens from which I view this emerging nation. From my perspective working here as a university teacher in China, I see a very different China then the one portrayed in headline news. Living here, I see beautiful people, bountiful progress, and a benevolent society.

Beautiful People: Most of the people I’ve met in this area of China are so honoring to foreigners. Yes, here I call myself a foreigner (Whereas in most of my travels I always referred to myself as American).  Now I say “I am a foreigner.” Yet, the people of China always welcome me and are gracious to help me even though my language skills are very limited.  I have found that the people of China embrace foreigners, desiring to know them and assist them with great kindness. Sure there are those who will take advantage of you and overcharge you, but this is very rare. What I truly love is, despite my lack of communication skills, I always feel safe here unlike many other countries I have traveled.

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The people are friendly and want to know you. They desire to learn more about Western culture and in turn share their love for their homeland. Prior to coming to China, I had thought the people of China were oppressed and that most wanted to leave; yet what I discovered was quite different. The people of China love their country.   They are patriotic just as we are. Sure they desire some changes within their system of government, but they are hopeful and believe that their leaders are trying to do their best for the greater good of their country and their people.

I tell people all the time that I came to China for the experience, but I have stayed because of the love of the people.

Bountiful Progress:  I see so much progress and innovation. I see development and many new buildings in and around the cities. There is a sense of growth and an atmosphere of advancement here.  Not only is there new construction projects everywhere, but there are also renovations and reconstruction of historical sites. With pride in their cultural heritage, the leisure and tourism industry is developing rapidly in hopes of being one of the worlds leading tourist destinations in the near future.

In fact, I just read yesterday that there is a plan currently being implemented which is the construction of the sixth ring road here in Beijing to be completed by 2015.  And China is diligently working on their pollution problems allocating funds and bringing in global experts to develop solutions to reduce air pollution. I see this as their biggest challenge.

As industrial development continues, there is an overarching concern of the government for the health of the people. Immediate attention must be placed on the environmental issues for future generations. Quality of living and health of the people must not be compromised in exchange for economic growth. I believe it is China’s sincere desire to combat this problem and they have begun implementing laws as well as practical engineering applications to help resolve the issue.  I have personally met some of the international engineers who have come here to assist China with the enormous environmental issues, which have a global impact.

Benevolent Power: Truly, the most gracious and brilliant young people I have had the privilege to meet and develop relationships with are my students here at Beijing International Studies University. They are an example of the “emerging” China.

They are open to truth desiring to learn and grow. Their hearts are pure and intellect steady. They hold true to many of their traditional beliefs while rationally inspired to dream for a greater China.  There is truly a melting, if you will, of philosophical and ideological thoughts from both East and West while holding tight to the harmonious nature of their cultural heritage. There is a power in China that is undeniable especially when one walks in Tiananmen Square near the Forbidden City. Yes, I see China as a ‘Benevolent Power’ because I believe the government, though often criticized, desires the good of the people.

When I talk with my students they are hopeful of their future. They see their country as progressive and willing to bring about necessary change for the people. The pressure placed on many of today’s Chinese youth because of the one child policy is also a reality as they feel great responsibility to care for their parents, unlike American tradition. But, with economic gains and suitable educational and employment opportunities evolving many are hopeful for a brighter tomorrow.

The B’s and P’s of China are enlightening my eyes to see beyond the propaganda and news headlines. When you walk outside your door into your neighborhood and community speaking to the people and encountering their heart cry for America, think of the people of China. Like us, they too love their families; they love their country; they dream for a better tomorrow, and they long for peace on earth. They are bright, forward thinking, and proud to be Chinese.

I am honored to have this opportunity to see the vast beauty and cultural heritage of this country. Living and teaching here has enlightened my thinking. As a woman of faith – I am hopeful for China and eager to see the world embrace that which China has to give. Surely, there is much we can learn from this ancient culture.

About Norine Rae

Norine Rae resides in Redding, California where she is a member of Bethel Church. In 2012 she completed her Master’s in Intellectual Leadership from A.W. Tozer Seminary through Simpson University. She has worked over 30 years in Human Services fields and has done extensive work in ministry, missions, and leadership both foreign and domestic. She is a lifelong learner, international speaker, minister, writer, mother, and friend.

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The B’s and P’s of China – China at a Glimpse