Saturday, April 4, 2009

Exceptionalism between U.S. and China

Let me begin my blog with a little comparison between Exceptionalism in America and China.

In my opinion, American Exceptionalism is that domestically, America is like a cake, every piece of it has different sorts of ingredient in it, while all piece is covered with one type of sweet cream; and internationally, America is like a musical conductor, his every move affects the whole orchestra, no matter how big his move is, what only matters is that if he is facing the orchestra.

Comparing with the explanation I made above, Chinese Exceptionalism is that domestically, China is also like a cake just as America is like. What is different, is that there is this WASPs (White-AngloSaxons-Protestants) dominate the majority of America; whilst in China, Yellow-Han-Atheists (if there is an abbreviation I would coin it as YHAs) govern the country. What is also different, is that in America, no matter you're white or black or Anglo-Saxons or Afro-Americans, you all speak American-English; whilst in China, the northern Chinese speak Chinese mandarin but the southern Chinese would speak Cantonese, and, the majority of Han ethnicity speak Chinese mandarin but the majority of other ethnicities would speak their different languages while almost all Chinese use same characters. Internationally, Chinese Exceptionalism could be the largest developing country, or, a nationalized capitalized socialist country. China in these thirty years of reform and opening up, it has found the best way for its development is to thoroughly understand the deep meaning of the word "both", which means that "no matter it is a white cat or black cat, if it catches mice, it is a good cat". No matter it is capitalism or socialism, if it develops rapidly and satisfies the mass, it is a good developing method. No matter it is a free market or a gov't controlled market, if it a market that can boost the GDP, it is a good market. One could easily see that, China does not prefer one to the other, but it prefers to accept both. China is just as America, if a nation has all the benefits of all other nations, then it would soon be powerful.

Besides, I would make two geographical points on American Exceptionalism. One, America is located in the middle of two ocean and in the middle of two nations. It is certainly a middle nation. Two, America expanded its territory from the east westwards, and never backwards.

Comparing with the two points I made above, China is different from America geographically. One, there is the only Pacific Ocean to the east of China and there is only Eurasia continent to the west of China. China is locates at one side of an ocean and another side of a continent. It is a "side nation". Two, China expanded its territory from the center outwards, and never inwards.

Therefore, America has only two nations on its border, Canada and Mexico, whilst China has more than a dozen countries on its border, Japan, the Koreas, Russia, the "-stans", India, Pakistan and some of the ASEAN countries. This means, as America only has two nations on its border, it could spare a hand in dealing with the nations in all parts of the world, whilst China should first focus on how to deal with its complicated border countries in Asia alone. Secondly, as America expanded its territory westward, its frontier is always a line; whilst China expanded outwards, its frontier a circle. These different expansions made different relations with other countries. America prefers closer relations with European countries which are located to its east, whilst China could not prefer intimate relations with any countries around it.

These are only some similarities and differences between Exceptionalism in these two countries. N.B., American Exceptionalism is a theory to identify why America is unique from other DEVELOPED nations quoted from Wikipedia's definition, then may I ask, is Chinese Exceptionalism a theory to identify why China is unique from other DEVELOPING nations? I guess so, as I have heard by some scholars, that China is the only one of the four ancient civilizations which has continued to survive and develop until the contemporary times.