Next Top Model

Andrei Marks · March 10, 2008

Editorial from the Global Times, about modeling China on America, written by one Ding Xueliang. I think it’s pretty good advice.

America Shouldn’t Be China’s Only Model

At the beginning of the Reform and Opening, China’s model wasn’t the United States, it was instead smaller countries in the socialist camp, like Yugoslavia and Hungary. China began to study the United States, most importantly due to a saying of Deng Xiaoping, who thought that carrying out Opening policies would first require opening up to America. If China didn’t open up towards America, than opening up towards any other country would not have any great effect.

But to take an extreme attitude because of this is a mistake. During reform, if China were to lock in America as the only source to study from, it wouldn’t be appropriate.

If China’s development needs to look for a model, then it certainly needs a multifaceted one. Even if the first model we chose was correct, we still cannot make it the only model we’ll ever study from. At the beginning of the second half of the last century, we studied the Soviet Union from top to bottom, but as soon as it went to an extreme, completely mimicking the Soviet Union’s model, the negative effects surpassed any gains.

Even in studying America we have to consider the relevance of the American model to China’s national situation. At the beginning Japan studied Europe, founding the nation on clear decisions. For the navy they followed England’s example, for the army it was Germany, the university system imitates England’s, and the primary and secondary schooling system was taken from France. It is worth it for us to study this type of model-selection.

No country can become China’s only model. For a certain period a certain target might have priority, but we cannot remove others from our field of vision. Once a mistake occurs, the price of reversing course will be high.

(From the paper–this was not an editorial on the news, but was rather a commentary on China’s current situation, and it caused great interest among people. The article mentioned a great many detailed examples, like Holland having 340 people per square kilometer, and then there’s Belgium, and Luxembourg….The populations of these countries are crowded, but the national infrastructure still makes it seem that whether driving or walking the feeling is completely natural; and consider why the great car manufacturer Germany would want to build a high speed railway system, etc. You can say that these are all deeply felt pains of ours. Every year we send out a great many officials, spending great amounts of money to go overseas for training. We should be reminded from this article that we don’t want to spend that much money in vain.)


Some good phrases:
- 把。。。从视野里排除掉—removing ….. from field of vision
- 自上而下— (lit. from the top and then bottom) from top to bottom.
- 豁然开朗—(lit. clearly that way become open bright) suddenly see the light, or suddenly become extensive
- 天人合一— (lit. Sky People Together One) man and nature perfectly together
- 切肤之痛 — (lit. pain of cutting skin)keenly felt pain

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