The spectacular Beijing Olympics of 2008 signalled China’s arrival as a superpower on the world stage. The global economic crisis that followed in 2008–9 saw it become banker to the West, poised to eclipse the United States. This new edition of Kathy Flower’s bestselling Culture Smart! China has been revised and updated by the author to take on board the transformation in China’s fortunes and the changing face of Chinese society.
As China flexes its economic and political muscle abroad, ordinary people feel a new pride in their country’s achievements. The embrace of free-market capitalism by the communist state has spread prosperity to many, with fortunes being made by some. But it has created losers as well as winners, particularly in the countryside. Gone is the security of the state’s “iron rice bowl” provision for life, and unemployment or dispossession have opened up social gaps that could threaten its stability. For the moment the rumbling discontent is below the radar and under control, and for millions the Chinese virtues of enterprise, industry, and patience are paying handsome dividends.
This edition of Culture Smart! China is completely revised making it the indispensable visitors’ guide to the complexities of a rapidly changing world power whose ancient culture and traditions owe little to the West.