Workin’ For The (China)Man In Dixie

The “Great Recession” has been a boon for economically conservative pundits and blabber-mouths all across America.  According to them, it seems, many of our nation’s fiscal woes can be solved by simply (1) installing a Republican (i.e., non-socialist) as president, (2) forcing China to revalue the RMB to make it, GASP, stronger against the Dollar, and (3) moving iPod/iPad/iPhone/etc. manufacturing back to the United States, because it would be the moral thing for Apple to do in light of the recent Foxconn suicides.  But here’s news for you folks, so long as Joe Main Street loves to over-consume at a bargain basement price (and so long as a living wage manufacturing job in the U.S. remains a pipe dream), the jobs are staying in China, and the trade imbalance is staying here.  Apple, my friends, is not in the morality business.  And Americans, as we all know, are either too lazy, too good, or too economically savvy to pick their own vegetables at the going migrant-worker rate.

Other options?  Well, Obama has warned that we should avoid the temptations of protectionism.  In addition, there’s a growing grassroots/populist movement amongst Americans (those wealthy enough to afford it anyway) to buy American, and avoid the “Made in China” label like the bird flu.  In true capitalist fashion, they say: “the market gets to decide, and we are the market!”  But, ironically enough, it is American protectionist policies which has blurred the lines between what, exactly, is “buying American” and what is “Made in China.”

For instance, the leading two automobiles topping the list of the top ten most American cars are … wait for it … the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord!  (In fact, fully five of the top ten most American vehicles are either Hondas or Toyotas.)  And, in this extremely interesting recent piece from Fortune Magazine, “Made in U.S.A.” requirements have played a material role in causing Chinese companies to create American jobs in the United States.  Spurred on by a declining cost difference between setting up shop in China as compared to doing so in the U.S., intense courtship in the form of incentives and tax credits from recession-stricken U.S. states and towns, and both official and unofficial protectionist policies, Joe Main Street has, at times, found himself with a new chopstick-toting boss in town.  But, to give credit where credit is due, most such Americans have not griped about it, but are grateful and happy for the steady work in difficult times.

Except, as the article notes, some are griping.  Despite bringing home many times more pay than his or her Chinese counterpart, American workers have objected to Chinese bosses, even though they’re working for a Chinese company.  Sure, excuse it on the cultural differences at work (as the article does), but I doubt you’ll see any great complaints against the Germans at the Volkswagen factory.  Even more enraging, however, is the flap about the flags which involved a call into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.  Note carefully, that the Chinese flag was, in fact, NOT flown higher than the American flag, but only perceived to be so from a particular viewpoint.  But, instead of telling Limbaugh to stick it, Haier did what the model minority is expected to do–it apologized and lowered the Chinese flag such that no optically-challenged Good Old Boy can ever again make the honest mistake (insert scoff here) of thinking that the Chinese flag was being flown highest.  Never mind the argument of “so what if the Chinese flag was, in fact, being flown higher?” Way to stick up for yourself, Haier, by apologizing for someone else’s bigotry and idiocy.

Alright, now that I’ve calmed down, you’ve got to admit, this article opens the floor to some interesting questions.  Who are you hurting now if you refuse to buy Toyota or Haier?  How else will conservative bigotry rear its ugly head?  Will working for the (China)man in the cradle of Dixie ever be truly accepted by the American public?  I guess we’ll be finding out soon.  As the article notes, Chinese companies are here to stay in the United States, for better or for worse.  Globalization is not just a one-way street anymore; just as U.S. companies were dreaming about massive Chinese markets, Chinese companies are likewise making increasing headway in U.S. markets.  The Chinese as boss–now that might take some getting used to, especially for some Americans who can’t fathom being second fiddle to the Chinese in anything.


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  1. friendo

    *A significant minority, 25%, of Americans indicated strong negative attitudes and stereotypes towards Chinese Americans.

    *23% of Americans are uncomfortable voting for an Asian American to be President of the United States. This is in contrast to 15% compared with an African American candidate, 14% compared with a woman candidate and 11% compared with a Jewish candidate.

    *24% of Americans would not approve of inter-marriage with an Asian American. This number is lower than that compared to an African American (34%), but higher than a Hispanic (21%) and a Jew (16%).

    *7% of Americans would not want to work for an Asian American CEO. This is in contrast to 4% for an African American, 3% for a woman and 4% for a Jew.

    • Bin Wang

      Asian-Americans are also most educated as a demographic group, but least represented in upper management. Traditionally, language and cultural barriers have been at issue (i.e., the inability to participate in the perverbial “water-cooler” chatter). But as time passes and second and third generation Asian-Americans arrive in the business world without these issues relevant to their first generation parents and grandparents, we *should* see changes in the statistics. Whether we will see them or not, is a different question.

      • Simon Ningbo

        I really thinks this is the weakest article so far Bin Wang, and so far I’ve just been a quiet reader. It’s very apparent that anger and nationalist feelings cloud your judgement here. As has been correctly mentioned by Bin Laden, for there to actually be more Asians in Upper management they would have had to graduate 20-30 years ago. That Asians generally perform well at school also doesn’t necessarily have to translate to real life success, a number of cultural factors could actually be a bonus as well as a liability. If you want to succeed in an international or intercultural environment you need many other skills which you don’t learn at school. I am not American and do not know many AA or ABCs, but many native Chinese don’t feel at ease in such a multicultural environment and have trouble communicating as effectively as other Asians, for example Indians. I am fully aware that this might be stereotyping, but this is my experience from work and life. But be that as it may, I have noticed that insist that you are very critical of the US, but far less so with China, which influences the quality of your otherwise usually sound argumentation. I appreciate this website, but articles like these reek a bit of the nonsense you usually read on ChinaDaily forum and similar.

        • Bin Wang

          Sorry you feel that way Simon, but I find your exuses for the statistics to be lacking. First, I did mention the cultural and language barriers which may have legitimately hindered the advancement of the first few generations of Asian-Americans. However, these can easily become convenient excuses. Your stereotypical explanations are insufficient to stop the questioning of why Asian-Americans are so under-represented in upper management. Plenty of us have been here long enough to know that, as a demographic, we don’t lack any of the qualications. As a cultural matter, perhaps it is correct, that Asians are bred to be as assertive, as aggressive, as confidence perhaps, which are all skills necessarily for effective leadership. But, frankly, if that’s the case, then I find Haier’s response to the Limbaugh situation to be the opposite of what’s needed. A little more backbone perhaps is what is in fact necessary.

          I find your characterizations unfair. As you recall, in my recent World Cup article, I question, legitimately, the effectiveness of the Chinese approach to sports training, as perhaps having some linkage to weaknesses in political philosophy. It’s very convenient of you to mark me as a nationalist (a Chinese nationalist, I assume), simply because you don’t like that fact I am being critical of certain things in this particular article.

          As you said, you’re not American, but I can assure you, there is sufficient racism and classism remaining in America (certain parts of the U.S. in particular) to surprise some of us, myself included. Part of my point in this article is also surprise, as I find it absolute baffling that the flag fiasco can still occur today in America. I’m sorry, but I refuse to be non-critical of such things, because I feel that we, as Americans, are or should be better than that.

          If Asian-Americans are, as you say, uncomfortable in leadership positions, then it is our job to allow them the opportunities to become confident. I’m sorry, but I refuse to stand by in idleness and apologie for such things while people paw paw these incidents as either (1) sufficiently isolated to be sweep-able under the perverbial rug; and/or (2) the fault of the Asian-Americans themselves for somehow being lacking in their own characteristics. I’m not subscribing to eugenics, and I’m not subscribing to this bullcrap.

        • Bin Wang

          Correction: I meant to say “to be NOT as assertive, as aggressive, as confident …”

          • Simon_Ningbo

            I certainly didn’t want to generally brand you as a Chinese nationalist, but I think in this article it’s not too far off the mark. You were obviously angry at Haier for apologising for the flag incident as you interpreted it as unncessary deference. But it’s fair to point out that foreign companies probably couldn’t hang up a flag at same height as the Chinese one in China, and that there are indeed laws in the US that forbid foreign flags to fly higher, as in many countries. A Chinese company that has the same laws back home would be considered hypocritical to insist or complain about it. They have done the right thing, defused the situation and trying to create goodwill. The US has a special relation to its flag, and it’s an emotional issue for many, respecting that is the thing to do, just as foreign companies have to be culturally sensitive when in China.
            And I think you yourself know better than to call different management cultures which might or might not work in some environment eugenics. That would be silly. I am not much of a fan of quotas in whatever form, so I don’t think politics should have affirmative action for every minority or ethnicity there is.
            We all know that typical American management style might work domestically but not in China, where it’s considered too assertive, too agressive and too confident… what works in one culture doesn’t have to in another.. so they have to learn to adapt, just as everyone else does, complaining won’t help.

            I think you also missed the age argument, you are simply to young to be a CEO, so don’t ask yourself if you and your generation is qualified to be in upper management, ask if your parents are.

            So to conclude, I think it’d be better to swallow your pride a bit sometimes to make for better, more sober articles and arguments.

          • Bin Wang


            1. The Chinese flag wasn’t higher. Some moron thought it was, and Haier still apologized. Now I understand why Haier did, for good will and business reasons and such, but I don’t have to like it. There was nothing to apologize about, your point about laws and feelings about flags doesn’t matter. They were all being flown the same height to begin with!

            I’m not going to get into an affirmative action debate here with you, that’s a whole other can of worms. I think there’s a time and a place for such things, but you’ll note than in terms of getting into college in the U.S. and such, being Asian doesn’t help you, it at times even can hurt you, because Asians tend to overfill their quotas if race wasn’t an issue. Translation, in places such as Cali, it’s whites who need affirmative action, it terms of merits only, Asians would make up too much of the school.

            Again, I said, as the current generations who don’t have the cultural and language barriers than other generations of Asian-Americans have get older, WE SHALL SEE if the statistics change. I’m not foreclosing the possibility of that. But this isn’t only a race issue. There’s a race issue, and there’s a political issue, and perhaps that flag incident, isolated it may be, evokes both.

            Simon, Haier may have to swallow it’s pride, but I can voice things in its behalf. I find nothing reasonable about the incident and again, isolated it may be, I don’t see anything wrong with showing a little indigation about it. It’s about time we stopped being the model minority about certain things.

          • Simon_Ningbo

            ” If Asian-Americans are, as you say, uncom­fort­able in lead­er­ship posi­tions, then it is our job to allow them the oppor­tu­ni­ties to become con­fi­dent.”
            I was referring to this sentence, where it sounded like you think politics should actively bring more AA into leadership positions, which sounds like affirmative action to me and that is something I wouldn’t agree with personally.

            About the flag incident: I am fully aware that it wasn’t higher, but you yourself said:
            “If Asian-Americans are, as you say, uncom­fort­able in lead­er­ship posi­tions, then it is our job to allow them the oppor­tu­ni­ties to become con­fi­dent.”
            which was precisely my point, flag size does apparently matter in a lot of countries, so actively avoiding that it could be seen as higher from whatever perspective people usually drive by isn’t that bad, in fact, it wouldn’t be a big deal to me, but a Chinese company coming to the US has to realize that it has to be sensitive about these issues, that’s all I’m saying.

            What was very evident, however, is the still strong cultural and political link of many AA to China, which can be construed as political interference into domestic matters, when native (but ethnic Chinese)
            demonstrate on behalf of the Chinese government it leaves a bad taste in many Americans mouth I presume. That is something people have to be aware of, since China hardly allows anyone to get their citizenship they don’t have this problem, but the principle of non-interferrence of domestic issues is paramount in China, therefore it should understand that it should not indirectly seek to do so elsewhere, for example by broadcasting the Paris demonstration while wrongly giving the impression that Chinese are targetted specifically out of political reasons, a dangerous misinterpretation of events, that can only lead to a reinforcement of jingoistic tendencies in China.
            I am very wary of nationalist tendencies in China and the US, a reinforcement of the “us vs. them” view I don’t want to see… hence my criticism of your article.

          • Bin Wang


            I understand how you feel about AA personally. Again, I think this is a whole other can of worms and there’ll be a time/place for that discussion. But I think in the U.S., we generally feel that it’s good to have diversity in leadership positions. See my response to Jones below for citations to the acknowledge of a real glass ceiling holding Asian-Americans back, disproportionality, from senior management. You can have all the factual, citational backing for that proposition you want. I think it’s fair to ask why it is that things are that way.

            I said, I understand why Haier acted the way it did. All I am saying is, I don’t have to be happy about it, when they were being accused of something which they never even did. As a minority, we’re too tame, too non-confrontational, and although I understand that discretion is the better part of valor here, I think it’s disgraceful how discretion, in this instance, has resulted in an apology for someone else’s over and incorrect reaction.

            This article, in no way, is trying to form an us v. them impression Simon. As an American, this article was meant to show that I think, there are still some Americans (like I said, a minority I am sure) who look at things in an us v. them mentality, and it’s something I DON’T want. My commentary here, time and again, is from the view of a Chinese-American, expecting better of my fellow Americans, and calling out shady acts when it is due. At no point do I indicate any sort of political allegiance or sympathy to/with China, and I have no idea where you get the generalization that most/many Chinese-Americans have such political allegiances/sympathies.

            The fact of the matter is, the Chinese in America hardly ever collectivize and demonstrate and we need to do more of that do have a political voice in the U.S. You use the torch relays as evidence of a danger, and I see it as evidence of how rarely it occurs. I think you’re buying into the hype if you think that it’s symbolic of some sort of greater “fifth column” or something in the U.S. and use that phobia as some sort of twisted justification for some of the things which I criticize here, such as the flag incident, lack of Asian in management, etc.

            Beijing actually needs to rein in nationalistic tendencies in China from time to time, v. Japan, the West/U.S., etc. There is some issue of whether they stoke it in the first place, which I think it fair enough, but again, that’s for another time.

            But look Simon, just because I show a little indigation here and write with a little emotion, is hardly fanning the flames of Chinese nationalism. At the same time, I think you need to seriously think about what you said about Chinese-Americans having “links” to China which excuses Western weariness of them in the West. I find that to be a disturbing idea, and probably the least reasonable thing you’ve said so far.

          • Simon_Ningbo

            Well the link I was talking about shouldn’t be misinterpreted as high level, influential links but much rather still a strong bond with the cultural and political system in China, as evidenced by many ethnic French or Americans waving the Chinese flag in demonstrations, or as can be clearly seen by many who fail to take a critical, distanced stance to official Chinese policies.
            This question of allegiance, if you want, may be misplaced for many, maybe most, ethnic Chinese, but it’s still a fact that many ethnic Chinese don’t tend to integrate fully and support Beijings decision, or actions indirectly or directly by demonstrating for it.
            When ethnic Chinese, who live in Germany demonstrate with a sea of Chinese flagst does resonate badly with residents, flags are still a powerful symbol of allegiance. It becomes especially dangerous when media close to the Chinese government tries to give it a strong political spin which it previously did not have to foster nationalist ideas of Chinese abroad.

          • Simon_Ningbo

            I should proofread my nonsense before posting it…
            I meant “ethnic Chinese with a French or American passport”

          • Bin Wang


            This is where, I think, you begin to stray a bit from the reservation.

            The Chinese flag waving in support of the torch relay was the exception, not the norm. Chinese communities rarely mobilize/collectivize for anything and I think your statement that it’s somehow common or indicative of political bonds is far fetched. The fact of the matter is, media distortion had gone too far, and finally, the Chinese communities HAD to do something to combat it. The Beijing games were being hijacked by Free Tibeters for their personal political platform, everyone was going along with it, and the Chinese abroad were finally upset enough about it to gather together and rally against it. I don’t think this had any to do with sympathies for Beijing or communism.

            As I mentioned, it’s often not in the interest of Beijing for nationalism to get other of hand. When they rioted at the Carrefour’s, the government tried to put a stop to it. I think it’s one-sided of you to talk about Beijing’s media manipulation, without at least recognizing that it was Western media manipulation that lead to the pro-Olympic torch rallies in the first place. Simply stated, without so many others trying to turn the Beijing Games into a stage for their own political agendas, the Chinese and their flags would have stayed home. It was a surprise to everyone, and a sense that perhaps people had pushed the matter too far. I think it was perfectly fair to make the statement, look, we may be Chinese-Americans, but we support the Beijing Games and will take a stand against those who wish to use something that’s so cherished by the Chinese people as some sort of political platform.

            But let me get to this. It’s insane of you, I think, to use these perceived allegiances to culture/politics as an excuse to keep Chinese in the West under glass ceilings. It’s this sort of reasoning, this perceived lack of assimilation or allegiance to others, that resulted in the Japanese internment camps during WWII and a historical reason to scape-goat the Jews as, somehow, insufficiently German.

            Why must one be necessarily critical of China in order to be a good Chinese-American? Why do you imply that if a Chinese-American is not sufficiently critical of the Chinese government, it must mean he is somehow insufficiently distanced? Even if one was critical of certain Chinese issues, why is it not perfectly legitimate to say, but I still support the Beijing Games, and will wave a flag in support of the torch relay against those who would hijack them? There’s a time and place for political discussion, but the Olympics were still something that the Chinese people took a lot of pride in. Why is not perfectly fine to say, whatever my objections to Beijing are, not here, not now? I mean, you talk as if the hoodlums who tried to rip the torch away from the girl in the wheelchair never happened.

            For some reason, the Chinese flag is one of those flags that you can’t ever fly. But why? And why is it that an Irish-American can flag an Irish flag on St. Patty’s and still be a good American, while you’re saying a Chinese-American, if he flies the Chinese flag, somehow is suspect?

            Let’s cut the bull. I don’t know if you’re preaching McCarthy-ism here, but it sounds damn near close to it. These perceived issues of insufficient distance between Western citizens of Chinese descent and communism/Beijing, and using that as a reason or excuse for various conduct that results in unequal opportunity for there Western citizens of Chinese descent in their respective countries, is, in a word, dangerous. It’s no different from racially profiling at airports and why that’s a problem for many Arab-Americans who are, in fact, not terrorists, but good Americans.

            Bottom Line – Chinese flag waving is an exception, not the rule. And being support of China in certain spheres does not de facto equate to suspect allegiances sufficient to justify what you’re attempting to justify.

          • Simon Ningbo

            I think you’re attacking a strawman here. I have never said Chinese Americans should not rise to management positions because some AA were waving Chinese flags and shouting Chinese nationalist slogans on the street. But rather I have argued, along with others, that education, or rather, performing well at tests, does not automatically result in real life success, in fact it rarely does in my opinion. Just remind yourself of the top students of the class, meaning the introverted ones who had no life outside of school, but continually scored best marks ? I knew many of those in my study years, none of them Asian, and none of them are today at the top or in a higher management position. That’s why I and many others have pointed out that your assumption that higher education should somehow automatically lead to management skills is a fallacy. Communication, team work, interpersonal skills, a quick and analytical mind are need for management, knowledge is outsourced to subordinates, a manager is rarely a specialist. In fact, those who perform best at (high) school are usually of perfect personal assistant material, but not much else. Specific or technical fields excluded of course.

            As about flags, it would be naive to downplay their political and symbolic significance. Ireland is an ally of the US, China is a strategic competitor. Americans get free Visas for Ireland, whereas they pay twice as much as any other country when going to China… hence the slightly different implications when Americans wave the respective flag in political demonstrations. But I guess you know that yourself.
            The ethnic Chinese American who got arrested for alleged spionage was considered a “traitor”, so much for the Chinese view. I am however, from my personal background, fully aware that many ethnic Chinese don’t have the same bond to their native lands. A girl I know who grew up between China, Singapore and Europe would never want to live in China, and looks at it with so much contempt that I regularely have to defend it to her annoyance. It’s all a matter of perception, something which you claim want to shed some light on in this blog, but you yourself see the reception you got with articles like these. I suggest you make a step back and reread it a few days later, I’m quite sure you’ll know what we are talking about.
            Anyway, I’m up for more constructive debate, but don’t quite like the emotional part of it.


          • Simon Ningbo

            Oh and by the way, I am all for racial (and gender and age and whatnot) profiling, for the simple reason that a seven year old Chinese girl has never blown herself up in a metro. It’s all about probabilities, and if the truth that as a Muslim man from Pakistan you are far more likely to conduct such an act hurts your sensitivities then so be it.

          • Bin Wang


            I am fully aware that the nerd with the best marks but no social skills does not necessarily advance as far in life as the crafty C student with good people skills. But that explanation only gets you so far. For every Bill Gates in life, there are 10 times more C students who don’t amount to anything. Conversely, for every Bill Gates in life, there are 10 time more business leaders with MBAs from Harvard or Penn or Yale. So don’t speak as if education means nothing. If success is to be correlated with ANYTHING, it’s education. Just because it’s not a slam dunk, doesn’t mean there is no correlation.

            Me and you have some fundamental differences. As a matter of fundamental U.S. law, racial profiling, in which treatment of people is different due to overtly racial reasons, by definition, requires strict scrutiny. Your nonchalance about this is, frankly, troubling to me. Likewise, your readiness to divorce, entirely, matters of race from the glass ceiling we’re talking about, is, as far as I’m concerned, apologist in nature. What I’ve stated is not controversial. The facts are there and if it wasn’t legitimate, a Senator would not read such researched and verified findings into the congressional record (see below). Asian-Americans are disproportionately under-represented in leadership positions and I think it’s disingenious to speak of the issue as either non-existent or entirely unrelated to issues of race. I never said race was the only or main cause, but it certainly is relevant, as is incorrect perceptions of allegiance … that somehow Chinese-Americans can’t be trusted.

            I will never agree with racial profiling and, thank goodness, neither will most of America. When it comes to discrimination, you’re damned right it’s an emotional issue. Sometimes, the easiest decision is not the correct one. This article was not meant to brown-nose the issue. I’m sorry if I refuse to write like the model minority.

          • Simon Ningbo

            Let’s not confuse race with culture here. Culture is a commonly shared set of behaviours and beliefs among a group which might or might not be appreciated and accepted in another group. Now Indians in general have, according to American and European business and trade associations much better intercultural management skills than the Chinese, which results in lower transaction costs for them. Whatever it is in their culture, it enables them to effectively do better business with Europeans and Americans.
            Americans, however, tend to struggle more in China than their European counterparts due to their relative inability to adapt to another management culture.
            That this inflexibility on both parts, partially because both are very confident in their own culture and abilities, can result in 2nd generation AA to still struggle with these cultural differences is not something to be dismissed in my view, they do as well here in Europe. But how to change that ? You can either force private companies to to have “affirmative action” /quota AA managers.. or simply hand the ball back and accept that top people, regardless of ethnicity or gender will always succeed, and if some minority isn’t able to adapt their communication style according to the local customs they will not succeed in management. In short, it’s basically up to you and your generation to change your own faith, and I am quite confident that many will indeed succeed.

            If my nonchalance about racial profiling, which is accepted in other countries but not in the US, is already troubling you, and you try to portray it as something inherently immoral instead of just your opinion, I fail to see how you can ever
            “seek to go beyond (…) and prejudice to engage in genuine discussions of contemporary issues”
            because quite frankly it’s not even very controversial elsewhere.
            So stop moralising issues which others may have a different, but perfectly acceptable (to them and their culture) opinion about, as with this attitude we will never bridge the huge cultural gap China-West in all its plurality.
            But to give you a bit of a perspective of where I’m coming from: I am for a true partnership US-China with mutually benefitial and enforced trade laws, with non-discriminatory investment laws on both sides, with a reluctance to criticize and get involved in domestic issues, and I am against all that nationalistic, jingoistic and racist nonsense that’s currently coming from both sides.

          • Bin Wang


            I think we can hit some middle ground here. I never said these management skills, or lack thereof, were irrelevant. All I am saying that race, also, is not irrelevant. No doubt Chinese-Americans, in particular, need to work on certain social and management skills in order to advance into management/leadership positions. But the question is would the glass ceiling be quite as low if race and/or incorrect pre-judgments of political allegiances based on race/nationality were not issues? I don’t think so. That’s my point. We chance what we can, but we also, I think, must question these other issues, which as the Alabamian below states, is admitted to be factors.

            As for racial profiling, my issue is that it’s a pretty slippery slope. In the U.S., we have a bad history with race, even as recently as no more than 50-60 years ago. This is why, and rightly so, that any different treatment based overtly on race is strictly scrutinized. Are there times and places where the consequences are such that it can be acceptable? Probably. Is the threat of terror in airports such that racial profiling in screen is acceptable one of those situations … maybe. But for me, it’s impossible to so easily accept such things, because it’s a door to places we don’t want to go as a nation, places we’ve been before, places we’ve moved on from.

            As I mentioned below, there was a time when we were at war with Japan, and the government felt that Japanese-Americans couldn’t be trusted, that they’d been here for such a short period of time, that surely they had higher allegiances to the Emperor. This resulted in one of the greatest Constitutional wrongs in modern U.S. history, and as I also mention below, many of them, like Sen. Inouye, proved their loyalty in blood.

            Frankly, I have trouble seeing where people are picking up this jingoistic stuff from this article. The issue pointed to in the article is simply that certain Americans, based in part on race or cultural issues or political perceptions, are going to have problems with Chinese businesses in the U.S., Chinese managment, Chinese bosses. I didn’t say all Americans and I didn’t say wholly based on those things. But I honestly feel that Haier was unfairly treated here and although I understand the need to apologize from the business/relations perspective, objectively I questioned whether an apology was actually in order and what relation that readiness to apologize has to the Asian-American status as model minorities.

            Yes, there’s plenty of reasons for this glass ceiling that’s been identified by so many, but I think we’re kidding ourselves if we simply say race and the idea that “you can’t trust as Chinese-American to be sufficiently American” didn’t have anything to do with it. I furthermore don’t think, given the Japanese-American analogy above, it’s fair to excuse that political suspicion as if it’s somehow self-caused by flag waving or nationalism. Frankly, Chinese abroad aren’t that nationalistic and don’t frequently wave flags. You yourself ID’ed your friend as someone who may well run into that glass ceiling some day and yet have none of the characteristics which someone may associate with her. That’s the problem. The assumptions, correct by the percentages or not, can also often be wrong. And when it comes to civil rights, at least here in the U.S., we take those very seriously, and don’t so easily excuse their infringement by saying, oh, but it was the safe percentage play.

          • Bin Wang

            Let me also make this ancillary point, on which I touched briefly already. You can’t convince me that, during the war, the disparate treatment between Japanese-Americans and German-Americans was wholly unrelated to matters of race. Yes, I realize there were other factors at play (German-Americans tended to have been Americans longer, the threat of imminent West Coast invasion was a Japanese one, etc.), but the reason we feel so poorly about the history of the internment camps is because we all known, deep down inside, race and unfair perceived allegiances to Japan played a material role.

            I think we don’t want to go down that road again and that’s why, people are taking a serious look at the findings of the 80-20 initiative and asking themselves searching, serious questions. It’s easy to stereotype and play the percentages, sure, but the question is can we do better. We purport to stand for better, it’s what separates us from the rest of the world.

          • Simon_Ningbo

            I agree with some things, with others we can agree to disagree. But re my comment of culture vs race: where I’m coming from we don’t have “Asian-Europeans”, or “African-Europeans”, people don’t feel the need to state their ethnicity or race in their self-definition. I am fully aware of why that isn’t so in the US, so no need to go into historical details. What I’m pointing at is that this “Chinese” friend of mine is only optically perceived as such, as soon as she opens her mouth there isn’t the slightest doubt about her background or where she grew up. She doesn’t behave, think or talk remotely as what is associated with “Asian”, so she isn’t considered as such. There is no glass ceiling for her, simply because after the first curious look at an interview about her appearance she removes any doubts about her communication skills. And I doubt that’s a European phenomenon, when you’re so perfectly assimilated that people on the phone have no clue that you could be Asian, you will not meet any glass ceiling anywhere in your professional and personal life. She’s my age and on my professional level (management), she just can’t imagine living or working in China, despite her father having a company in Shanghai. Hence my argumentation of culture vs. race, I think it’s an important distinction and should not get mixed. Simply stating that all ethnicities should, despite different cultural associations and traits of its members, somehow magically perform equally well in all aspects of life is dellusional.

        • Simon_Ningbo

          Sorry, misquoted the 2nd one:
          should have been:
          Never mind the argu­ment of “so what if the Chi­nese flag was, in fact, being flown higher?”

      • lolz

        Maybe this has more to do with the fact that unlike say, Blacks, Hispanics, or even Whites, Asian Americans usually do not band together simply because of race when they are not the majority.

        The way to navigate through American politics, corporate or government, is for people of the same group to stick together and be vocal about their demands, fair or unfair. American society works in that people who complain the loudest get the most perks.

        • Bin Wang

          You’re right lolz. Asian-Americans don’t have the traditional, history, culture, etc. whatever you want to call it, of collectively mobilizing on political issues. We tend not to get involved. I know my parents, they consistently worry about saying/doing the wrong thing and getting into trouble. I don’t doubt it’s because they come from a country where saying/doing the wrong things can get you into trouble.

          This is why when the Chinese students rallied against the demonstrations against the torch relays during the Olympics, it was such a BIG surprise. Frankly, I don’t recall Chinese-Americans in the U.S. ever rallying on such a scale, for ANY reason. This is why I’ve always argued that what happened was probably for the best in hindsight. Chinese-Americans have to realize, and perhaps that was a first step, that they are, in of themselves, a substantial political force when and if they collectively put their minds to it.

          As I said before, there are times to stop being the model minority about certain things.

          • lolz

            After reading some of the comments here, majority of which disagree with you, I would like to add that one of the reasons I see why Chinese Americans in particular do not do well in the US is because the concept of racial politics does not appeal to them. A lot of them do not believe racial is fair.

            I personally feel that racial politics is unfair. Affirmative Action without doubt is unfair. However, when we deal with politics or specifically racial politics in general, we are not dealing with fairness. Rather we are dealing with maximizing the advantages for the group which you belong to so that not only you, but your off springs (even if you do choose to have kids with other races). Most Blacks and Hispanics have no qualms defending Affirmative action even though they know well that other racial groups perceive the concept as unfair. Heck they themselves probably feel its unfair. Yet as an Asian, I don’t see why we as a group should not use this concept to benefit us, and just us, even if we as a minority group are faring somewhat well in caucasian dominated nations.

            Every other group, including caucasians, play racial politics to their best advantage. We Asians do not need to pretend that we are some holier-than-thou minority race which is above racial politics. That kind of thinking is exactly why as a whole Asian immigrants have very little leverage over their resident nations. Why they will always be disadvantaged no matter how hard they try to emulate caucasian leaders.

            A few months ago I remember reading an article complaining about the lack of Black Professors at MIT. This was serious news, with many criticizing MIT, formal probes opened, and finally the MIT President agreeing to hire more black profs. That’s completely unfair to me, because one specific race gets to benefit at the expense of other races, with zero personal merit involved. However at the same time I cannot deny the fact that blacks are disadvantaged. The difference between Asians and blacksis that blacks were able to group together to make this what everyone else sees as ridiculous demand, and able to force a policy which benefits just themselves. That to me is fantastic, perfectly executed politics, and something which Asian Americans can only dream about.

          • Simon_Ningbo

            Huge logical fallacy in my opinion lolz.
            You yourself acknowledge that the system is unfair, and that it puts others at a disadvantage. But instead of trying to abolish it you say “let’s abuse it too”.
            Maybe the Chinese have indeed the highest median salary in the US because they know they have to work hard for it, and not just abuse the system ? Maybe, by pushing for more state protectionism for the Asian minority you achieve just another complacent minority, instead of the most dynamic and hard-working one ?
            How does the best technical University in the world, the MIT profit from having more black professors who otherwise wouldn’t have made it ? It doesn’t, it just makes its education a bit worse because they are forced to have race-based employment policies instead of qualification based ones.
            The same goes for the UK, this idiocy is what’s bringing down the competitiveness of the country, not the best, but the politically correct are chosen.
            If all the best students are Asians then so bloody be it, study harder and stop complaining.

          • Bin Wang

            AA is a deliciate issue, and not one I wanted to wade into for now, but since the cat’s out of the bag, I’ll address briefly.

            There’s a time and a place, but again, whenever disparate treatment based overtly on race is involved, we put it under strict scrutiny to see if the means are narrowly tailored to achieve important objectives.

            a few brief points

            1. It’s easy to say if merit alone means they’re all Asians, then so be it. But frankly, that would be the case in many top California universities today. If race weren’t a factor places like UCLA, Berkeley, etc. would be majority Asian and that’s not sat well with even California whites. So in that respect, it’s true, nowadays, Whites will play the race card too, if to their advantage.

            2. The point is, the disadvantage of blacks today in the U.S. has material correlation to wrongs done upon them as a demographic for centuries ages ago. I used to be just like you guys, but now I’ve got a more nuanced view on AA. The point is, it is fair to try to put African-Americans back in a place they would be, but for the admitted wrongs done upon them as a people. The problem is, and this is the key, where is the line between (1) merely trying to put them back to a place they would have been but for the wrongs (which I think is fair), and (2) using race as an unfair way to advance them unduly over others, who may be more qualified (which I think is unfair).

            That line is not so easily drawn, and I think AA has a place in doing (1) above, though you guys are afraid of AA just as easily doing (2) above. All this is understandable.

            But the American lineage is complex. There’s a reason why 100 years after slavery, we still had separate but equal (which really was unequal) and it took MLK in the 60’s (only 50 years ago) to get rid of Jim Crow. We have to ask ourselves, isn’t there a reason that even today, schools in predominantly black neighborhoods are poorer, have worse facilities, worse teachers, worse drop-out rates, than schools in Whiter neighborhoods even though they are both public schools in the same district? You can’t succeed if you’re not given the opportunity to do so. If any of us went to a crappy school, had a crappy home situation, had few rolemodels, had bad teachers, none of us would be able to succeed.

            The point is, many in the U.S. don’t have the opportunity and it’s related, at least in part, to past wrongs done to their demographic which should fairly have a remedy. That’s the point of AA. Ideally, it should be, everything else being equal, we want to give you the chance to succeed beacuse we’ve robbed you of that chance before. many African-Americans just don’t have those opprtunities because of where they come from, and I don’t believe it’s all because they’ve not worked hard enough. Thus, as solely a remedial measure, I believe there is a place for AA in the United States today.

            To lolz, I think Asians do need to mobilize to have more of a collective political voice. Again, my point was, race and prejudice is not irrelevant, and to the extent it is relevant, remedial action is necessary. That’s not to say other legitimate factors are not also, or even more relevant, but those we can work on. You can try to improve yourself and your abilities, but you can’t improve the elements you can’t control such as prejudice. To that extent, politics needs to step in and place a role, and I think that’s precisely why the Delaware senator read the findings of the 80-20 initiative into the congressisonal record.

          • lolz

            Simon you have only proved my point about Asians abroad who are fixated on the whole notion of “fairness” rather than using their system to advance themselves, and why they don’t fare well in these societies.

            First of all, let’s not kid ourselves about racism in hiring and admission process. It exists and will always exist. Asians themselves happen to be very racist IMO, especially against other asians and blacks. Asians immigrants are clearly disadvantaged for multiple reasons, including the current Affirmative Action programs which only promotes other minority groups.

            Now for any disadvantaged group, there are three ways to overcome the disadvantage: To be loud and aggressive and complain, to be quiet and work your ass off in hope that others will be fair when it comes to selecting the right person for the right job, or to do both. Majority of the Asian Americans and especially those on the right follow only the second path. They keep their heads down and work their asses off in hope that someone else will notice how brilliant they are and use their good judgment instead of playing politics. If there is any logical fallacy here it would be the assumption racial politics do not exist in large corporations. If there were three people of equal caliber, one black, one white, and one asian, it’s extremely likely that the Asian guy will be the last choice. So for any Asians immigrants their best chances of getting ahead are to work their ass off on the jobs AS WELL as to use the race card to their best advantage.

            As for Affirmative Action itself, unless there is a better system to counter-balance the inherent racism in all of us it will be used to keep a segment of society down and happy. It’s a necessity in any civilized, mix raced society unless you don’t mind the occasional race riots. The people who are against this concept are either racists or those who believe that human beings are inherently fair. I am either.

            There are also plenty of arguments for diversity which I won’t go over here because you can easily google them for yourself.

          • “This is why I’ve always argued that what hap­pened was prob­a­bly for the best in hind­sight.”


            They acted not to practice their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, but rather to impede the expression of those same rights by others. The Chinese students had an (consular orchestrated) agenda, not a cause.

            It was important, however, insofar as it sets a precedent for future such impediments to freedom expression and overt displays of nationalism by overseas Chinese.

          • Jones

            The “save the torch Beijing 2008 Beijing Welcomes You rally” at my school consisted of a bunch of Chinese students showing up to a Tibetan culture show held by a couple of monks. The show featured sampling of traditional foods and music, along with chatting up the monks. There was no “free Tibet” going on, believe it or not. Regardless, the goof troupe showed up with flags and signs, yelling about how the Dalai Lama was evil and telling us all that we didn’t know what we were talking about because either didn’t understand China. The campus police finally showed up and told them that they either had to go register to hold assembly in that area (as the monks had done) or go home. They got pissed but went home. That was the full extent of the brilliant Chinese student political force at my university. Something comparable to the Christian Conservative political force. Strong, but dumb.

          • Bin Wang

            Some did stuart/Jones, and I wouldn’t agree with that, but most didn’t. Many just came out to support the torch/Beijing games. Or when “Free Tibet” is the agenda, a counter-demonstration is not necessarily improper.

            It was about time overseas Chinese spoke up about what was going on, media distortion and political hijacking of the Beijing games was going down and, although there’s a time and a place for such debates, to purposefully dirty something entirely unrelated that a lot of Chinese people really held dear was, at least in my opinion, going too far. You can say it was all orchestrated, but I know for a fact that sentiment amongst even the most anti-Beijing/communist overseas Chinese was that it wasn’t right for them to pull this dog-and-pony show specifically to target the Beijing Games.

            To that extent, I fully agree with what happened. Though, I’ll grant you Jones, tactfulness is not tops amongst the most Chinese character traits. People were upset, though I would agree what happened at your school would have been going too far. I saw videos of the demonstrations at Duke, however, and that was a fair demonstration/counter-demonstration.

    • Jones

      There’s several Asian-American politicians out there. There’s at least one Representative that is an immigrant. Anh Cao. I’m not sure about the others. Granted, he came when he was 8 years old…but given the ignorant “birthers” existence, we know that some demographics would use that to push their butthurt, racist views.

      • Bin Wang

        Perhaps most famous is the senior senator from Hawaii Daniel Inouye, who served in the Nisei 442nd RCT during WWII. So much for Palin’s “too many Asians” to finish college in Hawaii bit … Senator Inouye was more American in his severed right arm than Palin could ever hope to be.

      • lolz

        If you count Indian Americans then there are more notable AA influence in American politics both in elected positions (Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley) as well as those working in think tanks (Dinesh D’Souza).

        Of course, I would say that almost all AA politicians tried their best to emulate the Caucasian politicians and blend in. The Indian Americans which I listed all have converted to Christianity (a must requirement for just about every US politician) and talk the standard Rush Limbaugh talk.

        • Jones

          Just because they’re Indian-Americans, it doesn’t mean that they’re so horrible at politics that they need to bullshit up a storm.

          • Jones

            oops, I meant “…doesn’t mean that they’re so horrible at politics that they don’t realize they need to bullshit up a storm”

  2. pug_ster

    The ‘Great Recession’ is ultimately how US decided to shoot themselves in the foot and allowed jobs to be shipped overseas.

    China is welcoming capital and ideas from US companies into China with open arms yet the US is wary of any Chinese investment coming to the States, even their debt. US complains of huge trade deficit yet they refuse to trade China on several high tech products on grounds of ‘IP’ issues. Chinese companies would love to invest in the US and US companies but it was largely refused. Look at what happened when some Chinese company wants to buy out newsweek. Until then, US is on the wrong side of the capitalist end.

  3. Jones

    Actually, I worked the ultimate “American-working-for-Chinese-in-Dixie” job…I was a weekend waiter at a Chinese restaurant, owned, operated, managed, and cooked by a middle-aged Cantonese couple that couldn’t speak English to save their lives. And then I would be the only other employee there. After living in China for a while, I was excited to go back and finally get to have a conversation with them using Mandarin. I was disappointed to find out that the lady spoke less Mandarin than I did, and the guy’s accent in Mandarin was completely unintelligible to me most of the time. They were some of the best employers I’ve ever had as far as being patient, understanding, and nice.

    • pug_ster

      Lol, speaking mandarin to Cantonese speaking people. There aren’t alot of Cantonese speaking people who can speak mandarin fluently.

      • Jones

        In keeping the tradition, they paid me in cash and therefore I didn’t have to pay taxes! That was cool, too.

  4. {shrug} Same thing happened 30+ years ago when the Japanese and German outfits started setting up shop in “Right to Work” states. Figure to be a couple of “good ‘o boy” incidents – followed by a community beatdown on said “good ‘o boys”.

    Bottom line – money talks.

  5. David

    I live here in Alabama, and I would have to agree that a lot of people here would chafe at the idea of working for Chinese, at least initially. This is because there are a lot of inherent racist tendencies here (but fewer than most Americans think), and also because many (uninformed) people have negative views of China being (1) communist and (2) developmentally backwards. However, in the current state of unemployment, I think a lot of people will do things they might not have done before to get a job. This recession might actually be a catalyst to getting people to accept Chinese companies in the US. Like the other guy said, “money talks”.

    Also, some have suggested that buying Japanese cars is “unpatriotic”, since the profits go back to Japan (although many stockholders are US citizens). However, I think we need to remember that those “Japanese” cars are made at US plants by US workers and sold by US car dealers. That’s a lot of benefit for the US economy from a “Japanese” car.

  6. “…so long as Joe Main Street loves to over-consume at a bargain basement price…”

    Do I detect the smell of burning historical grievance, Bin Wang?

    Who is this ‘Joe Main Street’, anyway?

    America is a multi-cultural society. Surely you’re not excluding Chinese-Americans and other minorities from your analysis? Or are you in fact saying that ‘Joe’ is specifically representative of ‘white’ America and it is he alone who chafes at the idea of working for a Chinese organisation?

    “Will working for the (China)man in the cradle of Dixie ever be truly accepted by the American public?”

    Again, the ‘American public’ is too heterogeneous a group for you to bristle with indignation at a perceived reluctance from only part of that population towards Chinese employers. After all, you’re American, aren’t you?

    Stereotypical at best; historical grievance/chip-on-shoulder feeding at worst.

    -5 by supper time?

  7. Bin Laden

    Bin Wang, you definitely have a chip on your shoulder.
    In the multinational corp I work for here in USA I have a female Chinese boss and aside from the fact that her English grammar and pronounciation are somewhat lacking, neither I (caucasian) nor anyone else working for her has any problems with her. I have Chinese colleagues who speak Chinese all day long and it doesn’t bother any of the rest of us.

    The US has some xenophobia regarding foreigners doing business here. So does every rational country. Its perfectly obvious that foreigners may not share your political, economic and social interests. Still, the US is at least one of if not the most open economy in the world for foreigners to do business and there are countless examples of foreign companies from around the world making big profits here.

    Back in China, foreign companies are not welcome to make big profits – in the view of government & Chinese business they are just a necessary evil to exploit until Chinese business can push them out and take over. Foreign companies don’t want to do JVs anymore because they just get taken by their Chinese partners. Outright foreign ownership is forbidden in a wide swath of China’s economy.

    So some redneck got upset at Haier’s Chinese flag – big deal. You’ll find the same things happening in China and everywhere else nationalism raises its ugly head.

    Reread your own mission statement and try to live up to it: “…seek to go beyond knee-jerk stereotypes, nationalism, and prejudice to engage in genuine discussions…”

    • Bin Wang


      That things may be worse in China is not the point. Fact of the matter is, these things shouldn’t happen in America. But they do, and with far more prevalence than any of us would prefer. The statistics are clear and do not lie … Asian Americans are the most educated, yet least represented in management. You’re kidding yourself if you want to call that a statistical anomaly.

      Xenophobia should be more critically looked at than xenophobia anywhere else, because we are America and we profess to be what we profess to be. For you to dismiss what remain real issues, just because your one situation is not a problematic one, doesn’t mean a discussion of a real situation which occurred, which shouldn’t have occured, is “knee-jerk” stereotyping.

      Furthermore did I not state that most Americans have not reacted in a unreasonable way and that credit should be given where it is due? That doesn’t mean the Rush Limbaugh call about the flags shouldn’t still be criticized.

      • Bin Laden

        Your statistics for Asian American mgmt are clear but meaningless because they ignore the necessities of time. What is the % of AA in the population today? More importantly, what was it 50+ years ago when today’s CEOs were born? In the industries where substantial numbers of Asians have participated, such as IT, they are quite prominent at all levels of organizations. There are lots of technology companies here run by Chinese and Indians, and it seems like a majority of the new startups are co-led by them. Same is true in academics.

        Of course there is racism and every other kind of negative -ism here in the USA as there is in China and everywhere else humans live. You suggest having ideals should mean being held to a higher standard, but I don’t agree – such standards should be universal, and people who refuse to acknowledge them are not better than people who are unable to live up to them. Republicans are not better than Democrats, and assholes are not better than wimps, even if they do seem to win more fights.

        In spite of the Rush Limbaughs and all the other assholes and wimps in this country, 77% of Americans would vote for an Asian American (as per your commenter above), which ought to be enough to get her elected. And 93% of Americans will work for an AA CEO. Of course 90% of them would just be happy to have those C-level salaries and perks, and who cares if the CEO can’t drink ice water like a real American. The other 3% would be griping about it and making snide remarks.

        All joking aside, I have seen this country transform itself from a white male dominated society to an increasingly multi-ethnic/sexual/etc society, and this change-in-progress is happening remarkably quickly and peacefully, even while we are undergoing wrenching economic changes. You can find some places like Canada where they may be doing it marginally better than we are. Still I think these American people deserve more respect than they are getting in this post, which I find broadly sarcastic and disparaging, and not at all trying to engage in an open discussion. And its important because there’s no guarantee that this process of trying to further achieve ideals isn’t going to fall apart. Our whole world seems more enchanted these days with realpolitik than with ideals or principles.

        • Bin Wang

          You know it’s funny, when we talk about American transformation, they want to talk about time. And I agree, African-Americans were still getting lynched in this country no more than 50-60 years ago. That said, sure, it’s gotten much better in a surprising amount of time. But at the same time, in talking about freedoms in China, pundits conveniently forget that from what China was 50-60 years ago, it’s been an even bigger transformation.

          So firstly, let’s all play by the same rules. The entire world has changed greatly, and mostly for the better, in recent times. But I don’t think I am wrong to hold the U.S. to a higher standard. It would be naive of me not to. You’re damned right I expect the U.S. to be less bigoted than certain other countries in the world, esp. China. We are the tip of the spear, and you walk around acting like it, so we pretty much ought to put up or shut up. You can only walk around like your sh*t don’t stink, if it actually doesn’t stink. And boy, is everything all roses the way we conduct foreign policy.

          This is about discussion. I do think we do need to be more critical of the Rush Limbaugh’s of the U.S. because these people shouldn’t have as power and sway as they do. Why is it that it’s pretty much OK to fly the flag of anyother country, but pretty much NO ONE flags the Chinese flag, even if they are Chinese-American? There’s an unspoken stigma about the big bad China in this country, and I’ll be honest with you … it’s perhaps almost as close to a sanctioned racism is things are allowed to get.

          So note 2 comments above. First, mine in which I state perhaps the reason is the time issue, that their 2nd and 3rd generation offspring of the 1st generation Asian immigrants won’t face there problems. I hope so, but it remains to be seen. Second, the comment from the individual from Alabama above, who confirms, at least in his/her personal experience, the added stigma against the Chinese … because of uneducated views about China being communist and backwards.

          People still mention things like Chinese fire drills and Chinese walls (an actual legal term, look it up) on a regular basis. I’m sorry, until this type of stuff stops, I’m going to talk about it, and if need be, put up a fuss about it, and yes, view it with a cynical eye. I accept most Americans are not such nativists, but that doesn’t mean we should not condemn the rest, a small minority they may be.

      • King Tubby

        Bin Wang.
        Don’t come from the USA, but you have been loading your whole argument here. Why things are worse in China is a major point.

        The shining light on the hill, I may have got it wrong but you know my point, and it is an ideal, and as much as I don’t like the States, at least you can contest issues in their legal system.

        As for historical credits and debits….hogswash….this is 2010.

        PRC made its own history since 1911….1949…Great Leap Forward, Cultural Mess, etc. The West owes China sweet bugger all.

        Cry baby victimisation on your part. And my views are miles away from Limbaugh et al.

        You enjoy the citizenship and financial rewards, yet diss the country which provides them.

        You are advancing particularly slimy relativist views and I hope posters recognise them for what they are.

        • Bin Wang

          I never said the U.S. wasn’t far better off in numerous aspects KT, and I absolutely recognize the privileges I enjoy in this country, which I probably cannot if I lived in China.

          As for historical debits and such, I don’t think this article has anything to do with it, and if you and stu do want to discuss it, I am sure we can all sit down over a nice cup of tea some day and have a civil conversation.

          I find nothing wrong about being critical of certain things here in the U.S., and/or holding the U.S. to a higher standard. I’d be giving this great nation short-shrift if I wasn’t. The point is, Asian-Americans in positions of authority is still a relative rarity and the stigma of racism still permeates the issues. As I mentioned, perhaps future generations will ameliorate the problem, but for now, as an objective American, I can promise you that I can very much see and notice the glass ceiling against Asian-American advancement in the professional sphere.

          • Jones

            First off, I see the common misunderstandings between what people usually consider “buying American” is and what it should be. I believe buying American-made products isn’t a bad idea, but not to the point that “made in ______” should be shunned.

            Now, according to the Google’s Public Data thingy, the population of the US is around 307,006,550 people. According to a 2008 census (I couldn’t find a definite current one) Asians make up 5% of the US population. But, since that was 2008, let’s just pretend it’s currently at 6% (it’s projected to reach 9% by 2050 so I’m being generous). That’s 18,420,393 people out of the entire 300 million plus population. Now, as of June 2010, the Asian-American unemployment rate was 7.7%. So 17,002,023 Asian-Americans are employed.

            Now, of the approximate 208,764,454 whites, 190,810,711 are employed.

            I’m not going to tally up the population of other employed minorities since this is the idea is that there is a glass ceiling, based in racism, against Asian-Americans.

            So, 17,002,023 vs 190,810,711. The population of employed Asian-Americans is what? An approximate 11th of the population of employed White-Americans? Then factor out on both side however many of those are educated on the level needed, how many of them have enough experience necessary to run a business, and how many of them actually try, and the numbers are a lot less. Then there are those jobs where you work alone, family-run businesses, etc. Also, take out the amount serving in the military. Asian-Americans, as of 2009, have a population of a little under 300,000 serving in the US military. Small percentage, but still counts. Basically, the point is, racism has very little if anything to do with it. It’s simple logic. The odds of even applying for a job where your boss would be Asian-American instead of White-American is like the odds of looking out the window at a red light and seeing an Asian-American instead of a White-American driving the car next to you. Christ, how I wish I weren’t white so I could blame my business failure or non-managerial job on racism.

            And as far as “buying American” goes, “American” doesn’t mean “white”. There is no “buy White-American” movement going on. That also has nothing to do with racism. If China was the same place with the same reputation (true or not) but full of white people, there’d still be a stigma against buying Chinese-made products. It’s a political/quality/whatever problem. Not a racism problem.

            One call to Rush Limbaugh doesn’t mean jack shit. Rush Limbaugh is a joke to a very large amount of Americans (even white ones, believe it or not), as are his followers. The argument of “so what if the Chinese flag was flown higher”, well, that’s a big symbolic issue. Actually making it fly lower than the US flag is wrong, as well. According to International Usage standards: “International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.” But even state flags are allowed to be flown at equal height as the US flag, but you will see very few choose to do that when displayed alongside a US flag on separate staff.

            Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone mention not wanting to work for a Chinese, or any other ethnically-Asian boss. I take your word for it that there are those who feel that way, because I know that there are plenty of racists in this world. However, on charges that the only reason there aren’t heaps of Asian-American CEOs, General Managers, Heads of Departments, etc etc, I’d say that’s a big over-reaction. You didn’t even provide any links to anything regarding racism against Asian-Americans. You only provided them to side-notes about Apple and Foxconn, “Buy American”, and Obama’s warning against protectionism.

            Anyway, here’s what I used for those statistics up there:



            US Flag Code:—-000-.html

          • Bin Wang


            I think you miss the point wht unemployment argument. The fact is Asian-Americans are the most educated minority in the U.S. so merely keeping a job is not the issue. The issue is getting into upper management. And it’s 2 factors, they’re either not seen as “management material,” or they themselves perhaps don’t display enough leadership qualities due to cultural issues. I can give you all the cites you want Jones.


            Based on publicly available government statistics, Asian Americans have the lowest chance of rising to management when compared with blacks, Hispanics and women in spite of having the highest educational attainment.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

            80-20 compiled these data which has been verified in writing by the Chief Statistician of EEOC, Ronald Edwards, into charts; and on September 6, 2006, 80-20 took out a full page Ad in the Washington Post in effort to educate the general public.[17][18]

            Subsequently, the ad was read into the Congressional Record by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware.[19]

            Executive Order 11246 signed into law in 1965, requires equal employment opportunity and prohibits discrimination. This law has been enforced for all except Asian Americans, as evidence by the low glass ceiling still hanging over this ethnic minority. Prior to election 2008, in its effort to shatter this glass ceiling, 80-20 obtained written commitments from nine of the eleven Democratic Presidential candidates, including then Senator Barack Obama and Senator Joe Biden, to enforce EO 11216 for All Asian Americans.[20][21][22]



            This isn’t about blaming things on not being white. The studies have been done, and frankly there is a full acknowledgement of non-racial reasons why this is an issue. The point is, to the extent a diversity in leadership ranks in all fields, political, legal, business, government, etc. is desireable, how to allow Asian-Americans equal representation in those ranks, which to this point is not occurring.

            I never said buy American v. buying Chinese is entirely a racial problem. I think it’s certainly a quality/political problem.

            On the flag issue, Jones, you just backed my point. Agreed, my hypothetical argument aside, there’s a reason I didn’t make it, the flags WERE being flown at the SAME height. Some dude saw it from an angle and THOUGHT the Chinese flag was higher, called Limbaugh, and Haier APOLOGIZED for flying them at the SAME height. Haier is now flying the Chinese flag at a LOWER height, which according to you, is not proper. I rest my case!

            See above for the citations to the Asian-Americans in management statistics.

            Heck, let me give you some more:

            Highly educated, Asian Pacific Americans have rapidly entered the professional
            ranks, forming a large eligible pool of workers with managerial aspirations. In general,
            their move up the occupational ladder has required greater investments in terms of
            education and work experience than non-Hispanic white males. The occupational
            profile of this workforce, however, remains one of disproportionate
            underrepresentation in high-level administration and overall stagnation, either at the
            entry point to management, or at lower levels of the managerial ladder. This profile
            held not only for scientists and engineers in private industry, where they are
            concentrated, but also for Asian American professionals in academe, the second major
            arena where Asian Ph.Ds. were most likely to indicate employment plans. Finally, a
            glass ceiling or “broken ladder” also characterized civil service work. Despite formal
            guidelines for hiring and promotion, government employment also revealed a
            constricted pipeline. Indeed, where these guidelines gave upper management a latitude
            and flexibility where important appointments were concerned, the likelihood of an
            Asian appointment was diminished.


            Delaware Sen. Tom Carper reading 80-20 initiative into congressional record:



            Don’t accuse me of being a whiny minority who blames all the problems on not being White Jones, I don’t think that’s fair. There is a substantial glass ceiling here fully acknowledged by everyone. I never said the reasons were motivated by racism. But assuming that it is not, then I think it’s fair to ask what are the reasons, and see about trying to rectify the disproportionality situation, as many are now trying to do.

          • Jones

            “On the flag issue, Jones, you just backed my point.”
            Right. That was the point. I wasn’t disagreeing with you. However, you did say: “Never mind the argument of “so what if the Chinese flag was, in fact, being flown higher?”” and so I went ahead and answered the “so what” question for you.

            “Most educated minority” doesn’t exactly mean that they would be the “most successful minority”. You can’t just take random facts and plug it into some equation for your answers as to how many Asian-Americans should be CEOs in order for the US to each racial equilibrium. I mean, William James Sidis was incredibly well-educated yet died broke and obscure. I know, that’s a child prodigy and they’re also famous for their social issues, but since we’re on the topic of “highest educated should mean that they’re all business leaders” it fits completely.

            However, it’s amazing how much you suggested racism or ethnocentrism in your original post compared to how much you deny it in your replies. It hops from Chinese to all Asian-Americans and back to Chinese. If it were only Chinese you were talking about, then it would be different. But when you start talking about it just being Asian-Americans, well…that’s suggesting something a little bit more racist.

            And, to be honest, I wasn’t actually accusing you of the “whiny blame it on the whites” type, although I guess I do see how I could have been more descriptive of who I was talking about. But, then after reading it again along with the fact that pretty much everyone else noticed it…well…I wouldn’t say you’re blaming your OWN failure on the whites, but blaming the fact that there’s not 17,000,000 Asian-American CEOs on whites. If you aren’t, then seriously, reconstruct that article.

          • Bin Wang


            The point is, Asian-Americans are disproportionately under-represented. Do I think racism or nativism is the only reason or even the majority reason? No. But do I think it’s relevant? Yes, I think that it is.

            Let me clarify. With regard to Asian-Americans in general, race is relevant, but not majority or only. With regard to Chinese-Americans in particular, race is relevant, as is politics, but again, with regard to both of those issues, they are probably not the majority or only reasons for the statistics. That said, with the added stigma of politics, perhaps the glass ceiling is more severe for Chinese-Americans in particular, when compared to the glass ceiling faced by Asian-Americans in general.

            But the glass ceiling is there. I am not saying education should automatically mean advancement into management. But let’s not kid ourselves, there a correlation, generally, no? The disproportionate representation is a fact that’s been confirmed by studies for years now. I’m not blaming anything on whites, but I am saying that race is not irrelevant, and with regard to Chinese-Americans in particular, a political phobia akin ot McCarthy-ism is likewise relevant. I think both of these are, of course, undue. It worsens an already difficult situation in which Asian/Chinese-American advancement is already made difficult by other more predominant factors such as cultural habits, language barriers, lack of assertiveness, etc.

            I would recommend you read the studies, learn about the 80-20 initiative, and see why that’s all about. I think we can all admit that racism isn’t dead in America. That said, no racism is ever overt anymore. People have gotten too smart for that. So you’re right, it’s a fine line between unfairly blaming one’s own failures on not being white and legitimately asking whether a facially race-neutral explanation is really a cover for a discriminatory motive. When it comes to disproportionate representation of Asian/Chinese-Americans in leadership/management positions, perhaps that line can be extremely fine, but I don’t doubt for a minute that whining isn’t always the correct explanation.

        • pug_ster

          You enjoy the cit­i­zen­ship and finan­cial rewards, yet diss the coun­try which pro­vides them.

          It looks like that Bin Wang sound more like a patriot and you sound more like a nationalist.

          It is easy to see that many Chinese are nationalists (IE China can do no wrong attitude) because China is on the rise and the Chinese government is taking the necessary steps in doing so. However, US is on the beginning stages of decline, where an ineffective government which seems to care more about its foreign policies rather than problems back home. By no means anyone here says that China is a better place to live than the US. That’s one thing you are mistaken.

          Many Chinese Americans do love the US and wish that US changes its attitude towards China. Is wishing that the US change its Xenophobic policies toward China patriotism? You decide.

          • King Tubby

            Nice to catch that distinction between nationalism and patriotism. I find flag waving extremely distastfull, and I never support Oz national teams. ie my recent posts +++North Korea on their own merits.

            Also live in a highly multicultural country, but do not think for one minute that many of the Chinese who now have full citizenship here are Oz patriots…they have a higher loyalties based on culture/village/clan and their HK bank accounts. For them, it is just another business calculation, and they manipulate the system every way they can. And I know this from work experience.

            Bin Wang is just a lot more erudite than his ex compatriates, messing the waters with his glass ceiling-water cooler argument.

            To be sure, China is virtually the dominant manufacturing economy in the world today. Surprise, surprise, how many of the successful minority in the PRC want to actually want to retire there.

            End up like Canada????

            I suppose you support dual passports also.

          • Bin Wang

            Thanks for the compliment … I think, though I don’t entirely catch your point here. I don’t think it’s up to you to question my loyalties though. I’m sure there’s plenty of Chinese-New Zealanders, too, to find themselves very much Kiwi above all else.

            Also, there seems to be, at least as is perceived or acceptive by others, different sorts of nationalism. You had mentioned Norway, so you may know, that the Norwegians love their flag and wave it at every opportunity, esp. on 17 May. I doubt anyone questions it. I think the Chinese do it less frequently, but it’s questioned much more when it happens. It is what it is, but it seems to me that nationalism, for different countries by different peoples, is judged by different yard sticks.

            I think it’s too easy to simply say you know the loyalities of the Chinese-New Zealanders. I have no doubt you know more than me, after all, I am not a Kiwi nor have I ever been there. But I recall a time in the U.S. when we were at war with Japan and people were convinced that Japanese-Americans couldn’t be trusted, because surely they were so new to this country and certain to have higher allegiances to the Emperor. This resulted in one of the greatest Constitutional wrongs in recent U.S. history.

  8. t.c.

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    Wu Mao-dang

    • comrade t.c

      I love it,


      hey, Bin Laden, allah fucking ackbar!

      the real 五毛党

      • Fenqing

        On the one hand, 五毛党 would never use the dirty word “fucking” in a comment, on the other hand, you are showing Chinese army will never crush an unarmed civilian with a tank. I am not sure you are a ‘real’ 五毛党 or not. Regardless, be gentle, please.

        • “…you are show­ing Chi­nese army will never crush an unarmed civil­ian with a tank”

          Think again, fenqing, old sport:

          • Fenqing

            If you are not very careful walking on a busy London street, I bet you can get that kind of result by a lorry, or a bus. What’s your point, stuart?
            It’s called ‘accident’. You know what happened and still posted a picture like that, you have revealed your vicious intention to the world. Not least you are a foreigner, who has nothing to do with it.
            Are you trying to say you love Chinese people so much and you are fighting for their justice? I don’t believe that one bit.
            I heard there’s an American girl crushed by a tank in a middle eastern country (I don’t have a weblink, I am not a professional international propagandist like you), have you posted that picture on the web yet? If you haven’t, go ahead and do that to show your consistency, old sport. ( I don’t know what ‘old sport’ mean, but it cannot be anything good coming out of your mouth anyway.)

  9. King Tubby

    Bin Wang. Re: flagwaving. New Zealand is the Land of the Long White Cloud and I will spare you the sheep jokes. Oz is another much large island/continental entity close by.
    We are pretty comfortable in our multicultural identity and do no need flags to remind us of who we are. Flags in school yards disappeared by the end of the 1970s, and you only see them in the national capital in front of very few govt departments. Flag wavers here are generally viewed as arseholes with dog whistle racist agendas.

    My imflamatory post was prompted by the dog and pony show organised by the Chinese embassy during the Games relay in the national capital. The Embassy financed straw organisations in major cities to bus Chinese people to the relay ….a real flag waving agiprop event, which they denied financing and organising.

    The relay was a far more peaceful spectacle than Paris…..rather sedate in comparison. A number of family groups were viciously attached for holding up Free Tibet placards….even though law enforcement turned a blind eye, a number of arrests were made. Basically, they wanted the whole gig out of town and off to its next destination, since the Chinese spectators were behaving like something out of the Cultural Revolution. (I wont resort to similes here.)

    To make matters worse, the so-called torch protectors were in fact elite military troops chosen for their good looks and martial arts skills….the Snow Leopards of Harbin or some similar idiotic title.

    And yes, the Games have always been a political as well as a sporting event.

    I vividly recall various govt spokestypes in Bejing using the argument that the Games were purely a sporting event as an excuse to totally strangle any domestic protest.

    I stand by my claim that western passport acquisition is a an economic calculation pure and simple ie access to schools, healthcare, etc.

    Lets not hide behind PC here …

    Im singularly uninterested in having a cup of tea with any other poster as you suggested, since Im quite sure the socio/political differences would far outnumber the similarities and you would end up hosting a food fight.

    • Bin Wang

      From what I know, many Chinese supporters were there of their own free will. I stand by that–Western Chinese were upset at what was happening and many, even if not all, came out to voice their opinions voluntarily. The point is, the Olympics were a source of great happiness for millions of Chinese people, the vast majority of which play zero role in the alleged oppression of Tibet. The way these activists attacked the Olympics, they weren’t hurting Beijing politically, they were hurting the innocent Chinese people. That’s my opposition to the attempted politicalization of the Olympics and that’s why I stand by supporting the counter-demonstrations. I would be against any attacks on people holding opposition views, just as I am against the vicious attack against Jing Jing in Paris, which was a particularly shameful event.

      As for flags, I guess Kiwis are very different from Norwegians then. Frankly, as I’ll repeat again, its extremely rare to see overseas Chinese fly the Chinese flag in any circumstance. When it did finally happen, during the torch relays, I think there was legitimate justification. It was in protest against what was justifiably perceived as an unfairness, not merely some sort of overt show of nationalism. If the Olympics had not been politically hijacked, I doubt you would have seen quite such a turnout.

      I think your view of immigration is pretty cynical. Sure, people immigrate for better circumstances, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatic fifth columnists. I’m not going to make the generalizations you seem prepared to make, and that’s not just being PC. People have fought for and died for their adopted country (the U.S.) throughout American history. I think that stands for something.

      I am sure we’d be able to keep the snacks on our plates, esp. if we limit conversation to football then. As predicted, although I was hoping I’d be wrong, the Germans bowed out. I’d like to think people can agree to disagree without slinging tarts and pies.

      • “the vast major­ity of which play zero role in the alleged oppres­sion of Tibet.”

        Alleged? Ferchrissakes, Bin Wang. And then this:

        “I would be against any attacks on peo­ple hold­ing oppo­si­tion views”

        Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

        • Bin Wang

          Yes, alleged.

          All I meant to say was that I wouldn’t agree with violence toward those who disagree with me, but I’m all for the counter-demonstrations.

          • “Yes, alleged”

            Never underestimate the power of denial.

            If you think Tibetans haven’t been oppressed during the past six decades – oftentimes brutally – for disagreeing with Beijing and expressing their own views on how they should be living their lives, then you are sadly mistaken.

            Next you’ll be telling us HHDL is a terrorist.

            Here’s a related question: do think an American ‘working for the China(man) in Dixie’ (I’m talking about a mainland Chinese company under Motherland management here) would tolerate an employee having a picture of His Holiness at his/her workstation? Or wear a tie designed in the form of the Tibetan flag?

            If you tried either of those things in Lhasa, you’d find out the meaning of oppression in a hurry.

          • I think I just got my employer and employee a bit mixed up in that previous reply, but you get the picture.

          • Bin Wang

            Not denying anything stuart. There have been allegations. I am neither admitting nor denying them. There’s enough nuances in this powder keg issue to make either a straight admittance or denial seem disingenuous.

            I don’t think the DL is a terrorist. I also don’t think he’s any sort of great person either. He’s a politician, with some pretty awesome PR.

            The hypo you raise is a legal issue. I would urge the company to discuss with their employment attorneys, review the relevant employment contracts, and then decide. It’s not for me to say what they would do.

          • lolz

            “If you think Tibetans haven’t been oppressed dur­ing the past six decades – often­times bru­tally – for dis­agree­ing with Bei­jing and express­ing their own views on how they should be liv­ing their lives, then you are sadly mistaken.”

            Brits are odd in that most of them have only good things to say about colonizing Hong Kong by force, but at the same time they have a problem with Tibet.

            I also like how stuart shifted the topic from empowering Chinese Americans to the bad, bad Chinese government, again. To Stuart, Chinese people feeling good about themselves is a definite no no.

          • “Brits are odd in that most of them have only good things to say about col­o­niz­ing Hong Kong by force, but at the same time they have a prob­lem with Tibet.”

            Lolz, I’m just happy that you’re acknowledging Tibet has been forcibly colonized.

          • friendo

            “If you think Tibetans haven’t been oppressed dur­ing the past six decades – often­times bru­tally – for dis­agree­ing with Bei­jing and express­ing their own views on how they should be liv­ing their lives, then you are sadly mistaken.”

            If you think Tibetans haven’t been oppressed dur­ing the past 13 centuries – often­times bru­tally – for dis­agree­ing with the slave-raiders and Lamas and express­ing their own views on how they should be liv­ing their lives, then you are sadly mistaken.

      • King Tubby

        Bin Wang Thanks for your response. Some gentle points regarding flag culture.

        Oz is Australia, my abode, even if I dont identity with its serious sporting identity. (New Zealand = Land of the Long White Cloud and sheep shaggers.)

        All those charged with physical assault (the ones the police couldn’t ignore because they were caught on tv footage) during the torch thing in Canberra were Chinese.
        And the few Australian supporters of Tibet lining the route were not exactly in inflamatory mode. This was not a rerun of the anarchic situation in Paris…..very sedate and small Tibet protest in contrast. All the mob violence was perpetuated by Chinese males.

        As long as a person or protesting group does not get into **** violence****, this sort of democratic expression by Australian or overseas citizens is allowed.

        Re: your intro. You cannot know, since you don’t have the right country or even the torch episode I was referring to.

        Fifth colunmists….that thought didn’t occur or exist in my claim, but now that you suggest it, I will embrace it.

        Again the Games are political and always have been.

        In a word… Munich. In another, Los Angeles.

        And don’t put me down as a covert racist either. If you check out a sample of my back posts, +s and -s on China, the US and as you are aware, have been a big supporter of NK soccer efforts, despite the overall dissing of their efforts on this and other sites.

        What is sometimes ignored is that people are a complex and often contradictory mix of views and opinions.You might think I am anti-Han, well so be it, but I am also a consistent advocate of gay/trans genderist rights….hardly a profile for an Allan Jones (our Rush Limbaugh) right winger.

        Earl Grey…no sugar, no milk

        • Bin Wang

          Ah, sorry, I thought you said you were a Kiwi.

          I’m not for violence, but I believe the counter-demonstrations were correct. Western Chinese didn’t need Beijing to convince them that China wasn’t being treated fairly here. I meant to say that my knowledge came from the Chinese-American response in San Francisco and also the Chinese-Canadian protests in various Canadian cities.

          I don’t agree with your sentiment that it’s only about better circumstances and that all other allegiances are with immigrants’ home countries. I think that’s a bit of an insult to all the immigrants who came here and helped make America great.

          Sure, states can turn the Olympic games into political issues, but I disagree with the political hijacking of the Beijing Olympics by, what are essentially media stunts by publicity terrorists with a special interest agenda. If Washington or London wanted to boycott, sure, fine. There is such a thing as proper channels for such things. Even if I put substance aside, I disagree with the methods employed by those who wanted to use the media coverage of an Olympic games for a personal political agenda.

          I’ll be sure to note your tea preferences next time you’re over for a pastry. :-)

          • King Tubby

            Bin Wang Bit worried there. You accused me of be a Kiwi and therefore a practitioner of cross-species sexual relations. You obviously relied on Kai’s map of the US in relation to the rest of the world…bad guys, oil, kangaroos.

            Consign it to the dustbin of ethnocentricity.

            (Lord knows, I provided enough locational clues.)

            And speaking of fifth colunmists, here is a fun read:

            C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\Nobody does spies better than Britain The Australian.mht

          • Bin Wang

            Sorry KT, for some reason I had always thought “Oz” was NZ, not Australia. My mistake, it’s all cleared up now, thanks. Kiwis, round-faced LOTR extras, check.

            Funny how this recent spy bit’s got everyone all riled up. What I was criticizing, what I think you were saying, was the alleged causal nexus between elements of race/lack of assimilation/motivation for moving in the first place (i.e., for better circumstances)/maintenance of traditional cultural lifestyle, etc. and a lack of allegiance to the adopted nation. I’m simply saying I don’t believe in making that generalization so readily and I’m not sure if the article, or the Russian spy issue, is on point as refutation.

          • King Tubby

            Bin Wang. The link had nothing to do with my posts. Simply a good laugh since you made mention of 5th columnists, and a good accompanient to the tea and cakes.

            Since you mentioned this spy thing (the exchange has just taken place according to BBC), the nature of spying has really changed in recent years.

            These Russian sleepers werent tasked to actually pinch classified SECRETS, they were reporting on the ***mood*** among govt bureacrats in Foggy Bottom on this or that issue.

            Talk about espionage lite. More like a lifestyle game of deep cover. Kim Philby, the mother of all spies, would have died bloody laughing.

            The Russians would have done better to trawl facebook for information.

          • Bin Wang

            Agreed, pretty futile and pathetic on the part of the Russians.

    • friendo

      “pretty comfortable in your multicultural society”, not surprising since “multiculturalism” is just another tool used by whites to benefit themselves at the expense of others.

      • King Tubby

        friendo. Ouch, what a heavy-hitting riposte. Ever thought of offering an evidence based response. The citizens of tubbyland are positively trembling. In contrast to China, Australia, US and Norway accept the highest percentage, proportionate to population, of ***political refugees*** among the developed world. Settling refugees into a society costs a bundle and that bundle is provided by the tax payer. Take your inchoate historical grieviences somewhere else please.

  10. Fenqing

    “Next you’ll be telling us HHDL is a terrorist.”

    “HHDL”? what is that? Sounds like a terrorist to me.