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Is 'West' Best?

Viewed 3147 times 2018-2-5 17:56 |System category:News

I recently watched a video produced here in China, about the industrial revolution of China. America had her own industrial revolution about 100 years ago. With Deng's 'opening up' from 1978, Chinese looked to the West to understand an open economy. With this look westward, they also set out to understand western mechanisms of industry and technology. Along with many other things, this resulted in emulation of Western technology, innovation and economic norms.

As a student of history, I also know of many of the Middle Eastern monarchs who looked to the West for innovation and advancement of their societies. Even the Russian czar, Peter the Great, traveled west to modernize Russia some 300 plus years ago. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, westernized, and based on the Enlightenment.

What you might find interesting is, that even in America, we look west when looking for new trends, innovation, fashion, styles, language and national advancement. California is also the hot seat of new trends, technological breakthroughs and economic progress. The East Coast of the USA is where many of our older, prestigious and respected academic institutions exist while the 'west' is where true innovation most often occurs.

The video described how creating 'knock offs' (counterfeit western goods) was part of the reason that China grew so fast economically. The learning curve was greatly reduced in dissecting western goods and producing similar or identical knock offs. The video suggested that this was and still remains, an important asset in watching China develop. Of course, the courage to step forward and push the boundaries was part of the spirit of the people who led this amazing economic revolution.

On the other hand, let me clearly state that even in the 'West', we look westward for more innovation, creativity and advancement. It is an interesting phenomena that I'm not sure that many have considered or delved into.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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