I know we all like to be politically correct these days.
I know there are some admirable intentions for this.
I know that the large unspoken issue is that people have difficulty distinguishing between generalizing about general populations and generalizing about individuals. The former is ok with me, the latter is not.
I’ve lived in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and now China. Chinese lie like no one else. The frequency and boldness of Chinese lying is justly legendary.
Do my Chinese friends lie to me? No. Otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends.
I will restate the above differently as I know some might react emotionally rather than rationally.
I am not saying any stereotype is correct. Quite to the contrary, I am reporting to you my personal experience and backing it up with comparisons. If you can honestly say that in your experience in Taiwan or China that you found people lied to you no more than in another foreign country (or possibly your native land, but see my qualifying comment for that below), fine. I like Mango juice (no sugar added, please), you may not.
Again, generalizing about general populations is ok so long as you have data (eg living in the country, not meeting three people living in your country); generalizing about individuals is wrong. It is wrong not because it’s politcally incorrect or because you may dislike me, but because it is illogical. Again, in my experience Taiwanese and especially Chinese lie a lot more than Koreans, Japanese, or Americans (though being I am from the latter country it might well disqualify me from including it; also I have refrained from making comparisons to persons from dozens of other countries I have known because I have not lived there and encoutnered large numbers of average people, since people who leave their country to live for a while or forever in another country are not average), but when I meet a Chinese person I don’t think, “Must be a liar.” because I have known honest Chinese.
The difference is between talking in general about groups as opposed to assuming an individual necessarily will have all or certain characteristics of the group to which s/he belongs. For example, if one wants to say that in his/her experience few Westerners bother to learn Chinese, fine. But if one then assumes that Mr. Xyz (a Westerner) doesn’t speak Chinese based solely on his being a Westerner, that’s a different story.
To address Feiren’s intentionally hot button comment. I have not found any of the stereotypes about Jews to be true. Except that there does generally seem to be a higher value put on education and hard work. As for stereotypes about the Jews, that has a history that predates Christ, though stepped up post-Christ, so we can’t just talk from the Nazi era or the 19th century. Jews were disliked for being different and refusing to compromise/assimilate. So, bogus stereotypes were invented. For example, “Jews love money” came about because for many centuries the only thing they were allowed to do in Christian Europe was handle money. Long story.
Do you want me to say that Chinese or Taiwanese are as interested in household cleanliness and public sanitation as Japanese or Americans? Give me a break. The cleanest restaurant in all of China serves a Big Mac.
Here’s a generalization I will apply to any individual: s/he’s Japanese, therefore s/he won’t like root beer
PS I study Chinese because I am interested in Chinese culture. That does not mean that I love everything Chinese or that I wish I could be culturally Chinese or that I will turn a blind eye to deficiencies in Chinese culture. I don’t love everything about my own culture, but I certainly won’t turn a blind eye to its deficiencies.