If there is any trait I find here it is not the traits Chinese claim(humility, respect(Koreans love that word but only when it means you respect them)), but trickiness. They teach this starting from a young age. Learning it seems as important as learning math. Even the use euphemisms (guanxi instead of the actual defining word - “nepotism”) is yet another use of sleight of hand - to cover tracks. I’d have to think a long time to think of 5 Chinese/Taiwanese who are ‘1 is 1, 2 is 2’ people out of the thousands I’ve met.

A talent for guile, chicanery, and passive-aggressive behavior seems to be inherent in the Chinese (and Korean) character. Dealing with it makes learning the language look like a piece of cake. Have you gotten better at dealing with or avoiding this?

Related is this post:


I’m normally against stereotypes and what might be considered racist statements, but a lot of my friends here, including some Chinese ones, would agree with the passive-aggressive comment, the non-direct-confrontational nature, being more obvious here than in say the US. Calling it “trickery” might be a bridge too far, though - if that’s how business gets done here, that is to say, in behind the scenes, under the table, via guan xi ways, it’s difficult for me to condemn it as “trickery”, though it would often be considered trickery if performed in the West.

I’ve learned to avoid it at all costs, and to not participate in that type of behavior - to be honest and direct - as much as possible, which for me is not difficult because of the nature of my work - I am paid to be honest and direct, and I don’t have to operate any business that involves Asian-style salesmanship.

I do truly despise it when I have to deal with it outside of work, but that’s what Erdinger and Monteiths are for…


I do truly despise it when I have to deal with it outside of work, but that’s what Erdinger and Monteiths are for…[/quote]

And a good strong alcohol tolerance better than the other guy’s.

In the business world here it is true you have to be on your guard at every moment. If you want to buy something you can’t relax unfortunately, need to check and re-check. For me it’s tiring more than anything else but there is nothing you can do about it.