Recently, there is a heated discussion over the difference between Chinese leaders and Western leaders. As for this topic, I will also talk something about it from two perspectives: religion and lifestyle. As we all know, religion is a part of the culture, which plays a vital role in people’s daily life. The majority of Westerners believe in Christianity. That is because Christian culture constitutes a Western cultural background. Thus it makes any part of Western culture are more or less with a Christian atmosphere since the middle ages.
However, the Chinese people have long een affected by Confucianism, so the religious belief of the Chinese nation is hybrid forms under this premise. For example, the integration of Buddhism, Taoism and others folk religion. The Western Christian culture known as the Christian theory of everything was built in a God-centered; God is the creator of the universe, who created all thing of the natural world. They think God not only created the human soul and body, but also created the history of human. Because God is omnipresent, omnipotent and concern for human, so human should obey God.
Human’s greatest appiness is to restore the relationship between God and human such as parent- child, back to God’s side, human should depends on the grace of God, salvation of Christ, but also with all our heart to love God and love others. Different from the Christian, the central focus of the Chinese religion stands for “The Unity of Heaven and Humanity’. Chinese traditional culture and the concept of God and human don’t emphasize calling God to reveal themselves, but with emphasis on self-examination and the compliance of the leaders. How about the specific effect on western and
Chinese leaders? In China, Christian culture can contribute to the smooth implementation of the governing class domination, to maintain the existing order from the religious sense; the religious culture provides a spiritual comfort for people. From the perspective of cultural policy, religious culture can unite the masses, strengthen the cohesion of thought and the consistency of the behavior. Dating back to the ancient times, obviously, the centralized feudal monarchy is a good example. As we know, many emperors control their citizens under the thought of Christian.
The mperor Han Wudi once rejected all kinds of theoretical schools but Confucius, not only found Taixue, but also establish election system of Han dynasty in order to strengthen the han dynasty unity and development so as to strengthen the centralized political system, Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty canonized in particular the spirit of great national unity, making it deeply rooted among the people. About 7000 miles of the Great Wall was built during the period from Emperor Wu to Emperor Xuan in the Han Dynasty, most of which was set up during the regime of Emperor Wu. All of these attribute to the centralized thought.
In modern society, the difference of enterprise management between Chinese and western countries is obvious, too. In the western people’s eyes, China with the larger right distance, people often believe that their superiors cannot be disobeyed but irresistible. It also reflects on the salary scales. The senior manager’s salary is much higher than the countries, the senior manager’s salary is only three times as much as the Junior manager’s. Besides, the religion also effects the communication between leaders and their staffs. Chinese staffs don’t like to answer the leaders’ questions with their own questions.
Because they are afraid to say something wrong or delay the time of others who has already got clearly what the leaders said. Round-table conference is rare in China, so it is impossible for Chinese staff to come up with some different opinions from their leaders, not to mention to criticize their leaders’ opinions in public. Human relationship seems more important than the company regulation. Admittedly, human relationship is important around the world, however, it seems to be a magic power in China. Laws in western countries are indestructible, which everyone is equal before the law and everyone must obey them.
In western countries, agreement is the base of negotiation at a company conference while the agreement is the result of the negotiation in western countries. Thus the sense of identity is much stronger as a western staff than that in China. In China, people are eager to get mission from their leaders while in western countries people are more likely to obtain clear guidance from their leaders. Similarly, in western family, parents are likely to give their children enough room to develop their own characteristics while in China parents are more likely to control everything of their children.
So children who grow in western countries seem to be more creative than children under strict control of their parents in China. As for the lifestyle, there is also a big difference between Chinese leaders and western leaders. In modern history, there are two stories concerning the misunderstanding of different etiquettes, the first one is about Li Hong Zhang who was invited by Bismarck to a dinner. He drank the water mistakenly which was used to wash hands after eating the fruit due a lack of the western etiquette knowledge. In order to not to make Li Hong Zhang lose face, he drank the water too.
Other officials followed him and refrained from laughing. Another story goes like this: a KMT officer and his wife went to the airport to meet a consultant from the U. S. A. Then the consultant said : your wife is so beautiful! ” The officer felt embarrassed and said :” “As we all know, it is Just a kind of polite way which is very common in China as the words that the consultant addressed. But the clumsy interpreter translated “Jj?¦, JAB*” into ‘V. ‘here, where”. American consultant can not understand. He thought: I Just praised his wife, but why he asked me where his wife is beautiful.
He is so confused that he answered she is beautiful from head to toe. The reason why these two Jokes happen is because the lack of the etiquette knowledge about the difference between China and the western countries. To the leaders, to understand different countries’ lifestyle is conducive to the exchanges between different countries. If a leader understands other’s rituals and folk customs can be seen as respecting for others and can be easier to make a good impression on others who he first meets. The difference is also a reflection of the interpersonal relationship, which is clearly different in exchanging ideas.
Chinese are very warm and hospitable. It is granted to understand the age, occupation, income, marital status, children and other issues with each other. While westerners do not like that, especially between leaders’ meeting. No matter in a company or in a family, the westerners cherish the individual freedom and independence, they are collective interests mostly, who often subordinate their interests to advocate collective interests. The concept is unity, cooperation and unison. In conclusion, the difference in religion and lifestyles for leader between China and the west is big.