Knickers in a twist: Americano in China (2/2)

Tuesday 25 September 2012, 12.57pm HKT

Be constructively bigotted

Rack ’em, pack ’em, bleed ’em
via Beirut Night Life

Here’s good advice:

“F@ck that shit. Finish your undergrad studies first, and get a job. Go to China if your job calls for it, otherwise just make some dough. Don’t waste another four years studying again when you’re already close to finishing.”

To be perfectly honest, my view is that a non-science China degree is basically WOFTAM and as useful as secondhand wiping paper.

Colour me prejudiced, but I have a friend who’s an economics major from Zhejiang University (浙江大學, founded in 1897 and traditionally considered the Cambridge of China) who while still in undergrad economics didn’t know the difference between ‘wages,’ ‘salary,’ ‘income,’ ‘pay,’ ‘remuneration’ and ‘compensation.’ It fell on a non-economics guy like me to explain. The friend went on to do an M.A. in Banking and Finance in the UK.

Colour me highbrow, I have personally met mainland Chinese law graduates who have never heard of things like equity, estoppel, bailments, trusts and due diligence, or even the meaning differences between ‘unlawful,’ ‘illegal’ and ‘illicit.’ I have had occasion to meet law professors from China who literally believes rule of law is just a typo for rule by law (when any first-year law student in Hong Kong can explain very precisely what the difference is between the two whilst using Chinese legal concepts, never mind the English ones).

Colour me sardonic, but whilst I was still at uni in the UK, I saw lots of mainland Chinese people with first degrees from China couldn’t enter master’s programmes — most usually because their command of English was so godforsakenly weak as to defy belief, or less usually because of being forced to repeat their final bachelor degree years owing to weakness of academic knowledge base. Srsly, that predicament could work in reverse for you in China, and I don’t think you’d want to experience that firsthand.

Colour me cynical, but just look at the massive flood of Chinese mainlanders dog-piling over each other year after year to get foreign degrees. I worked on printing the Beijing Expressway stock flotation 10 years ago, and let me say the Chinese engineers who built that superhighway were 75% foreign-trained. Indeed, any newsworthy infrastructural works in China even today are all designed, implemented and managed by foreign-trained Chinese engineers.

As a lawyer by background, I’m terribly fond of headcount/AirCav analysis: China exports around 1.27 million tertiary students a year worldwide (BBC News, 18 April 2011), but imports only 292,611 from the rest of the world (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 01 Mar 2012). Add in secondary students, and it’s closer to 2 million Chinese students abroad. Doesn’t that tell you something?

Colour me realistic, but the First World is plastered with jobless graduates with First World degrees. Second World degrees, quite frankly, are persona non grata in the USA and a good portion of Europe too. Masses of First World degree holders are already queuing up for shite jobs that only a crippled transvestite janitor in latex corset should want to do.

Colour me uncaring and superficial, but if you’re not intending ever to go back to the States and make your life in China, then go for it. Like that moron Color Life said earlier, you’d be a king there are have mad pussy from here on end.

For my money, go to Europe if you want to know International Relations firsthand. I.R. that makes any meaningful money has to be a First World thing, not a developing world thing. In Europe, you get to see real, live, puppy I.R. where the people, culture, attitudes, customs and forms of violence vary every 50 miles.

But, Mr CC Fajita, you’re an American. Why ever would you want to learn about International Relations? Your country is in deep trouble because of a lack of understanding of manufacturing and the sciences. Your country’s troubles are mostly to do with too much international relations (specifically those connected with banking and finance).

Doesn’t that tell you anything?

Stay in America. You’ll have money saved for trips later.


“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.…
Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
— Warren Buffett



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Updated 28 Sept 2012 (fixed typos). (B12289)

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3 Responses to “Knickers in a twist: Americano in China (2/2)”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    And while we’re at it, how about universities in Russia? Serbia? Mongolia? Never mind. I turned down an invitation for a masters fellowship in History. Not where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.


  2. Ed Hurst said

    Of course; I chose them for that reason. There is more than one kind of cost, as you note. I rather liked your survey.


Comments are closed.

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