Tag Archives: China

Should I Move Abroad? A Letter to Expats

Today I am posting something a little different. I recently wrote a long and considered response to a question on Quora, and I have copied and pasted it below. The question is an important one for the increasing numbers of people who are living away from their country of birth, and are having trouble finding their place in the world, quite literally.
This is the question.
“Should I live in Australia for the rest of my life, or should I go back to my own country, China, and be with old friends or family? What’s good about living in Australia compared to living in China?
And below is my response.
I am Australian, currently happily living in China. I have been back and forth a few times, so I understand your situation.
I have been through phases where I have had positive and negative attitudes towards both countries. At one point I hated China. At some points I have disliked Australia.
Therefore your attitude towards the country where you choose to live is paramount. Avoid “expat syndrome” like the plague. I have lived in five different countries/regions, and you will always encounter a large number of immigrants and expats who loathe their adopted country, and have contempt for the locals. It really doesn’t matter where they are, these people will find a way to belittle, shame and rage against the people. The locals are uncultured. They are uneducated, dirty, stupid! They will never condider me to be a Xcountryman! Oh, and they are so racist! (eye roll).
It doesn’t matter how much their host country has given them, or how good life there is, they still feel contempt for it. For them. They become haters.
If I had a penny for every whining expat/immigrant I’ve met mouthing these words I could retire today, a wealthy man.
Avoid these people wherever you find them (especially online, where they like to go to hiss and spew their venom, because that’s what’s little people do).
It’s OK to have your bad days and to go through this as a phase (I did for a short while in China). But make sure you see it for what it typically is (projection and bigotry) and choose to snap out of it. I knew a person in Australia who had been there for decades who just made themselves miserable regularly ranting about the country on Facebook. They saw themselves as intellectually and spiritually above the disgusting locals. They were miserable. However, the individual just couldn’t see that their rage was self-generated.
Learn emotional and social intelligence. All situations in life are a chance for the development of wisdom. Difficulties are actually good for us. They can help us to grow. But only if you develop the right attitude. Don’t project against the locals. Get to know them. They don’t owe you anything, and have no responsibility to connect with you or embrace you. The lamest lament in the long history of lame laments has to be “They don’t consider me to be one of them! I am always an outsider!” You are a foreigner, dude! Accept it! Ham it up! Have a bit of fun with it. Besides the disadvantages, there are a host of privileges you can embrace.
Having said this, consider your lifestyle preferences. A good attitude is important, but choosing a place that matches your interests and altitudes is equally important. You know what challenges to expect in China: bad air, environmental issues, rudeness in public spaces, pushing and shoving, increasing addiction to mobile phones, internet restrictions etc. But you can weigh those up with the advantages: friendly people (many, not all), lots to do in the evening, professional opportunities, great infrastructure and public transport…
Make sure you know what you want personally and professionally before committing to a place. In 2012 I left a good job in Hong Kong to return to Australia. However, I didn’t consider my professional options carefully enough. I returned to Oz without having a job to go to. This is not an ideal option. You may face a period of unemployment, or be pressured into taking a position you don’t like. I spent some time unemployed, as well as separated from my wife. My mother died. Not fun.
What are your professional goals for the next five to ten years? For the rest of your working life? Can the country support those goals? This is of paramount importance. If you fail to properly assess this area of you life, you are putting faith in the gods for something you’d be better off taking responsibility for yourself. Wherever possible take on extra responsibilities to advance your career. When I arrived at my current workplace I volunteered to develop curriculum for academic writing. Now I have opportunities developing in that area with publishers.
I now have a great job in China at a university, and am with people I really like (mostly!). I get decent pay, great holidays, and have numerous opportunities to travel and expand my connections in the “consciousness movement,” my other passion. I am getting books published in Chinese. I either love or accept the Chinese people I work with. I went through the hater phase, faced my demons and came out of it all a better person. I became prosperous in more ways than one. But to do that I had to take a good, hard look at myself, and become smart about my life and my choices.
In summary, it isn’t only the country you live in that counts. What is it that you can bring to that country? How much can you find in yourself, in terms of attitudes and aptitudes, that can contribute to that place? Can you be bigger than the little people and the great problems you will face, and rise above them?
Good luck with it, and even better planning.
Marcus T Anthony

Are the Chinese coming to get us?

Is China coming to devour us? An alarming article written by John Garnaut in the Sydney Morning Herald  (“Australia counters Chinese threat) brings to attention the views of Edward Luttwak, described as a “strong an influential adviser to the Pentagon.” Luttwak says that Australia and the US see China as their biggest threat, and regardless of official statements, their policy is designed to counter the rising influence of China in the Pacific region. China, it is stated, is flexing its muscles, expanding its regional and international power in lieu of its rapid economic rise.

Luttwak, who probably failed Diplomacy 101, had the following to say about China:

”The rapid accession to prosperity has been a very common way for countries to lose their sanity,” Mr Luttwak told the Herald. He said China suffered from ancient and new foreign policy weaknesses. ”The Chinese are autistic in dealing with foreigners, they have no sense of the ‘other’,” he said. ”They think they are incredibly brilliant strategists as if they had been conquering other nations, when in fact it’s been the other way around for 1500 years.”

Is there any truth to what Luttwak says? Yes, it’s all true actually. China has long had a poorly developed sense of its place in the world. There is a strong civilisational sense of superiority, and Chinese leaders often overestimate their own capacities. These things are common arguments found in many books on Chinese history, including many written by Chinese people themselves. In fact there are a lot worse things commonly written about China, but let’s not get into that here.

Here is my essential point. All nations, cultures and religions have a dark side. And certainly we should acknowledge those and develop proactive policies to address those where necessary. Yet if we are to build a future world where nations and cultures are going to live together in peace and mutual respect, we need to introspect and acknowledge our own attitudes and prejudices. And Edward Luttwak has a whole heap of those in terms of his attitudes towards the Chinese. Luttwak’s mental projections towards the Chinese can be summarised as follows

“Sneaky little bastards! You can’t trust these people. They’ll stab you in the back first chance they get. Get them before they get us! You Chinese think you are superior? We are the superior race. Fuck you!”

Likewise Australia billionaire James Packer wants to open every door to every Chinese investor. Packer who has been highly critical of Australian policy towards China. Yet he has his own agenda: money and power. He owns half of Macau, the tiny Chinese territory near Hong Kong which has now become one huge casino.

You don’t need to be a self-proclaimed intuitive like me to pick this stuff up. (You can read my intuitive profiles if you want to understand how I do this).

It’s equally important that when we listen to leaders and political experts, especially when there are important futures at stake, that we don’t get sucked into their projections. When we don’t assume responsibility for our individual mental projections, the result is “Drama” – conflict with those around you. When groups and nations fail to acknowledge their collective “issues” you get people, cultures, religions and countries punching and scratching each other’s eyes out.

Introspecting on our own projections is simple. Anybody can do it. It just takes a little courage to expose your shadow – to yourself. That so few of our leaders and the general public are capable of doing this points to a failure of our education systems, and our parenting skills. If Lutwak had done this, he would not have been ranting about how “autistic” China is. Instead he would have proudly announced to his assembled audience: “The following views are those of an old knob with unresolved trust issues ,and who still has his head stuck in the nineteenth century. So here I go…”

But in the absence of the proper guidance, you still have one potent weapon of insight. Your own intention. Nobody can stop you looking in the mirror. Nor, as an intuitive, into the souls of others. Trust your gut instincts. Too many people listen to old twerps telling them who they should hate.


PS if you are interested in knowing how to develop intuitive intelligence, I go into this in detail in my book Discover Your Soul Template.

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Here’s the link and article in full.




September 22, 2012


John Garnaut

John Garnaut is The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s China correspondent.

AUSTRALIA has been quietly building a regional defence coalition to restrain China’s increasingly ”aggressive” and ”autistic” international behaviour, an influential adviser to the Pentagon says.

Edward Luttwak bluntly contradicts Australian and US denials that they see China as a threat or want to contain its rise.

”Australians view themselves as facing a strategic threat,” he writes in his coming book, The Rise of China v The Logic of Strategy.

The emerging latticework of regional defence arrangements augments ”the overall capacity of the US-Australian alliance to contain China”.

The book praises Australia’s strategic initiative in forging ties with countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and India that lie beyond America’s natural security orbit, as well as broadening the defence networks of close US allies such as Japan

”Each of these Australian initiatives derives from a prior and broader decision to take the initiative in building a structure of collective security piece by piece, and not just leave it all the Americans,” it says.

Mr Luttwak is a consultant to the Pentagon’s in-house think tank, the Office of Net Assessment, and has high-level access to Chinese and US military officials. His book, to be published in November, stems from a research project commissioned by the ONA’s 91-year-old director, Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon’s ”futurist-in-chief”.

China’s impact on Asia-Pacific security has been on display this week after it hardened territorial claims over the tiny Japanese-administered islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The dispute weighed on financial markets in both countries as investors factored in a risk of war.

”If necessary, we could make the Diaoyu Islands a target range for China’s Air Force and plant mines around them,” said General Luo Yuan, in the state-run Global Times.

A professor of Japanese studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Zhou Weihong, said China was ”testing” its new-found economic and military power and the results were not yet in.

The Australian National University’s Hugh White has argued that the US needs to ”share power” with what is going to be ”the most formidable power the US has ever faced”. But for Mr Luttwak, the ”logic of strategy” dictates that neighbours will naturally coalesce against the new rising threat, thus preventing China from realising anything like the relative military power that has been projected.

”The rapid accession to prosperity has been a very common way for countries to lose their sanity,” Mr Luttwak told the Herald. He said China suffered from ancient and new foreign policy weaknesses.

”The Chinese are autistic in dealing with foreigners, they have no sense of the ‘other’,” he said. ”They think they are incredibly brilliant strategists as if they had been conquering other nations, when in fact it’s been the other way around for 1500 years.

While Mr Luttwak’s critique will challenge prevailing understandings in Western policy circles, it echoes criticisms in China itself.

A spokeswoman for the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, said: ”It is not possible for a country or countries to contain another country with a population of 1.3 billion. The shifting strategic influences must be managed by the international community …”

Mr Luttwak also took James Packer to task for urging Australia to show more ”gratitude” towards China.

Mr Packer, whose casino businesses in Macau and Australia are underpinned by Chinese gamblers, told a conference last week that ”China has been a better friend to us than we have been to China”.

Mr Luttwak praised Australia’s top diplomat, Dennis Richardson, for rejecting ”Packerism”. ”Packer should shut up … because if a country as prosperous as Australia has to compromise its values for the sake of business then what is it that we can ask of poorer countries.

”If a country as rich as Australia needs to appease the Chinese when the Chinese misbehave then, then it has no dignity.”

Mr Luttwak said: ”I don’t know anybody important here who wants to start a war with China, and I don’t know anybody important who wants to follow the Packer line.”



Arctic ice melt initiates resources grab

This very relevant piece was circulated amongst the World Futures Studies Federation email list. The thawing of the polar regions is creating new economic opportunities as receding ice unveils mineral and energy wealth that has been buried for millennia. It also creates concerns. Are we going to rape and exploit these pristine regions of the planet in th same way we have plundred the rest? The answer appears to be “yes”. nations are already gearing up to ensure they get their slice of the arctic pie.

Race Is On as Ice Melt Reveals Arctic Treasures


Towards a Futures Discourse in Mainland China

ACADEMIC ARTICLES: There are currently no well-established Futures practitioners working full-time in the People’s Republic of China, although certain futurists visit China regularly. This paper addresses the conditions, including political, social and economic, which futurists looking to set up in China are likely to face. It is argued that the time is now right for a range of types of futures practitioners to work permanently in China, or at least have China as a major focus. Conditions are sufficiently permissive, and with an increasing range of major issues and problems facing China in the next decade, the tools and methods of Futures Studies could potentially play an important role in the development of China. Finally, the paper outlines some suggested steps that can be taken to begin to more fully establish a healthy discourse for Futures Studies in China.

Title: Towards a Futures Discourse in Mainland China

Author: Marcus T Anthony

Publication details: Journal of Futures Studies, May 2008, 12(4): 53 – 68

Click on the link below to download the PDF

Towards Futures Discourse in China

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