Many people come to China with the wrong assumptions and without a good understanding of how the country works, according to Gilbert Van Kerckhove, Founder of Beijing Global Strategy Consulting Inc.
Some feel like they have to tell China what is wrong with their system.
In this short video, Gilbert comments on how Chinese know the issues very well and are trying to tackle them. These are topics he often presents to visiting Executive MBA students in order to challenge their conventional wisdom about China.
A Unique Take On China
''One of the things I love to do and also takes a lot of my time is to give a very personal introduction about China to groups of EMBA or MBA students. These are people who, generally speaking, have very little basic knowledge about the country."
"Sometimes I give a seminar and the organizers tell me ‘Gilbert, we have somebody else who already gave an introduction on China.’ I said I fear no competition in this because my take on China is very personal and different. I must say generally the reception is very good."
Focus On Core Issues
"What I want to demonstrate to those students is a couple of things.''
"First of all, that this is a country, or rather a continent, that has gone through tremendous changes in the past thirty five years. This is something I illustrate with some flashbacks showing pictures of old Beijing in 1981, constrasting the same place 25 years later."
"Also not just explaining how the architecture of the city changed, but how the people completely changed, society changed."
"I explain what are the issues that we are facing today. Issues that are very well known by the Chinese Government. It is also their headache, it is not just our headache, everybody’s headache today, and they are trying to address those issues."
Put Yourself in ''Chinese Shoes"
"Many people come to China with the wrong assumptions. There are some areas where people have a wrong understanding about how the country works, but also they think they have to come and tell China what is wrong."
"Well actually China knows very well what is wrong, especially the top level of the Government. Their problem is how they can solve some of the challenges they are facing."
"We know the pollution, we know the income inequality, and so on, I can give you thirty different big challenges today that we have in China that the leadership is trying to solve. But they all know about it. And they know about it since quite some time. They are pretty clear they are facing the problems and now they are trying to do something about it."
So that is why in the beginning people are a little bit shocked in my presentation, and then they say ‘finally, we understand better the challenges of China’.’’