Despite the China-America Divide, We’re On The Same Team

The other day, my husband and I were having a conversation in the car about discrimination and racism in America — two things he knew firsthand from his own experiences over here.

“Mean and wicked, that’s what these people were to me,” he said, referring to the Americans who had betrayed him in the past. “They just don’t care, they have no concern for you at all. They think they can just bully you.”

My heart ached to see him this way. “I’m so sorry. It just goes to show how much work in this country is still undone. We Americans have a lot to learn.”

“Don’t say ‘we’! Don’t put yourself in the same category as them, you should be careful of your language!”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to say ‘we’, it just came out by accident. Just a reflex, that’s all.”

But his words haunted me the rest of the way home. I couldn’t believe that the word “we” — a word that normally brings John and I together as one — could divide us into two in a completely different context.

In a cross-cultural marriage, sometimes it’s easy to feel as if the two of you stand on opposite ends of the battlefield. How many times have I heard from the American media about how “China is stealing our American jobs” or any number of negative news stories that pit China against the US? Not even Chinese media and their occasional stories about the US interfering in China’s affairs could ever compare to what hits the American presses, though they only reinforce the feeling of being caught in the line of fire. Still, the most deadly blows come when fellow Americans — people John and I trusted to do the right thing — mistreat my husband in unthinkable ways.

But John is the man I married, the one I love more than anyone in this world, and he just happens to be Chinese. And I am his wife, who just happens to be European-American. I never intended to draw lines or distinctions between us, and never saw him as anything but my equal.

So that’s why, when we finally returned home, I turned to him and looked straight into his eyes. “You know Sweetie, I know this is really hard for you. It’s hard for me too. But you should know that I’m not against you — I’ve always been on your team, and I always will be.”

John responded with a smile that radiated optimism and hope, one that lifted me up as much as my words must have lifted him up. And maybe that’s the magic of “team spirit” — having someone who will encourage you when you need it most, and energize you to move forward with courage.

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38 Replies to “Despite the China-America Divide, We’re On The Same Team”

  1. Americans stealing Chinese jobs…

    And they are experts at stealing jobs from other countries as well…

    In fact the entire faculty of automotive engineering at Clemson is funded by BMW

    American employers are not the ones creating jobs. Without Americans stealing foreign jobs Obama would not have won Ohio in 2012. For another comparison unlike Americans white Brits love to work abroad even in countries whose non-white citizens they despise and dont like them working in their country…dont like reciprocity…eg. China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Compared to that Americans working abroad are miniscule in number. However, they more than make up by stealing jobs from Japan and Germany and more recently China. The fact is Americans dont mind stealing jobs from other countries but have a big problem with American corporations sending jobs abroad. In both cases…Brits and Americans…it all comes down to wanting a one way street…greed plain and simple with a tinge of white entitlement and privilege.

  2. No easy answer here. Truth can set you free. There are issues you have to handle. When you use “we”, I feel it is appropriate.
    Institutional discrimination will not disappear for a long time. I am sure John will recognize his own country’s imperfections through this experience too. Some practical survival skills can come in handy.
    Western media tend to be more critical and direct. I don’t think you see any Asian media function the same way. I have mixed feelings about this. If Chinese media can truly step up, the noises outside won’t seem so humiliating. This cycle of conflicts between the two countries will continue. Tune out sometimes.

  3. 🙂 This is what I called a marriage!!! As a couple, you have to take the hit as ONE! “Your problem is my problem!, Your money is our money!” Lots of couples won’t understand this concept will end up unhappy or maybe a divorce. We need as much as suport as possible.

  4. @ John & Jocelyn. You go team! Fight discrimination! I know we in the South had a lot of discrimination mostly directed against Blacks, but it is much less now. So, I am certain that if we fight against such horrible discrimination, then it will eventually go away.
    It is interesting to note though that when I was in H.K. last year with my family, none of the Chinese discriminated against us white Southerners (at least I did not detect any form of it) even though I was trying to pick-up on those Chinese goddesses. I was ultimately unsuccessful but had a lot of trying though.

  5. It is so horrible to see people being brainwashed by the government and media. It’s exactly the same here in the UK, mostly people from Eastern Europe and the Middle East are in the firing line though.

    People go on and on about how bad immigration is and the ‘stealing our jobs’ saga but I don’t know anyone or of anyone that has been affected by this at all. There are going to be some local elections here soon and on one of the political broadcasts that I saw the candidate said about how people THINK immigration is breaking the country, not that it is a real problem. But it’s not what they say that matters it’s what people hear and they love to play on people’s fears.

    I was also going to say exactly what David said about British people working abroad. Most people here are absolutely oblivious to people working abroad for extortionate amounts and receiving allowances on top of that. It is a would if you could situation though, I can’t imagine many people turning it down out of principle.

    Something else ‘us’ Brits 😉 love to do is retire abroad to warmer climes, set up our English speaking (only) expat colonies whilst still receiving a winter heating allowance, pension top ups and NHS treatment, if you come back often enough! All courtesy of the EU community, of course.

    PS I love your floral outfits!

  6. Three words: American foreign policy. It’s the government’s that try to manufacture the minds of Americans into hating anything associated with “China,” “Communism.” However, countries considered allies of the US are good such as Taiwan, S. Korea and Japan. What Americans fail to realize is that Taiwan and S. Korea hates Japan! That is where the idiocy of American governments lie. In effect, the vast majority of Americans are indoctrinated into thinking Chinese people are bad through the vast propaganda campaign unleashed in popular media and news organizations. For further reading, look into Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and Truman’s 2 China policy by June. M. Grasso. The absurdity in the American government becomes laughable at times, and unfortunately, mixed and inconsistent messaging, though not physically harming, harms both Americans and Chinese.

  7. “People go on and on about how bad immigration is and the ‘stealing our jobs’ saga but I don’t know anyone or of anyone that has been affected by this at all. ”

    @Clare…it is the Brits more than anyone else who migrate abroad and steal jobs from citizens in Asia and Australia…may be they think because they are white they should have the right to migrate elsewhere and steal local jobs. Wives of Brit expats volunteer at a government run tourism agency for free…so the agency laid off all the paid nationals….I will not name the country here, but you go into the tourism office…everyone is white and British or to be precise white and English…I was not too happy with it and I asked her where she was from…Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England she said proudly but got the message that I did not like an Englishwoman who has been in the country for less than a year advising me about what tours to take…and I did not take any tours…

    It will be wonderful if the people who say immigration to the UK is bad, advise their fellow citizens to reciprocate and not go abroad but stay in the UK and serve their country.

  8. Cutting skilled immigration and high levels of brain drain is destroying the UK courtesy of David “dunderhead” Cameron and Theresa “Mudhead” May.

  9. It’s not easy to find the perfect person to grow old with until our hair turns gray. When you find one, hold tight onto that person. Don’t let little things distract you from the bigger picture.

  10. Interesting article. What I’ll say is that globalisation is an irreversible trend. The younger generation has a much broader international perspective and I’m optimistic that such prejudices will become a thing of the past.

  11. And as for the issue surrounding the loss of US jobs to China, it has always been irretrivably linked to the imbalance in the China-US bilateral trading relationship (in favour of China currently). The US media always like to attribute this to the fact that China manipulates its currency to gain an unfair advantage for its exports. Utter tosh. In fact, the real reason is because American companies are generally not as competitive enough. Did you know that South Korea and China also have a huge bilateral trading relationship, and that South Korea is in fact the one who currently enjoys the trade surplus? And South Korea’s economy is probably at a similar stage of development to the US (this means that the goods which South Korea exports to China are broadly similar to those which America exports to China, while their imports are also probably similar to that of America’s as well). And also bear in mind that the US recently branded Japan and South Korea as currency manipulators as well (which means that South Korea also manipulates its currency to offer its businesses a trade advantage when exporting to China or other countries). What do all of the above suggest? They suggest that the real reason for the US’s vast trade deficit with China is not simply down to any form of currency manipulation by China. Rather, the more substantial reason is because its businesses are uncompetitive (whether in pricing or other factors) vis-a-vis South Korean businesses or other companies from overseas. And I’m sure that the US would manipulate its currency if it could, it is just that it is not in a position to do so because it does not have vast reserves of money to be able to effect such a policy (unlike China whose foreign reserves alone is equivalent to Germany’s annual GDP – and Germany is the world’s 4th largest economy!)

  12. Just to clarify my comments about South Korea’s manipulation of the won, I suspect that it is not on the scale of China’s, primarily because (1) of US pressure if it did so on a large scale – the US is already expressing disquiet at the fact that South Korea even manipulates its currency, (2) South Korea probably does not have as much reserves as China to intervene on an extended scale and (3) the Korean won is internationally traded on the world’s financial markets, unlike China’s (this may change with the recent liberalisation of the RMB), and so is subject primarily to market forces. In other words, even though South Korea manipulates its currency, its position is similar to America’s in that they both start with a “disadvantage”, i.e they are faced with an artificially low Chinese RMB in relation to each of their currencies. But this is where the similarities end, for Korean businesses are competitive and the Chinese currency manipulation does not in any way hinder their competitiveness. That is why South Korea enjoys a trade surplus with China. America, on the other hand, does not, partly because (1) of the artificially low RMB but (2) more substantially because they are not competitive. And we hardly ever hear about factor (2) being reported in the US media, do we?

  13. You used WE as a “country/national collective”, and many of us do that (we American’s, we Australian’s etc) however John doesn’t associate you in this WE “collective”. For him WE = John and Jocelyn…it’s your team, the team that supports each other, works together, experiences the good and bad together “we are in this marriage together” so WE needs to be the core of a marriage .

    In regards to “China is stealing jobs” logically and rationally jobs (initially) went off shore due to cheap labour and cheaper prices. Many say that China is no longer cheap (even Chinese manufactures feel Chinese labour costs are high) so comapnise are now turning to India.

  14. @David,

    Pretty solid comment. That’s what I like to read from blogs rather than “Those stupid currency manipulators stealing our jobs” yelling on the street, and when asked which jobs are stolen, they’d reply like “Don’t know. Mitt Romney said too.” kind of lame reply.

  15. I have written comments here in Jocelyn blogs from 1. historical perspective (How British supposedly Whites built Empire and Americans easily swooped in and established Empire), 2. Evolutionary point of view (How Asian Male/White Female couples are less seen in US compared to other way round), and 3. American born asians are mostly from southern part of China from which they migrated long time ago via trade route or shipping route, and American-centric view of every ethnic people on US, thereby making every Asians as short stereotype.

    We all hate sudden changes, especially when it comes to dealing with situations that we’re not used to or not familiar with tackling, basically favoring homeostasis or status quo kind of situations. Speaking of Americans easy establishment of World Power, it’s not much changed after 200 years of British Empire. The language is the same. The perception of “White” is the same. That’s the easiest transition of Empire to Another in history.

    I have seen many White people in US. Most of them said they are Americans when asked. But it intrigues me when I came across those American Born British/German/Russian, they would proudly say “I’m actually from Britain” Or “My parents are from Germany.” and such.

    Most of the “Americaness” attitude stem from those White people emigrated from “Hungary”? — don’t get confused with “Hungry”. Or Austria, Slovakia or those tiny countries where they know their countries will never be a World Superpower. So once they landed onto US soil, became 1st generation, and “Boom!” ….. Feeling of being “Americans” becomes so strong that they become “arrogant” and “ignorant”. And of course they would rarely say they come from Netherlands.

    Whereas 5th Generation American Born Chineses are still dwelling in “American Dreams”. I used to have a strong repulsive thinking towards an unfair treatment of Asians in US ever since Asians migrated to US. I’m not talking about those stereotypical jokes on Asians. Those are trivial matters to me. What I’m most concerned is the question of “Why Asians always need to outsmart and overachieve to get to the place where other ethnic people are getting so easy?”

    Just compare SAT requirements for Whites, Blacks and Asians. Whites gain an easy access to Top universities with above average qualifications while Blacks enjoy an “affirmative action”. For Asians? They must have perfect grades and scores. Does it not only apply to academia, it also applies to all other daily lives as well. The most significant changes happened when they removed “racial profiling” in UC (University of California) systems (Berkeley, LA, SF, Davis, Barbara, Irvine, ….), Asians enrollment skyrocketed and all those UC systems came into World Top 50 University rankings. Not that I’m in undergrad, but I’m a PhD at one of the Ivy League schools.

    But still there’s a discrimination against Asians at those Top universities.

    This is one snippets of my take on Education in US.

    The bottom line is “If you don’t see Asians in schools/colleges/universities, those schools must suck like hell in education.”

    Yea, coming back to our topic of “Homeostasis”, nobody likes to deal with a new change especially in old ages. So 200 years of British Empire and just a mere 50 years of US power, of course no one likes to study Chinese, deal with China power, harbor the idea of China resurrecting to the World Superpower. So give it a time.

    My feeling towards White people is neutral, neither positive or negative. What I hate the most is “Arrogance” and “Ignorance”.

    Just because you’re being a White American doesn’t mean you’re entitled to being arrogant and ignorant towards other people. The American Dreams is powered by so many talented people around the world, not just by White people.

    If I’d say American Education is mostly contributed by Asians, I’ll be dead wrong, and I’m sure as hell coming out as “ignorant”.

  16. @Patrick,

    As Times magazine editor once pointed out, the world is NOT governed by only two currencies – US dollars and Chinese Yuan. China is now getting used to be called as “currency manipulator” because they know they will hear the same radio every 4 year once an election time kicks in.

    US is like a big bully, calling out Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China as Currency manipulating while their Fed is printing money like there’s no tomorrow. Of course those QE1, 2, 3 are hushed to American public in the names of China currency manipulation, Pigs floating in Chinese river, Ghost towns in China, for American public news fodder — and they do believe that.

  17. @Jocelyn and John,

    For my last comment,
    Just because most of the White people are ignorant doesn’t mean “Jocelyn” is ignorant.
    Just because most of the mainland Chinese are dirty doesn’t mean “John” might be dirty too.

    Just because most of the White people talk loud doesn’t mean “Jocelyn” talks lout.
    Just because most of the mainland Chinese don’t wash their mouths doesn’t mean “John” doesn’t wash his mouth.

    Stereotypical traits are most common recipe we people use when it comes to judging/ assessing/ evaluating the situations we’re not familiar with.

    Jocelyn will always be Caucasian no matter how much she likes Chinese culture or Chinese traditions.
    John will always be Chinese no matter how much he enjoys American ways of life.

    The most important and happiest moments can only be achieved when Jocelyn understands John and John will appreciate Jocelyn’s understanding. That’s how “WE” are defined.

  18. @Rdm

    Your last paragraph “The most important and happiest moments can only be achieved when Jocelyn understands John and John will appreciate Jocelyn’s understanding. That’s how “WE” are defined”

    It’s not just one person understanding the other, but BOTH individuals understanding each other. If there is misunderstanding it needs to be rectified through communication and so“WE” can be stonger together.

  19. The worst thing in commenting somebody else personal blog is writing up paragraph long comments with a few links to support FACTS, spent hours to check facts and then see “awaits moderation” and never appears.


    A few suggestions, for some of the links readers provided in comment sections or the links you provided in your main topic, please make them open in new tab or window when clicked. You might need to tweak a little bit on your blog HTML. Otherwise, it always open up in current window and your blog disappears unless we remember to click it back.


  20. It is good to use many western standards to measure China’s progress. It is in China’s best interests. Free press is still better than the alternative. You need enough well educated citizens to support it.
    China views US as partners sometimes. But the sentiment of imperialism is around, a legacy of history and communism.
    Does China steal American jobs? It kinda does when low level jobs are transferred overseas. But most Americans don’t realize globalization benefits the elites the most. China is used as a target because you can’s attack yourself during an election.

  21. Jocelyn, I think John’s experience would be drastically different if you two lived in California or in a big metropolitan area on the east coast. Demographics matters a lot to your life quality.

    You can’t change people, but you can move away.

  22. pointless to agrue, americans are only getting softer balls, when they failed to aganist China by War time.

  23. Americans stealing Chinese jobs…TRUE
    They are experts at stealing jobs from other countries…TRUE
    They are also experts at stealing our woman…TRUE

  24. ^You’re giving (white) American dudes way too much credit on your third point.

    They cannot “steal” women who aren’t willing to be “stolen”. Often the effect of (pathetic) “white-worship” on the women’s part rather than any “expertise” on the American men’s part.

    When someone hauls away my garbage, I don’t consider it stealing.

  25. Wow this blog has changed for the worst. Looks to me this blog is flooded with Chinese nationals spreading hate on Americans. And what’s worse is they’re caling their own women “garbage” for having foreign boyfriends. So it’s somehow OK for Chinese guys to have foreign girlfriends? These guys can’t get any more pathetic than that. Instead of name calling maybe they can find ways to treat their women better so their women won’t have to seek boyfriends elsewhere. And then theee guys seem to try to blame the American media for telling lies about dead pigs found on Chinese rivers. I don’t think so. The story is true. Here’s the article from

  26. ^Nope. Asian/Chinese women who date non-Asians/non-Chinese are NOT “garbage”. Asians regardless of gender who place value on “whiteness” are garbage.

    My previous post came out more mean-spirited than I actually intended and very poorly expressed what I was actually thinking.

    Many non-Asian expat males who have Asian/Chinese girlfriends/wives express the worst of bigoted opinions about Asian/Chinese men. Women who stick with men like that are in fact garbage, for that I offer no apologies.

    And for the record, I am Asian-American.

  27. @Deeter,

    It’s not about Asian men hating on Asian women (or perhaps Chinese women). Those invisible hatred stem from poorly executed, sloppily written, one-sided perspective thought on Asian men by Asian women either on articles, video blogs, hearsay, youtube, … you name it.

    They claim they’re attracted to White Guys because 1. They are supposedly known as “alpha male”, 2. They are muscular and tall, 3. …any possible reasons you can think of to justify their choices.

    From their self-righteous personality, they all seem fine. And Asian men (or American Born Asians) finds nothing unique about seeing those couples until all hell broke loose when those Asian women bash their fellow Asian men in favor of “Caucasian Men”.

    Besides, every reason they claim to justify their selection of White partner, they all flies in the face of Asian men because we don’t see they’re with muscular White guy or Tall guy at least. They’re all skinny, nerdy looking White guys who couldn’t get laid with pretty White Women. And then those lovely, exotic Asian women bash on Asian men for not living up to their expectation. And they’re blind to those Asian guys (

    This is totally different from those Caucasian women where “Jocelyn” loves “John” but she never bashes her fellow Caucasian males.

    Next time, if you see a White skinny guy polishing up basketball court or handing out towel in Houston Rockets, it’s most likely he might get hooked up with Asian women who just so loves “White” skin while 25 million Jeremy Lin is playing on the court.

  28. “Most” Asian women love to gossip to death and look down on others if you won’t live up to their standards. In Chinese – ” look up to the higher level , step down on the weak one” . I told you guys 1000 times already that I’m only attracted to down to earth people in general. There are so many men out there and we don’t know who is a sissy or another hardcore person. Looks can be deceiving. Look at me ! I look like a sissy but in reality I’m a truly hardcore person in every categories.

  29. @Allen – I would not call them names such as garbage, but it is very disappointing to notice quite a few of them exist.
    As Asian american man, you must know dating outside racial line become necessity due to those Asian girls.

    @Bruce – We live our life under high expectation and suppose to excel at every categories, may as well excel in dating and relationship building 🙂

  30. @Forest. Fair enough. This is generally a very positive blog, and meant to be informative and encouraging to Chinese-Western unions.

    No place for my negativity here. Good luck to all.

  31. It really breaks my heart when something like that happens with my Korean boyfriend. I can see how much it hurts him. But you are right, we are on the same team 🙂

  32. @Rdm. If Abigail Fisher ever succeeds in getting the US Supreme Court to abolish affirmative action, Asian Americans should get a class action suit going against universities for admitting incompetent whites over better qualified Asian Americans. If they dont, look forward to white privilege and entitlement to become stronger than evern.

  33. “If I’d say American Education is mostly contributed by Asians, I’ll be dead wrong, and I’m sure as hell coming out as “ignorant”.”

    If I’d say American Engineering Educatin at the PhD and research levels is mostly fueled by Asians and Asian Americans, I am not dead wrong and I am certainly not ignorant. Try universities such as Purdue or Michigan…80% of the PhD students are of Asian nationaility or Asian origin (granted half Asian-white people, or Hapas are considered Asians and they tend to be super-smart)

  34. “Many non-Asian expat males who have Asian/Chinese girlfriends/wives express the worst of bigoted opinions about Asian/Chinese men. Women who stick with men like that are in fact garbage, for that I offer no apologies.”

    Absolutely right…read Amanda’s posting in past posting. Some of the worst racists, men or women or white expats in Asian countries. Have run into several in Singapore.

  35. “Next time, if you see a White skinny guy polishing up basketball court or handing out towel in Houston Rockets, it’s most likely he might get hooked up with Asian women who just so loves “White” skin while 25 million Jeremy Lin is playing on the court.”

    Media and public will have a field day if Jeremy Lin gets a white girlfriend or even a Hapa girlfriend who looks near white!

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