Dispatches from China

Chinese skeptical of American bank bailouts

The expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” is attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who authored a similar thought in 1150. Nearly 1,000 years later, not much has changed.

It is apparent that with the best of intentions our leaders are trying to fight today’s economic crisis with yesterday’s economic strategies. As the eyes of the world look to the United States to unravel the economic riddle it created, few in China have a sense that there is much going on, other than well-intended reactions to the day-by-day situation.

“Half-pats” are foreigners who speak Chinese and who already live and work in China. They are generally younger than age 35, and in addition to speaking and writing Chinese, most have studied Chinese culture and/or religion. They become valuable after they have acclimated to China in general and their area in particular, which takes about three years. Because they are already in China, have dual perspectives, experiences and local knowledge, they have become one of the most sought-after group of employees for foreign enterprises doing business in China and Chinese businesses doing business abroad.

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