By KUO LAO
SHANGHAI (China Daily Show) – A flamboyant plutocrat has lambasted Western “outsiders” who criticize China with little understanding of its complex internal dynamics.
Eric S Li, a Harvard-educated venture capitalist with offices in New York and Tokyo, says that most foreign people simply don’t understand ordinary Chinese.
“Chinese people are happy, sometimes even very happy. Whenever I see the guy who washes my Lamborghini, he’s always smiling,” Li said. “Actually, I think he’s probably a simpleton. I can’t understand his accent at all; it’s sad. His soap ‘n’ wax is faultless, though.”
One of the problems, Li says, is a complete disconnect between lofty Western critics, with their absolutist ideals, and the day-to-day struggles of ordinary laobaixing — the regular folk who really matter.
“When I’m back in Shanghai, I see Chinese people almost every other day from my balcony. And I interact with ordinary, non-wealthy Chinese constantly. The other night, I asked my PA, Lynn, who is Chinese, if she was ‘happy’” says Li. “She replied, ‘Very happy, Mr Li. Please, can I go home now?’”
“Those were her exact words. Not ‘I lack suffrage’, not ‘there’s no rule of law’, not ‘everything I buy is either fake or toxic’ — her primary concern was getting back home in time to wake up the next morning to come back to work,” Li recalls. “I was so pleased with her answer, I said she could go home early after she’d finished washing Ted, my Tibetan mastiff.”
Chinese people also don’t care about democracy, Li says, except when it comes to important matters – like Super Happy Girls, a reality-style TV show in which viewers vote for their favorite pop act. Li says that corruption is sometimes a problem.
“The authorities need to look into that show,” he seethes. “Oh my God, did you see who won? That guy, Duan Lixi? I totally voted for Liu Xin. That was so rigged. I mean, come on.”
Despite his fervent defence, Li concedes that China does face problems.
“Some of my friends do complain about inflation, inattentive staff and fuel prices. But them’s the breaks, I say – if you drive an SUV, you’re going to have to take a little hit on gasoline,” he said. “And you can always just hire new staff.”
Overall, he says, those who criticize China simply do not understand Eric S Li.
“China rewards those who work hard and know the right people,” says Li,whose father is a high-ranking PLA officer and co-owner of a Hello Kitty franchise. “I’m proof the system works for me.”
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