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  • Calm down! Never too late to secure expats yourself

    Post by : expatree
Recently several shocking foreign news are constantly headlined in Chinese medias and gets amounts of public attention. One incident is “French police smashed the door in and shot a Chinese man, who spoke little French, had gone to the door holding a pair of scissors he had been using to prepare fish”; another is “United Airlines passenger Dr David Dao was violently dragged off overbooked flight”. Obviously we discover more or less intercultural conflicts behind the fact.
People bring with them different sets of culturally constructed perspectives toward appropriate behavior. With this in mind, it is no surprise that conflict and disputes exist when communicating across cultures.
Sadly only a few people can absolutely manage intercultural conflict in an unexpected situation, not limited to foreign countries, some expat related incidents were reported in China during the past years.
- In 2012, a foreign male had been in 2 times “drunken” brawls in the Guangzhou subway. The first time this man vented his anger to others because he argued with subway security officers while one knife was found in his suitcase and this had to be confiscated according to security regulation. The second time, this man kept swearing and shouting to other passengers, even knocking a phone out of one woman’s hand who speaking English, trying to appease discontented him.
Video: 2 times “drunken” brawls in the Guangzhou subway

- In 2013, a local woman involved in a motorbike accident was indeed knocked down and injured by a foreign male driver while breaking traffic rules and crossing the street in the Beijing Chaoyang District. Public turned their attention to the behavior of the foreign young man as the video showed him used impeccable Mandarin to insult the woman with the crudest terms. Finally this foreign young man was detained for 7 days and paid the fine of 1500 RMB because of traffic violation including no driving license, no registered plate of motor scooter, riding on the wrong side of the road etc. 
- In 2015, annoyed foreigners beat Chinese men with bottles at Xi’an night market. The causes of incident are much debated. It seems too much annoying behaviors of Chinese men, such that one of the Chinese diners toasted the expats with a drink, this his friend did the same about a half hour later. Not limited to this, one attempted to get a photo with the group of expats in order to show off to his friends, however one of girl foreigners was not happy about this and asked Chinese man to delete the photos.
- In 2017, a bloody brawl was happened between a Chinese man and a foreigner on the Beijing subway. It was reported the foreigner had been seated on the floor of the subway, seeing that there was not enough room for incoming passengers, the Chinese man approached the foreigner and asked him to stand up in English and make way for other passengers. Unfortunately this request sparked a quarrel, the foreigner then punched the Chinese man in the face. This results in Chinese man had spat the blood running down his nose as well as on the foreigner’s face. Then foreigner apologized after outraged passengers cornered him.
Video: A bloody brawl in the Beijing subway

In a summary, “drunkenness”, “traffic rule violence”, “invasion of privacy” and “crowded in public transport” are 4 typical “trigger line”, that collision frequently happens in China. Due to facework strategy of defend and protect our self-image, unfortunately this makes foreigner being trapped into an unfair disadvantage even  it was not self-fault at the beginning. Especially dealing with a local stranger in “language barrier” situation, “compromising style” is highly recommended, represents both parties gain something but both parties lose something as well. Any verbally attack and physical altercation should be avoided, do not talk too much and give a quick call to your Chinese friend, asking him or her for negotiation. Or dialing “110” to get police help solving the argument is also an alternative option. 
There are some tips might be helpful to all of you,
If you are a newbie in China, here is some basic information you have to know
-       The First Steps of Survival in Shanghai
-       Test Your Knowledge of Life in Shanghai
-       Issues Expats Face on a Daily Basis in China, Same for You?
-       Lost in Expatriation

For those expat residents who have kind of China life experience,
-      Language? Body Language! Chinese Body Language, Did You Know !?
-      Idiosyncratic behavior in China...?
-      Your Bargaining Guide to Shanghai
-      Desensitization of the Chinese population
-      Are you dating with a Chinese girl today?
-      “Wanghong”, Everyone could be in China?
Date:2017-05-02 17:30:35
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