This Is What the REAL China Is Like

By Shaun Tan

By Shaun Tan

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Staff Writer


Picture Credit: Achim Hepp

Hey all, so some of you might have noticed that lately there’s been a lot of negative rumors circulating about China – that it’s a dictatorship, that it violates human rights, and blah, blah, blah. These are all lies. Take it from me – an American guy who’s actually been LIVING in China for three years.


Let me tell you a bit about what the REAL China is like. First of all, many foreigners have the impression that China is an oppressive dictatorship. Yet, when you come here, what’s the first thing you see? McDonald’s and Starbucks everywhere! Does that seem like an oppressive dictatorship to you? If the Chinese government was really oppressive, you’d think people here would be angry about it. Yet in all the years that I’ve lived in Shanghai, China’s capital, I’ve never seen a single protest. Public confidence in the government is high, and every day all the media outlets here celebrate its achievements. Western commentators are forever harping on about things like Tiananmen Square, and how protestors were supposedly killed there or something. Well, I actually WENT to that square when I visited Beijing last month. How many protestors did I see being killed there? Zero. I rest my case.


The Western media also loves to talk about Xinjiang, as if terrible things are happening there, but the people making those wild allegations have probably never even been to Xinjiang. Actually, I’ve never felt safer than when I was in Xinjiang, as there are police and security cameras everywhere. At no point during the week that I spent in Urumqi, its capital, did I come across any of the so-called “Uyghur detention camps” that you hear so much about. Those of you who’ve seen the Xinjiang episode (“Xinjiang: Where’s the Genocide??”) on my YouTube channel, The REAL China (remember to like and subscribe!), will know that we filmed lots of Uyghurs on the street, and not one of them complained of being oppressed by the government. Instead, I can confirm that they were happy and cheerful, many of them making traditional Uyghur food and performing traditional Uyghur dances for tourists. The city and provincial governments were also extremely hospitable – not only did they generously sponsor my travel and hotel, they also got official social media accounts and Chinese state media to help promote my video.

We filmed lots of Uyghurs on the street, and not one of them complained of being oppressed by the government.

The truth is China is a democracy; it’s just a different kind of democracy from what some foreigners might be used to – and people here like it that way. You see, China is a collectivist society, where the emphasis is on the community rather than the individual, based on the principles of Confucianism. This can sometimes cause confusion amongst foreigners who do not understand The Mysterious Ways of the East. And, unfortunately, the West exploits this confusion to slander China and keep it down, because it’s jealous of China and afraid of its inevitable rise.


So don’t believe all that fake news, misinformation, and propaganda about China. Don’t trust all these Western news outlets with ulterior motives, like the Wall Street Journal, The South China Morning Post, and Al Jazeera. Instead, look for unbiased sources, like The REAL China, CGTN, and official Chinese government Twitter accounts. Better yet, come to China and see for yourself how free it is here when borders open – probably sometime in 2030. In the meantime, if you’re outside China, you can follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the on-the-ground truth on the country. If you’re in China (where these sites are blocked to maintain public order), you can follow me on WeChat!


Peace out!

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