Book Review: The New Chinese by Barry Li provides essential knowledge of modern China

The New Chinese are Chinese people who were born on mainland China after 1949. The book of the same name is intended for Australian readers who don’t know a lot about China but are eager to learn, perhaps for business or pleasure. Australia is a hotspot for Chinese immigrants. Your next hire or business deal could depend on this book.

“The rise of modern China, with the opening up of its economy, has been one of the most important developments in order ur lifetime. China has become the second largest economy in the world. Many of these new Chinese that have settled here in Australia, had a long journey to get here, yet few Australians understand how that journey came about”. Foreword from Glenda Korporaal (Associate Editor- Business, The Australian).

Barry Li, author, is a Chinese man who left China and studied in Australia. When he went back to China with his wife they found it transformed by an economic boom. With no life for them there, (his Australian income was no match for the higher income in China) he turned around with his wife and created a family and home in Australia. Australia provides a fairer social climate and cleaner air.

Li wants to provide a book to bridge the gap between the China you know and the real China of today. It tells the story of the New China and the China since the Cultural Revolution ended (1989 – when the veil lifted and brought a happy, healthier living standard to China) and how this new generation Chinese migrant finds his place in Australian society.

A common theme for Li’s generation is that his parents worked and Li often spent his childhood away from his parents. They lived through the one child policy that came about in 1979 and the World Trade Organisation that China joined in 2001. His generation were fed, over weight and weren’t taught about Chinese politics and problems. A totally different generation than his parents.

The book is portioned into chapters that focus on certain subjects with chapter summaries at the end – Why to learn mandarin over Chinese language. The rich and the poor. How to sell to the Chinese. How to navigate cultural differences between Australia and China and how Chinese consumers and investors spend their wealth.

Read about bribery, panda’s, Tibet, folk religion, confuchious – it’s all here to read in this guide to the history, culture and mindset of Chinese migrants in Australia and of the new China. Naturally politics is on board, this can’t be avoided. It was interesting though to read that the Chinese are indifferent to politics. Find out why the Chinese don’t like fake versions of handbags and they don’t like to illegally download – reasons that will provide a different approach when doing business with the Chinese. Learn about how the Chinese buy property here in Australia and how they’re contributing to Australia’s economy.

If you feel surrounded by Chinese, or your life is impacted by Chinese or you wish to seek profit from trading with the Chinese – then you need to read this book and seek knowledge from modern China.

The New Chinese is available Now through Wiley at the RRP $29.95