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

The New Chinese are the Chinese people 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 who are eager to learn; either for business or pleasure. Australia has become 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 think you know and the real China of today. It tells the story of the New China, and the China since the end of the Cultural Revolution (1989 – when the veil lifted and brought a happy, healthier living standard to China). It also looks at how this new generation of Chinese migrants have found their 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 well fed, overweight, and weren’t taught about Chinese politics and problems. A totally different generation than his parents.

The New Chinese is portioned into chapters focusing on certain subjects, with chapter summaries at the end, for example: Why to learn Mandarin over Chinese language; the Rich and the Poor; How to sell to the Chinese; How to navigate the cultural differences between Australia and China, and how Chinese consumers and investors spend their wealth.

Read about bribery, pandas, Tibet, folk religion, Confucius – it’s all there to be discovered in this guide to the history, culture and mindset of Chinese migrants in Australia, and of the new China. Naturally, politics can’t be avoided, though it was interesting to read that the Chinese are indifferent to politics. If you read The New Chinese you’ll also find out why the Chinese don’t like fake versions of handbags, or  why they don’t like to illegally download. The reasons behind which will provide a different approach to go about 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 people, or you find that your life is impacted by the Chinese, or even if 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 $29.99