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越南网友Leo Tam的回答

I write from the perspective of a Vietnamese. I cannot speak on behalf of the "world", but in Vietnam, Japan is indeed more respected than China. In fact, Vietnam is the country with the largest difference in attitudes towards the two countries (82% of people have a positive attitude towards Japan, and 19% have a positive attitude towards China).


But before I delve into the reasons, I want to prove to skeptical Chinese readers that the premise of this issue is generally correct, and Japan is a more admired country. Before you get angry with me, let me state that it may take decades for your views on a country to change. Therefore, although you believe that China is rapidly improving, most people have not been to China and may still hold outdated views of your country, or views shaped by media that are not always fair. This is life, the world is unfair, and there is nothing you can do about it.


In the Asia Pacific region, Pakistan and South Korea are the only two countries with a high degree of favoritism from China:


The following are reputation indicators or indicators that measure a country's positive impact on the world:


In addition to China and Spain, the world's view of Japan is positive, not negative:


However, attitudes towards China are mixed (but interestingly, they certainly share a common hostility):


It is worth noting that Africa's attitude towards China is quite positive (60%):


As a Vietnamese, I can identify the following reasons:


History: Although we experienced a brief period of Japanese colonialism and famine during the Second World War, neither textbooks nor the media extensively mentioned this point. For most of their occupation, the Japanese left the French colonial government in place. The Japanese deployed only a small number of troops in Vietnam and worked hard to win the hearts of the Vietnamese. Japanese propaganda tells the Vietnamese people that Japan's military hegemony is slowly driving white imperialists out of Asia. Of course, not all Vietnamese believe this.


"Japanese atrocities elsewhere are less common in Vietnam, so we don't seem to think much about them.". Japan has also provided significant development assistance to Vietnam, and perhaps downplaying their dark past is a way to maintain this flow. Japan is not under intense attack like France or the United States. Apart from that period, we have hardly had any confrontation with Japan, so the hostility of South Korea and China towards Japan does not exist in Vietnam.


At the same time, we have a long and turbulent history with China, as well as a territorial dispute, which makes us extremely vigilant about China's rise. (I have extensively expanded this topic here, and Nguyen Hui answered, "Do Vietnamese hate China?"). In this context, we believe that Japan is a necessary ally.


Politics and Democracy: Despite the terrible atrocities committed by the Japanese Empire before 1945, they have largely succeeded in rebuilding their image as a non-threatening, peaceful country, and a benevolent economic and technological leader in Asia. Japanese society is known for its efficiency, discipline, cleanliness, punctuality, politeness, honesty, excellent customer service, and high quality of life. Apart from Japan's economic slowdown, we have not heard much about the dark side of Japan, such as excessive working hours, loneliness, and rising inequality. I think the focus now is more on China than Japan.


At the same time, after 1945, China was embroiled in a destructive civil war, experiencing too many events in disastrous decades. I believe that China is a backward and poor country, exporting poor immigrants fleeing war and turmoil. Although this impression has gradually disappeared, it still lingers today. I believe that if China reaches the status of a developed country, its reputation will also rise.


Economy: We really admire Japan's miraculous rise during the Meiji Restoration and post World War II recovery in the 19th century. We remember that they were the first Asian countries to be on par with Western powers. But people are beginning to have the same view of China and hope that we can emulate this success.


In terms of economy, Japan is Vietnam's largest provider of official development assistance, the second largest foreign investor, the third largest source of tourists, and the fourth largest trading partner.


Japan is famous for its high-quality products, advanced technology, and innovation. While the situation is rapidly changing, low-cost, low-quality "Made in China" brands still exist. In recent years, high-tech products from China, such as Huawei and Oppo smartphones, have become very popular, and the contempt for low-quality Chinese products is fading. (I think the following chart is strange. I can't believe that Vietnam ranks higher than China, and the world seems a bit harsh on China:)


In Vietnam, Japan's infrastructure projects are of much higher quality than those in China. They are also not troubled by allegations of bribery and corruption. Compared to China's ODA projects in Vietnam, Japanese projects rank significantly higher in terms of technology, labor safety, cost effectiveness, social transformation, and environmental friendliness. Although China has successfully established a modern and efficient railway system in China, the Vietnamese people are full of doubts about the Hanoi urban railway project being completed by China. The project has been greatly overspent and the cost is much higher than originally estimated. Read here for more details:


In contrast, the subway project led by a Japanese conglomerate in Ho Chi Minh City has not experienced any accidents. This fuels Vietnam's long-standing assumptions about the superiority of Japanese technology and engineering.


In the 1980s, in response to Japan's rapidly rising economic dominance, the Western world had feared that Japan would overtake the United States. In the 1990s, the recession of Japan's economic fortunes, coupled with the prosperity of the United States economy, caused the Internet to stir up strong anti Japanese sentiment in the mass media to a large extent. Now that China is the next target, its rise has caused unease and discomfort.

20世纪80年代,为了应对日本迅速崛起的经济主导地位,西方世界曾担心日本会超过美国, 20世纪90年代,日本经济运势的衰退,加上美国经济的繁荣,互联网在很大程度上从大众媒体中掀起了强烈的反日情绪。现在,中国成为下一个目标,它的崛起引发了不安和不适。

4. Culture: Japanese and Chinese pop culture are very popular in Vietnam. I think the Chinese people win in movies and music. But in comics and anime, the Japanese won. In general, Japanese culture is considered more alien and exotic. We believe that Chinese culture is very familiar, so it does not have the same exotic atmosphere.


"These two languages are becoming more and more common, and I don't know which one is more popular, but I think due to its connection with Chinese, it is easier for us to learn.".


If China can convince the world that it is a benevolent power, people's views on China are likely to change.



As a Chinese, I think you are right in many places, except that some countries that receive Chinese assistance may have more respect for China. Here is my idea:


Strong Japanese culture


My Dutch teacher has seen Japanese cartoons like mine, such as "Dragon Ball", "Pocket Monster", and so on. When I saw the movie "Number One Player", I was very envious of having so many Japanese cultural idols, even Chinese boys said he was a ninja (from Japan)! We certainly respect the country that brought us many good memories.


Japanese culture is completely driven by the market, but there are still many red lines in China because some cultural products are "mentally unhealthy" for people, and they cannot be rampant. I think the situation will be better when a new generation assumes important positions.


Although Japan is a developed country, China is developing.


You buy cameras from Japan, but you buy cups from China. Japan has a higher share of the global market and a much higher per capita income.


Most of the Chinese population is still poor. Many companies sacrifice the environment and replicate intellectual property rights. Many tourists lose face abroad. These are common in every developing country, where laws are still incomplete, people are still not fully civilized, and Japan has said goodbye to the awkward old era.


There is an old Chinese saying: If people store enough food in their granaries, they will pay attention to etiquette. If people are not short of food and clothing, they will emphasize a sense of honor and shame.


Japan is an ally of the West, while China is not.


In the last century, when Japan threatened its economic strength, the United States produced a large amount of negative news about Japan.


Now, China is also challenging the industrial upgrading of all developed countries in the world. As the West dominates the global discourse, they particularly report negatively on their opponents, just as they rumor that China is colonizing Africa. It is difficult for me to understand why they equate China's investment with Western slave trade and exploitation, calling it "colonization.".


Finally, if China does something to gain your disrespect, I feel very sorry. This country is very complex and still moving forward. I hope that one day its changes will impress you.



There are many reasons why Japan is more respected in the world than China. This is the problem, not why people do it. This issue is also viewed from the perspective of the Western world, not from the perspective of the East.


Japan is a "follower" of the United States, but China is not a follower of the United States. Like it or not, the United States remains the keynote of world politics.


In the past 50 years, Japan has produced and supplied a large number of household and automotive products for the world after the war, which are superior to many other alternative countries in the world. By doing so, Japan created a famous brand "Made in Japan".


According to the historical events of China in the 20th and 19th centuries and the humiliations they suffered, the Western world has many reservations when dealing with China. The West believes in its bones that China is a country without culture and tradition - a barbaric country, which is shameless.


Western Hollywood movies portray the Chinese as cunning underclass servants or coolies, and portray their women as cheap maidservants in the Western world. After the war, the Japanese were considered "white" by Western standards. In South Africa's apartheid system, Japan is white. Chinese people, like Africans, Malays, and Indians, are all colored people.


Japan is "respected" mainly because it is Uncle Sam's partner.


Uncle Sam's policy has always been very clear and consistent. It has never been "good Russians are dead Russians", but "good Russians are weak Russians".


Similarly, regarding the rise of China, "good Chinese are weak and sick Chinese.". As long as China is weak, the United States will have a "father like love" for it, just as the United States has "cared" for other third world countries through "warm" and "humanitarian" policies, interventions, and assistance.


Therefore, the Chinese people will definitely be molded by the United States into bad people in the world. Then, mold Japan as a good person that should be respected, because Japan is assisting the United States in confronting China. This is a war between different powers. This has never been "to earn respect by cultivating one's moral character.". This is a very sick uncle mentality.

所以,中国人一定会被美国塑造成世界上的坏人。然后,把日本塑造应该受到尊重的好人,因为日本在协助美国对抗中国。这是一场不同大国之间的战争。这从来都不是“以修身养性赢得尊重”。这是一种非常病态的叔叔心态。 阅读原文

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