Today, I was reading one of the newspapers from Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post. On the front page there was a title: “Xi Rules out Western-style reform” (SCMP 6/9/2014). Xi, of course, is Xi Jinping, the Chinese president. Concerned analysts will certainly start pondering the president’s words. I am not an analyst even though I may be concerned (but for different reasons), and I started to ask myself a question: why do the Chinese have to live the same way we do? If Western-style democracy works well for us (which should also be debated), why does it have to work well for them? It is probably true that the Chinese try to “sinicize” everything, and this bothers some of us; so please, let’s not commit the same mistake by trying to “westernize” the whole world. If the Chinese like to see themselves in a certain way, to live their lives in their own fashion, to conduct their existences according their cultural parameters, it is their choice. Could it be possible that Western ideas of the world don’t apply to them? I have started to think that democracy the way we practice it cannot be applied to China. Why? Because this idea comes from our own history, culture, philosophy, religion. It comes from Greek-Roman-Judeo-Christian heritage. The Chinese are different, they come from a completely different history and self-understanding. Emperors ruled the Chinese for thousands of years, and after some decades of turmoil, they were ruled in a similar fashion under the shape of the communist party. I think that a careful analyst looking at structures will observe that leaders of modern China are not so different from the Qing dynasty rulers. And speaking about the Qing dynasty, why not mention Emperor Guangxu (1871-1908)? He tried to reform the country too, but Empress Cixi did not see this move as good for the country. And indeed, even the end of the Imperial system never created a system comparable to Western societies in China. There is an “otherness” in China that does not make them better or worse than us, simply different. Indeed the problem is not them. If you don’t like the way they live their lives, just ignore them. If you don’t like the way they are doing business, change partners. If you do not like the way they are dealing with you, stop dealing with them. Some may say that this, given the current historical situation, it is not possible. China is too big of a power to be ignored. OK, I’ll give you that; so the problem is not them, the problem is us. The problem is how we affirm what we are in the face of what we are not. The problem is how our history, tradition, and culture make us stand in front to those that have a completely different history, tradition, and culture. When we observe the Chinese buying our companies, no one has the courage to speak up because we know that we need the money. Despite the richness of our Western culture, we are like beautiful women that fall down so many times that they need to sell their bodies to continue surviving. Who do we blame for that? Here we are! Please do not blame the Chinese now, they are just doing to us what other European powers did to them, imposing their power and strength and taking advantage. If history has laws, we cannot avoid recognizing this one. So, how do we defend ourselves? Start by looking at what we are, where we come from, to the great men and women that have shaped our own understanding of the world. Starting reconsidering our Lieux de Memoire, those symbolic elements that shaped the greatness of our nations. At that point, maybe, we will start to put Chinese hegemonic financial power in perspective and be able to not talk to them like beggars, but as the heirs of a long history of greatness only temporarily interrupted.