Chapter Ten
The cautious seldom err; the expectations of life depend upon diligence
- Confucius
In this section, and before moving on to specific advice about the law and its relationship to your China success,15 it will be useful to look at the cultural and philosophical backgrounds, our own and China’s, which have made this, at times, a problematical area. First, our respective attitudes to rules of every kind; next, the concepts of sharing versus ownership and territory; notions of agreement and finally attitudes to the legal profession and its role in underpinning business.
A lot has been said about how China reveres its past thinkers and antecedents. But what does this mean and why is this special, especially given the fact that we in the West also revere advanced thinking and established wisdom? What French businessman, for example, would dispute the contribution of Descartes and Cartesian logic to his business thinking? And whilst not wishing to emulate all that he represented, the world of Western strategic thinking would certainly acknowledge the value of Machiavelli’s thought processes, if not their application or ethics.
However, it is different in China. Business thinkers of today literally rely on and incorporate the core precepts of revered thinkers like Confucius, Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu into the very fabric of their decision making and leadership. It is as relevant to them today as it was when first expounded by the sages ...

Get Connecting with China: Business Success through Mutual Benefit and Respect now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.