Chapter Sixteen
He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted
- Lao Tzu
With regard to China, much of the relationship advice given to Western companies over the last eight years has focused on everything but relating. It has emphasised controlling, managing, directing investments, getting the best out of China, implementing accountability with Chinese partners and deriving financial benefit. The advice has been detailed and comprehensive in seeking to provide pragmatic structures for controlling our business dialogue with China. Two things have been repeatedly inferred from this advice that they have now become wrongly accepted business truisms in the West: (a) China is hard to relate to, and (b) there is a widespread acceptance that we should settle for the different and much inferior goal of ‘controlling’ China.
Moreover, it is suggested that this goal needs to be achieved through the use of control, as defined within the tighter aspects of Western business practices of leadership, minimal delegation, high accountability and rigorous monitoring of returns. What we feel is difficult to understand and relate to, we tend to control relentlessly. And control in Western terms is a very proactive process, reliant on much exchange and dialogue, measures and processes, rather than inaction, patient waiting or asking for assistance from those we deal with.
Thus the perceived assumption is that we do not need to relate, we can simply choose ...

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