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Personal Statement of Chinese Culture

An element of Chinese culture that is significant not only to me but to my family, my community, and my entire generation is "establishing strong relationships-the art of guanxi" (Buderi & Huang 21). Guanxi has been described as being like "personalized glue" that holds business relationships together much more closely than those in the West, and Westerners are only beginning to understand the importance and implications of it (Melendez 1). The underlying forces in guanxi are trust and solidarity. Guanxi is what Westerners term "connections" or "pull," but it is more powerful than either of those words express. It is essentially the power that an individual or company has with another individual or company based on the fact that the two parties are well acquainted with each other and have developed a strong relationship of trust. This is the primary criterion for doing business in China, unlike other countries where business concerns are often first place.

Guanxi may have originated in the Far East, but the rest of the world is rapidly becoming familiar with both its existence and its benefits. In the West, relationships have long been overlooked in business in favor of other considerations such as potential profitability or the need to capitalize on an opportunity. However, today's generation, even in America, is coming to recognize the incomparable value of relationships with other people and the need for trust above issues of technical business operation. The world has discovered and begun to cultivate relationships, as evidenced by the popularity of cell phones and other mobile devices, social networking sites like Facebook, and new modes of communication such as instant messaging and Internet phone calls. People have discovered the importance of being in close connection with other people in a global environment and the rapid disenfranchisement that can ensue when they are not. As the global marketplac<...

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