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If you are young and healthy, and if you have the money and have no interest in being involved in either political system, it makes no difference what country you want to live in. In the cities and between cities, China has far better infrastructure. But in the day-to-day struggle to survive, it’s a rat race in either country. Don’t ask an expat, ask a local Chinese working class person without the privileges. Education is far more competitive and stressful in China; so had I choice, I’d have preferred to grow up in the US. You are forced to learn a lot more in schools in China, especially mathematics. Yet if you are motivated, you have infinite freedom to learn what the schools DON’T teach you in the USA, and also do far more sports in the US. That’s why the US has such low academic averages in the lower schools but has extreme achievers at the same time. In the longer run, the weakness of STEM in the USA outside of the universities will create a widening gap in 20–30 years, once China gains some confidence. But that is a large topic and has yet to filter down to quality-of-life issues talked about here. Away from the cities, both countries have remarkable places for recreation, with China gaining an upper hand in historical interest, simply because its civilization has been around longer. If you know the language, there’s nothing more pleasing to the ear than hearing poetry being recited by a well-trained guide on a historical tour that suits time and place. That said, with an SUV, there’s almost nowhere you can’t get to on a road trip in the US, and that’s a big thing: freedom to explore with plenty of roadmaps and topological maps. In China, even a mild excursion becomes a semi-expedition away from population centers, mostly because of the absence of topological maps. There is no such thing as USGS maps for the public. Look at Canada, an unpopulated country, and yet she has the best topological maps. Google maps just don’t cut it for this purpose. However, if you have the guts and gumption to meet the challenges of an expedition, China is the place, and you don’t have to go to Xinjiang or Tibet to find it! You attempt to do something unusual in China, chances are you’ll be the first. That being said, the pace of change in China is unbelievable. What is the snapshot today may be totally obsolete in a few years. If you are older and have medical problems, it is more complicated. Ordinary healthcare is cheap in China, but if you require a specialist, then either having money or having the right connections makes all the difference in the world in China. You may be able to hire a live-in assistant for a fraction of the amount you’d spend in America. Old age is a lonely business in either country.
This is actually a difficult question. There are things I love about both countries. If you like futuristic cities, then you should live in China. If you want to buy some land in the countryside then live in America. If I had to choose one, probably America, but it’s tough.
First of all, lets start with the reasons to live in China. It is a hub for everywhere in Asia. It’s quite cheap to travel just about everywhere in the area, not to mention in general you can get nice accommodation for really good prices, traveling anywhere, except Japan. You don’t have to live with the day-to-day political bickering that you find in the west. If you go to an expat bar, you could find it, but really for the most part its absent.
I live in Guangdong in the south, my girlfriend lives in Hong Kong, and she’s from Macau. Both cities are really cool, and I’ve in a lot of ways fallen in love with Hong Kong. Don’t get me wrong there are some issues with Hong Kong. The living space is small, and some days It will make you want to pull your hair out, especially as in the west; we’re not used to it. If you have a lot of money, then it’s not so much a problem, but even something that could cost $2,000,000 U.S. is going to be small compared to U.S. standards. However, the city itself has everything. You want to go hiking? Check. How about go to a nice tropical beach? Check. Okay, so you need a job? Check, it has a diverse selection of employment opportunities for educated people. You want to explore some of the best food in Asia? Where do you start, as it’s everywhere. If you desire it, then Hong Kong has it.
Okay, then what sucks about living in China? I would say first and foremost as an aggregate—healthcare. I find it ironic people talk about how affordable & good Chinese healthcare is, and while it’s somewhat true, it’s not the standard. A lot of hospitals in tier 3 or even some tier 2 cities you don’t want to visit. They’re dirty, and they lack the same medical capabilities as counter hospitals in the west. Now, that’s not everywhere. In some of the larger cities, there are great hospitals, but that’s not the norm. When my friend had an appendectomy in Qingdao, the school admin who accompanying us to the hospital kept talking about the high mortality rate at the local hospital. Also, good luck getting any type of painkillers in the hospital. I know there is a huge heroin epidemic in America, but if you get sliced open, you probably should be given more than local anesthetic. Ah, and you better have the money on you before you get to the hospital, or they will not provide service!
If you can obtain a well paying job with medical insurance in the States, and you enjoy a quieter life, larger living accommodations, and/or enjoy outdoor activities, then the question is a no brainer. I’d personally rather raise a family in the States than in China. This is very subjective, but in the States there is tax funded education. In China, even the public schools cost money, and most expats will try to send their children to private schools—they’re very expensive. The downside to raising a child in the states is you’ll have to navigate all the pitfalls in America today, including keeping your kids away from drugs.
software engineer, have a PhD in computer science from a prestigious university in Singapore. I’m confident about finding job in USA or any such developed/developing country. However, I chose to live in China, and I am living in Suzhou (Jiangsu province) since November 2017.
Why I love China? Facts about China
Here are some of the reasons:
I love Asian culture in general, and Chinese culture in particular. You should listen the song 天路 or 青藏高原, both by Han Hong.
I wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese, although I am not yet fluent in Chinese, I have already authored three books to learn Chinese.
How old is the social history of USA? Chinese history is 5000 years old. When we had civilizations in Asia about 5000 years ago, what was happening in the contemporary USA?
What’s the native or famous dishes of USA? Pizza? Burger? Have you tried any Chinese food?
Cost of living in China is much lower. USA is one of the most expensive country I have ever seen. A basic breakfast at McDonald’s would cost you $10. In China, you can have all meals for a couple of days in $10 (RMB 70).
Healthcare in China is really great. Have you seen western people coming Asia for medical treatments? Did you know that for the similar reasons, medical tourism is very popular in India?
I wanted to travel More in China. Already been to 46 Chinese cities.
How about safety? China is absolutely safe, at least that’s my experience. You won’t see the guns here as often as in USA.
How about the Chinese girls? Do you like them? My Chinese girlfriend is really cute. Frankly, China is a great place if you wanna get married. Women here tend to be super feminine and loyal.
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