In America, everyone has an opinion about the United States Government and President Obama. Most of the opinions that I hear are usually negative. Some of those opinions actually do come from foreigners, but everyone is allowed to speak their mind, for the most part. You can also have a casual discussion about history with others, and more then likely, nothing will happen to you. In China, as well as other countries in Asia, do not like it when a foreigner talks about politics. That right there can get you in big trouble. Even so much as talking about certain things that has happened throughout history in China can get you thrown in jail and deported.
Talking about certain things that happened in history, like the Cultural Revolution that happened in China in 1966 or the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 (which ALLEGEDLY was started over Chinese students getting mad at African students and then gathering the Africans in Sanlitun and beating them, ALLEGEDLY), will get you locked up and deported. I remember being on the phone with friends in China and they would not talk about Tiananmen Square with me over the phone, they said we can meet up in person and talk about that. You cannot talk about those events that took place or any opinion about the Chinese government through text messages or WeChat neither. I have literally been in Starbucks and the police showing up one day and they told someone at a table to give them their phone so they can look at their messages. Basically, he said something he was not suppose to through text messaging and they took him away. They monitor everything and when you send out a keyword that might be a trigger word, they automatically zone in on your conversation. So whenever you are over there, you can talk with people over the phone and through texting about the people and rude behavior or whatever, but do no talk about the government or their leaders.
Even if you go over there to teach English, if you are not from America or Canada or somewhere in Europe, do not compare your country next to China. So if you are from Indonesia or Taiwan, you keep the way you do things over there to yourself, because I have heard of people teaching students about their Government and structure to students and they have ended up getting deported after already being warned once. They will literally call the police over you for talking about politics from another country to the students. They try to censor out everything in China that is not from China. The internet has the “Great Wall” firewall, basically wanting everyone to focus in on what’s going on in China and not being influenced by what’s going on in the outside world. That right there can be a good and a bad thing but that is a topic for another day.
There was another time when I stayed at this young lady’s apartment that I booked off of AirBNB.com, and she had two sisters staying in another room as well. We were all gathered in the living room and somehow we got on the subject about America, because the girl who lived in the apartment was trying hard to get accepted into a University over in America. So while we were talking , I guess somehow the topic of the American government and past wars came up and I just kept it real as I always do. Most of what I was saying is well documented, and it wasn’t anything that people did not already know about back in Western Society. I honestly do not remember what we were talking about but I do know it was about American politics, and I said something and she just kind of yelled and covered her ears as if she heard something really disgusting. The other two women that were there looked at her in a strange manner and were confused as to what was she upset about and tried to calm her down. The next day, I spoke to a friend of mine over the phone who use to teach English in Korea and he told me that they get uncomfortable when you talk about politics with them and to just avoid that subject. So keep in mind whenever you go to China, or any Asian country for that matter, stay away from talking about politics because not only will it make the people uncomfortable, it can also have you end up in jail and deported.