- April 4, 2022
Whereas the Pioneers spent their formative years riding the vagaries and excitement of reforms that required “crossing the river by feeling for stones,” the Globalists came of age when reform was largely complete and China’s economic opening was in full swing. During the 18-year period after the youngest Globalists were born, China’s economy grew at an 11% annual clip.
The Globalists have little conception of a China without major Western brands and media. This generation’s youngest members were just eight years old when China’s first KFC opened in 1987, at the same time as major Hollywood studios entered the Chinese market.
Acceptance of globalization is the default for this generation, which likely went a long way towards shaping the Globalists’ generally idyllic view of the West. Not only did that motivate them to study in Europe and America, it also made them more likely to support free speech provisions, individual freedoms, and market privatization. In short, this is the generation most comfortable with Western values of all four generations.
But the Globalists’ pro-market, individualistic bent has something of a wrinkle. They are more inclined to play by the books than the rebellious Pioneers. As the first generation to significantly benefit from China’s difficult transition to global economic power, the Globalists are more concerned with “looking out for number one” than trying to shake up the status quo to align with their worldview.
So while many Globalists support Western values on an individual, and perhaps abstract, level, they are also generally fine tolerating features of a system they may not agree with.
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