Anson Burlingame: Diplomat, Orator
Like a previous article titled "Cross-Cultural Underpinnings of the Taiping Rebellion: Potential Modem Applications" (Brady, 1993), this article too is somewhat out of step with the mainstream of information normally presented in JAAER, but in this author's opinion it is an important deviation. Why? Because it looks into the essential character of an important civilization that we know very little about, the Chinese, and it provides a glimpse of what happened in the past when our two cultures came into significant contact. The relevance of this paper to aviation is that it posts warning signs as to what can happen if we are not properly prepared to deal with that great civilization on terms that are mutually beneficial. As reported in Aviation Week and Space Technology, China is expected to have the highest growth in air traffic of all Asian countries in the firsthalf of the next decade (Mecham, 1993). The business opportunities, along with the training and education needs of China that will emerge as a result of this growth, signal the need for aviation educators and aviation business leaders to learn more about the Chinese people, their culture, their political philosophies, their religion, and their character. Whether we can deal with them successfully depends, in part, on how well we do our homework. Toward that end this paper seeks to examine the Chinese culture at a time when the Chinese nation was extremely vulnerable to outside influence.