East vs. West: reasons behind the division between the two worlds

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

From religion to culture and including economy, numerous elements can count as explanations to the division between the two worlds.

For many, the East-West division is limited to the Sino-American rivalry. However, even if China and the United States are not the only ones concerned – Europe and the rest of Asia also take part –, the opposition between these two countries is representative. On a cultural and educational basis, the differences are striking:

As demonstrated in this sociological analysis based on Hofstede’s theories, whilst authority and collectivity prevail in China, Americans are more individualistic and tolerant. For instance, in our society, this can be seen thanks to the more accentuated tolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community in the United States than in Asian countries.

Another recent example highlights the culture gap between Asia and the West: Covid-19 tracking. The figures speak for themselves: over the same period, Asia confirmed 3’750 deaths for only 105’000 new confirmed cases of coronavirus (for 1.6 billion inhabitants), whereas Europe suffered nearly 70’000 deaths for more than 750’000 new confirmed cases (for 450 million inhabitants).

These higher figures show a much weaker resilience capacity in the western populations. In other words, while Asia doesn’t hesitate to implement more stringent measures thanks to a meticulous and incisive tracking – even if this means leaving aside the private sphere of its citizens –, the western world opts for delay and tries to avoid shaking up its population’s everyday life. Thus, on the same topic, different approaches can be noticed, according to the country in which you are.

The economy is an umpteenth field in which the two worlds are particularly distant. In fact, they stick to both ideological movements of capitalism and communism, which are opposite to one another. The “Trade Wars” are a phenomenon that have been existing for many decades, and it opposes, once again, China and the US. Nowadays, the economic war between the two superpowers is more present than ever. As a matter of fact, on the one hand, Donald Trump is establishing staggering taxes on Chinese products while on the other hand, its Chinese opponent is slowly excluding any American product by creating national alternatives, such as instant messaging applications and social media. For instance, WhatsApp and Facebook were replaced by WeChat and Sina Weibo.

Written by : Rafael Pacheco

Translated by: Bleona Rexha

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