Most Dutch snack bars
are taken over by Chinese. Do you notice a culture gap? China wants to be looked up to. It wants to be respected:
Look how great China is doing. At first, and it took a while,
it was mainly about communication. And we went on from there. In fact you might say… …that we’re prepared to come all the
way from distant China to Greece… …to support Greece in its recovery…. …and to boost and develop
the Greek economy. Once again the Greek pier is deserted. Compared to the Greek pier we
obviously offer some advantages. The problems of the Greek pier
are caused by the system. Greece today is China before it
was reformed and opened. We should convince
our Greek workers… …that we at Cosco, a Chinese state
enterprise, have perseverance. That is our greatest strength. So in everything we say
and in all the good things we do… …we Chinese are role models. Very good. Safety first, eh? Finished. The West has this theory
of economic determinism. It fits in with the way
Marx determined the problems. What does it imply?
That man is an economic animal. That people start to think differently
when the standard of living goes up. But if there’s no material improvement,
their thinking won’t change. And that’s where the West
is wrong about China. The West thinks the economy
determines everything. They don’t see
that man is a political animal. The way people think is not determined
by material things alone… …but also by their role in society. What does China need now? China wants to restore
the classical Chinese political values. Realistic moralism actually dates
from before the Qin dynasty. Take foreign relations in antiquity. We can learn from those now. Many disciplines, such as music
and medicine, follow this path. Society has lost its norms and values. Once we started worshiping money,
we lost the other values. That’s why it’s necessary,
certainly in China… …to restore the old values
to their former glory. So in 2004 we began to read books
from before the Qin dynasty again. Start reading here. This passage emphasizes… …that one should study this text
if one wants to govern a country. It was written for the ruler. And ordinary people?
– It doesn’t apply to them. Only to the elite.
– If you don’t learn this… …you don’t know.
– These demands are for the elite. In that respect the classics differ
from contemporary insights. Ordinary people are ruled by the elite. Some people
will always be ignorant. This is just for the elite. Ordinary
people don’t have to learn this. We hope to make China
as strong again… …as it was in the heyday of the
Han dynasty and the Tang dynasty. That’s when the Chinese economy
was the number 1 in the world. We were also leading
in terms of culture. Trade was flourishing, partly thanks
to good international relations. China hopes that the status it had
internationally at that time… …will return, including the respect
that comes with it. Whether the whole world will be able
to develop in the right direction… …depends on whether the leading
countries can actually take the lead. To put it simply: If one soldier
is weak, it’s just one person. If the leader is weak,
the whole army unit is weak. China needs a fitting
and strong leadership. If anyone starts talking
about Dutch football… …and ADO Den Haag is mentioned first,
our mission will be accomplished. ADO has a history
stretching back 110 years. The club developed into
a very stable one… …with fixed patterns of thought. If you want to break those
and get to a higher level… …you have to change
the old way of thinking. So what should change, in my opinion? When it comes to management
and cost-effectiveness… …the Chinese model should be followed. It was very clear when I visited
United Vansen last year. We had to wait.
I’m used to that, in China. Everybody sits and waits
for the boss to arrive. He sits in the middle, with four others
to his left and four to his right. They do nothing but write.
The boss does all the talking. It’s different. We’re used to
delegating the responsibilities. It’s up to the directors and the board
to handle that successfully. Whether it’s me or Mr Wang,
it makes no difference… …to the club’s policies. But Mr Wang has created expectations: We’ll play on a European level,
I’ll invest more. So he has himself to thank
for that debate. He suddenly wanted natural gas,
within six months. Or he wanted 20 youth trainers
to move to China within two months. It doesn’t work like that.
He had to learn that. You have to present a budget
to the Dutch Football Association. Otherwise you lose your license. You can’t say:
I’m the owner, I can do what I want. These are the important lessons
he had to learn. Here’s a typical example. In China, you discuss a problem
together… …and hopefully you all agree and say:
Let’s do it this way. That’s only one step in a long process
before anyone does anything. In the Netherlands it’s different. When they say: Let’s do it,
it’s started already. That’s a very clear difference. It feels like a big culture gap. We do it differently in China.
Especially for big decisions… …there’s a mutual relationship,
like water and fish. Together you are one. But the boss decides.
He’s the one who put up the money. It’s a complex situation
when a foreign financier… …from a different culture
manages a football club. The Netherlands do business
with 456 Chinese companies. When Mr Li Ka-shing took over
the Dutch drugstore Kruidvat… …he left its management in Dutch
hands. He adapted to our culture. I felt, when we did the transaction… …that Wang is more international
than the average Chinese. I’m pretty sure he is. He and his wife
lived in Canada, went to college there. So they pretend to be naive
sometimes… …but they probably know better than
we think how the world works. That’s interesting.
There’s a hidden agenda? Like Maarten said, we first thought
Mr Wang would be the director… …of United Vansen. In our culture
that’s the end of that. But in the months to follow
we gradually discovered… It was never confirmed,
but today I still think: He can’t decide all by himself, he has
to confer with other people in China… …before he can take steps.
Maybe shareholders, after all. We’re more like: you’re the CEO,
you decide. But it’s different there. This is what makes me uncomfortable: How much money I transfer and when,
that is my business, not yours. Management is not involved in that. I’ll tell you how much money
I’m transferring… …so you can base your plans on that.
And that’s all. I really don’t have to give you
any other information. It’s my money. We invested in this club. What we do
and how we do it is our business. That’s another strange culture gap.
In China no one would ask. Everything is fine.
Why all the commotion? You don’t complain publicly
about your boss. Most Dutch snack bars
are taken over by Chinese. Do you notice a culture gap?
You can still get your fries. I can’t figure out what that Chinaman
wanted with ADO. The supporters were enthusiastic
at first. Sure. We always played
for 14th or 15th place. Just to stay in the league. And then someone says:
I’ll get you to the European level. For supporters that’s good news. For a long time we backed him up.
Said it was the cultural differences. Up to the last deadline he missed,
on December 8th. By January 5th it was over.
– You said cultural differences. That makes me angry every time. It’s absolutely the most
misused phrase of 2015. Mr Wang used it too.
China, Netherlands, cultural gap. What the fuck is that?
You buy a club, you mess it up. Our CEO, Jan Willem Wigt,
did a fantastic job. He had to make a public statement.
It had to be done. And then they say: He offended him.
What’s up with that? What’s he supposed to do?
Be silent as the grave? ‘That’s the culture gap. The Chinese
don’t understand, so they’re offended. ‘ You know what’s offensive? Promising
us money and not paying. Don’t break your promise
and cause trouble for others. So every time I hear ‘culture gap’,
I’m so done with that. Last year the Dutch played games
with the Greek restaurants. And now it’s the Chinese takeaway. Like: I’m not paying for this gyros,
we gave you enough money already. And now it’s the Chinese takeaway. It’s just a joke, of course we pay,
but it’s a sign. There’s a difference between
Christianity and Confucianism. Christianity has a mission. It’s always trying to convert
non-believers into Christians. People with other habits
should take on the Christian ones. In China we do the opposite. Why do we say that America
strives for supremacy? Because it imposes its will. America exports its own range of ideas. For example: they liberate Libya,
they liberate Iraq… …because they disagree
with those governments. ‘We liberate you
so you can be just like us. ‘ Confucianism says
that is totally wrong. It says: You may learn from me,
but I won’t force you. If you want to learn from me,
I’ll teach you. If not, I’m not going to come after you.
I won’t send an army to change you. Supremacy means
forcing your ideas onto others. The classical Chinese model tells you
to accept others as they are. That’s the difference. The US want to
make other countries just like the US. China has suggested changing the IMF. China demanded a greater say
in international monetary affairs. When China demanded
that the RMB be accepted… …as an international currency… …the US refused. America did not let China play, so
China established its own institutes. BRICS, AIIB and the SCO bank. And a cooperation fund for
China and Eastern Europe. Purely because China was kept
out of the IMF by America… …they had to set up something new. What does AIIB stand for? Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Initially it was limited
to its own region… …and would operate only
in Eastern Asia. How did it become a global institution? Because Great Britain, Germany,
France, Australia and Canada… …all decided to join. And it wasn’t
because China wanted them to. But it was those countries
that turned it into a global institution. And now they say China
wants to take over the world. What is China’s ambition?
China wants to be looked up to. It wants to be respected:
Look how great China is doing. China wants to inspire awe. It wants
to be respected and appreciated. The West is more powerful,
so China thinks it’s less civilised. But when China is stronger,
it regards others as less civilised. That’s why everyone
should read the classics. You have to learn what is good for you
and use it to improve yourself. Europe has the same problem. As long as Europe believes
it is the best continent… …and does not realise it’s declining,
the decline will only go faster. Europeans are vindictive. That’s
the main difference with Asians. Confucianism doesn’t allow revenge. Such vengeful feelings are very rare
in Chinese culture. Many European plays, like
Shakespeare’s, are about revenge. European novels
are often about revenge. Like
The Count of Monte Cristo. Revenge is a natural thing… …but in Chinese culture you’re
taught to repress that feeling. So if there’s anything that Europe
can learn from China… …it’s to let go of their strong
culture of vindictiveness.