Here is some more from my professor from Beijing University teaching my 20th Century Chinese History class. He taught in the second class about “Chinese and Western Difference in Cultural and Historical Perceptions” as part of the introductory lecture.
So let me post them up here and we can discuss whether you view these assessments as accurate or inaccurate:
Difference in the concept of morality
Western: a moral person must be honest, namely, always telling the truth
Chinese Confucian: honesty gives way to loyalty and filial piety
*He elaborated that in the west if someone (even a family member of close friend) were to break the law you must hold that person accountable to the law since that is the perceived “moral” thing to do. But in China if a family member or close friend breaks the law, then the moral thing to do is protect that person from punishment since he is your kin and to protect your kin is the moral thing to do. He also said that Chinese “hate law”, but I don’t know if he meant for this reason though.
Differences in the way of thinking
Western: “comes to the point”, from micro to macro, focusing on the specifics
Chinese: step-by-step exploring the idea and purpose, from macro to micro emphasizing the “general”
Chinese historians: analyze from general perspective, and explore motive and significance
Western historians: more attention to a witness narrative and statistics that show different aspects of the event and results. Their conclusions are based on interpretation of the info.
View of the ideal world
West: broadly associated with democracy, freedom, equality
Chinese: Confucian concept; “Harmony” based on collective effort and responsibility as well as perfect top down arrangement.