Racism isn't a problem in China. That's the official story you'll read in the papers and hear on the streets, at least, and maybe there's even a kernel of truth to it. Without a legacy of colonial activities abroad, the Chinese people are in many ways immune from attacks of historic racial discrimination. As China flexes its muscles internationally though, an increasing number of commenters are calling mainland behavior not only racist, but even representative of a new type of jianghu mentality. Is there any truth to this?

Joining Kaiser to talk about racism in China is Sinica regular and once resident of apartheid South Africa Jeremy Goldkorn along with Charlie Custer, author of the popular China blog ChinaGeeks and survivor of a racial flare-up that involved some of China's top bloggers. Shannon Vant Sant, an independent journalist and filmmaker working on a project on Chinese investment activities in Africa, also sends us an audio postcast with some of her stories from the trenches.

New to Popup Chinese? The Sinica show is a regular podcast series focusing on economic and political developments in modern China. If you enjoy this show, we encourage you to send feedback directly to Kaiser at sinica@popupchinese.com. To subscribe to Sinica through RSS, click on the "Advanced" menu in iTunes and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast". When prompted copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box. If you'd like to listen to this podcast on the go, you're also welcome to download the show as a standalone mp3 file.
 said on
October 3, 2010
It's true many Chinese guy didn't treat fairly to Africa people, or black guys, mostly because their judgment were influenced by American movies and news on TV, which usually portray African countries as chaotic and anarchic region.
 said on
October 4, 2010
I think its also the result of years of isolationism. For the last century the only people (in general) who spoke Chinese were Chinese people. Hence there has been no equal exchange of cultural ideas. You have plenty of Chinese who speak English to the point where we almost expect it. To give you an idea of how low the bar is set for Americans, walk into a Chinese restaurant and simply say "thank you" in Mandarin. They'll act like you did a magic trick. The point is, because so precious few foreigners are able to engage them in their own language, their views become solidified and unchallenged. I think some of the Chinese like the one-sided language barrier, its a built in cloaking device.
 said on
October 4, 2010

I'm glad you've managed to figure out a way to blame America for this. Given the unrestricted access the Chinese people have to American television and other media, it's almost surprising there is a culture of free thought left in the Middle Kingdom.

FWIW, I don't think the behavior described in Africa is racism. I think Jeremy's right that rich Chinese people are just used to treating poorer Chinese people like dirt, and are sort of surprised when anyone takes exception to it. And it may not be pleasant, but it isn't exactly racism.

 said on
October 4, 2010
Really enjoy the podcasts so I'm sorry to be critical here, but I unfortunately didn't find this one to be as interesting or as informative as I had hoped. It didn't appear to be well researched and/or prepared for. I feel a good opportunity was missed. Maybe some Chinese people could have been asked of their views on the street or in the studio. It wouldn't have been a science but would help somewhat in gauging the public's views.

That's my two cents worth!

But in general keep up the good work.
 said on
October 4, 2010
Not really, there have been studies showing that negative views of blacks are more common in areas where access to Western media is higher.

That said, I still think that "negative" racism against blacks is unforgivable, and "positive" racism against Jews (as in much of the rest of East Asia) is at best annoying and at worst embarrassing.

On the other hand, I think that Chinese racism does have a positive quality, which should be nurtured and maintained. Chinese racism is honest racism; people are by nature racist, and make distinctions based on race while ignoring the specificality of individual people. Racism can be a correct notion at times; for example, African-Americans are statistically more likely to die early of heart disease, even when other factors are controlled for, so for life insurers, on a statistical basis it makes sense to discriminate against African-Americans on the cost of their coverage. On the other hand, remember Milton Friedman's secretary. He hired a black woman because the fact of her race made her cheaper to employ for the same quality of talent. In the same case, it's self-defeating to avoid hiring blacks or, for that matter, Uighurs, based on their ethnicity as you draw smaller the pool of talent, although there are factors that remain; for example, if the rest of your society is relatively racist having a black or Uighur spokesman impedes your performance as they're less likely to be trusted.

The reason I mention the "honesty" of Chinese racism, is that in the West, we are rarely racist not because of our "enlightenment", but rather because of our fundamental ideology (that all men are created equal and are entitled to equal rights) and social pressure. It's not that people now see that a black and white person are absolutely the same except for the color of their skin (which isn't true, they're likely to be from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds), but that we are mandated to be color-blind. My point is that it's better to work forward from "honest" racism than "dishonest" multiculturalism towards something that is humane and rational, which evaluates each individual based on their own merits, which I think is harder from the vantage point of forced anti-racism.
 said on
October 4, 2010
By the way, I checked again for the amusing Zerg Korea, and you have it wrong; Africans just go to gorillas, then stop moving. It's the Americans that go to apes in hiphop clothing.

I'm not even sure whether this was Chinese originated, except for the last hexie/sangedaibiao evolution. I'm sure these pics have been circulating on at least 4chan, and maybe even 2chan for some time. I recall there's also pictures from 2chan of people who wish China just dropped into the sea, and condemned the Xinjiangers, Qinghainese, Yunnan ethnic minorities, Mongol Inner Mongolians, and Manchurians into becoming Atlantean.

Shouldn't take these things too seriously; part of unleashing your inner asshole involves unleashing your inner racist.
 said on
October 5, 2010
I heard "I'm not racist, I just don't like black people" a couple of times in China. They just don't see that as racism - they're not taking action against a race, it's just a likes / dislikes thing.

A couple of things you could have mentioned:

- In the TEFL market, it used to be (and probably still is) quite common for schools to only employ white foreign teachers. The school owners say they aren't racist, but that parents won't send their kids to a school with non-white foreign teachers (including overseas Chinese)

- What's up with the whole skin whitener thing? I know why women want the white skin (it's a sign of beauty based on the class thing), but surely that can't be healthy?

Finally, Chinese people think that white people smell as well. Or maybe just me :) It seems to be true. Most don't need to use deodorant and wear clothes several times between washes (although that may just be my students) and they don't smell. I'd definitely have an odour without my deoderant!
 said on
October 6, 2010

The reasons many Asian cultures find pale, white skin attractive, is actually very closely tied to the reasons many Western (particular of the Northern Hemisphere) find darker skin attractive, and you have actually touched briefly on it (class).

Think about it:

In China and other similarly developed Asian nations, if you are poor, you probably a) live in the countryside, and b) work as a farmer in said countryside, and as follows c) spend a ton of time outside, where your skin will gradually become dark and leathery.

In North America for instance (and VERY much here in Canada), if you are poor, you therefore a) probably don't get to travel much (especially to southern locales like the Caribbean) and b) spend a ton of time INside, and consequently c) have pasty white skin.

To put it another way, rich Asians don't have to work the farm and thus maintain a nice, pale complexion. Rich Westerners get to travel to nice warm locations and get a suntan.

Our fixations with certain elements of beauty are largely driven by our fixations with class, power, money, etc.

Having said all this, and being pretty damn white myself, I will say I do like a woman with skin that is not TOO pale, and am INCREDIBLY turned off by some western women who spend wayyy too much time in the tanning salon - they look too "crispy", and are probably going to end up cancerous.

Cheers all.
 said on
October 7, 2010
Just tuned into your podcast for the first time. Liked the discussion. Two points in particular stood out for me.

Firstly, if I am a Chinese girl and I find western guys attractive and am not interested in asian guys, am I racist, prejudice or both?

Second, I noticed somebody mentioned that guys with "yellow fever" with a "liberal arts education" tend not to admit they only find east asian women attractive. Does this mean that their "liberal arts education" disables them from admitting the truth?
 said on
October 8, 2010
Enjoyed the show, but I thought the Japanese/Korean section got dismissed too quickly. Sure, it may not be racism in the strictest sense, but anti-Japanese sentiment is some of the worst prejudice I've observed in China. [Of course this contrasts with Tawainese, who have a weird nostalgia for the colonial days. How's that for historical context!]

Also, to add to the 'race relations' discussion, I think it's worth pointing out that white guys tend to like Asian girls, but it's often different for white gals. I've met lots of expat women that 'simply don't find Asian men attractive.' Racism?

Finally, I think the argument that people prefer whiter skin because of class is incomplete without evidence. It's logical, but can probably be explained other ways as well. Example, people prefer different skin tones because of different notions of health. Chinese prefer whiter skin because they think getting a lot of sun is unhealthy, whereas Westerners prefer tan skin because they think staying inside all day is equally unhealthy. Attractiveness is a complicated subject, and it's easy to get sidetracked without hard evidence.

I guess these issues aren't so black and white (sorry, I had to).
 said on
October 8, 2010

Agreed, I was simply pointing out one of the possible rationales. As you say, attractiveness is a terribly complex topic, after all, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. The other thing is many of these sort of "assumptions" of beauty are often unsaid and subconscious.

One other point in the whole white/asian guy/girl discussion: I've spoken to many of my colleagues over the years, and in fact, I've found that white men tend to find asian women attractive less so because of skin colour, but more often due to figure. The fact is many white girls are much larger than their asian counterparts.

Please don't anyone take these generalizations TOO seriously, just some observations.
 said on
October 9, 2010
More drunken bar fight stories in the future please.
 said on
October 10, 2010
but let's look at the facts. More black people commit crime. I don't think it is necessarily because of poverty. Chinese immigrants were very poor when they first came to America. That didn't stop them from becoming law-abiding citizens.

The problem with racism is not because Chinese have an inherent hatred for black people. It is because the image black people project about themselves.
 said on
October 11, 2010
There's actually one item of prejudice towards "westerners" that you haven't touched on, namely the idea that they came to China because they failed in their country. Other than that being a "westerners" definitely has it's perks.

However I still think racism is very existent in China. I have heard a number of people say that they don't like people solely based on the fact that they were black. I can't really judge whether Chinese racism is of the "naive" variety or the same as everywhere else, but racism is still racism.

Also the argument that there was no colonization is invalid. Going by that argument, you would have to exempt all European countries that were not colonial powers. Being from Austria which was not a colonial power I would not excuse anyone's here racism with that argument either. It all comes down to ignorance.

Btw I find this ny times article very interesting. It talks about the way men and women respond to people of different races on online dating sites in the US.

 said on
October 11, 2010
 said on
October 19, 2010
This was the first podcast I listened to from Sinica and it definitely won't be my last. Race relations and discrimination in any country aren't easy topics to tackle, but I found the discussion really lively and interesting.

Also, it was great to hear Jeremy Goldkorn after following Danwei for such a long time.

Props all around and keep up the great work!
 said on
October 20, 2010
I have to agree with @johntully00. Love these podcasts but this one felt anecdotal at best.
 said on
October 23, 2010
White skin ,yes. You can't imagine how powerful it is in Chinese culture.Think about how much women cost for getting whiter! Even make you popular.They think black people can never be washed like a white paper(far away from their hope).A freind of mine told me so.And she has cleanillness.Many peolpe have this problem ,I think it comes from childhood(too severe or spoil upbringing).

Some people told me that they can't stand foreigners(including black and white,even other asian people).Beause they don't like the smell no matter whether perfume or ... When I try a perfume,my mum always stop me and tell me she feels sick . Watching cool guys in media is OK,but in reality their faces make stress.

BTW, in the podcast "操你妈“ is very 囧…Hope I have written every sentence right.><
 said on
October 24, 2010
I regularly listen to the Sinica podcasts (which I find quite interesting and usually very well-informed), but I must agree with some of the above comments that this was not so well researched one...

I found it rather surprising that the term "Sinocentrism" didn't come up at all, while in my opinion this is a very possible explanation for most of the questions posed (but unfortunately, not answered) in this podcast.

I am a Caucasian female from Europe who has lived in China (until recently)for 8 years. Based on both my personal observation and academic knowledge (my major is closely connected with research on Chinese Culture) I find "Sinocentrism" a very on the spot explanation for many of the "racist" instances discussed in the podcast...




contact: salamandrinaemail-box@yahoo.com
 said on
October 25, 2010
If I can add another term to the pile "Han Chauvinism"- Cultural superiority.

Let's keep the wikipedia train going with -


And my favorite example: "Pizza originated from China, and Marco Polo stole the recipe."

 said on
August 3, 2011
You're saying that racism is not a problem in China?

So China is the only country in the world with no racism at all?

that is the most stupid load of bullshit I've ever seen!

In China racism is by far worse than many other countries! I know

from experience! Plus explain to me why the blacks and the Mongolians were banned from bars and clubs over the Olympics... That's all i need to prove the statement wrong. And, oh yes! There is so much more!If racism is not a problem there should be no problem for any race to marry a Chinese.. and you know many Chinese parents will not allow just because of skin colour. Also i've seen with my own eyes how so many Chinese treat non Chinese like shit! even in my Country the racist communist China are racist! But they are even worse if those same people see you in China! \

You are such a fucking lair!
 said on
November 18, 2011
There's no racism in China as long as

a) you're chinese

b) you don't go outside

c) you can't understand chinese

Other than that, I'd put my iPod earbuds in if I were you, cuz you're gonna be surrounded by 'ig'nant' comments about 18 hours a day. Have fun with that.
 said on
November 19, 2011

I've found the Chinese to be extremely racially tolerent. EG: our school employs African American teachers and the only ones in the school who make negative comments about them are white teachers from America. The faculty and students all like, and highly praise them.

I'm not sure on what grounds you're basing your comments.
 said on
September 7, 2012
I've been living in China for 5 years. I'm not black I'm white. I get annoying comments and menacing glares every day. Is that enough of a sample size? Or do you think I should try another 5 years.
 said on
March 2, 2013
Well, I think some Chinese people are extremely racist. I have a colleague named Chun from Taiwan who is ultra racist, never says hello, good morning or doesnt have any good manners, passes next to other people like they are invisible. certainly she has a high degree, but her skills are so so.. only wants to talk in Chinese and with Chinese people, if you see her facebook after living 7 years in US, 99.99% of her 'friends' are Chinese.. hahaha come on! she is just a prick and hypocrite person. too sad.
 said on
March 2, 2013
i dont blame her though.. she must have learned these stupid ideas from her parents or who knows from who. I had a professor at university that used to behave the same, his lab was in US and 99% of his students were from China (obviously he was from China too), all other laboratories were multicultural and based on merits.. except this lab.

Why some Chinese behave so RACIST like this
 said on
May 23, 2013
Kaiser absolutely is a white American guy! ;)
 said on
August 13, 2013
Right... it is the fault of American movies for "portraying Africa as chaotic and anarchic." They should portray it like Scandinavia.

It is the fault of Chinese for considering that a black passenger is more likely to stiff the cab driver. They must all be malevolent, illogical self-saboteurs to deny good customers. They must be all wrong to conclude that other foreign customers such as Australians pose a lesser danger.

The current PC brainwashing is mind boggling.
 said on
September 28, 2013
...it amuses me to no end to see that otherwise rational, enlightened people will willingly become apologists for racist attitudes in China... well, some people adore living in countries with obsenely authoritarian regimes where the average person submits to almost daily constant humiliation and unfairness... why?... because it benefits them in other way$... are the Han Chinese just about the most ignorant, hateful racists in the world?... not really; there are many countries where looking "different" can be a death sentence or at least an invitation to be randomly attacked... so, in this instance, I would say "boo hoo hoo... people are being mean to you... have a nice cry about it and then think that, actually, most Chinese people are able to suppress their ingrained, latent racism enough to give you what you need".... is it my business why they are racist?... should I attempt to change their culture because I am sensitive to their racist behaviour?... I say, no... which is why I left the country and went to a less ignorant, polluted and disgusting environment...
 said on
October 2, 2013
I am Chinese.

Here is my comment for Americans.

When an American thinks of racism, he/she always (or most of the time) thinks of blacks. Don't you? So that's the problem. You tell people that you are not a racist, and you act like you are against racism, yet whenever you think of racism you think of blacks as you think that they are INHERENTLY inferior. You never think of yourselves being a victims of racism someday. Why? Because you think you are superior. And that's the origin of racism.

In America you have Black Actuary Society, Black Engineer Society, but do you have any white societies? No. Because people think blacks are "inferior" and uncompetitive so they need something to make it balanced. What a racist view.

If you are against racism, then stop asking people to treat blacks fairly. Everyone is the same. A white can do something, do does a black or a Chinese.

When ABC showed a chimp ad after a black got an Olympic medal, people got angry. Why? Why angry? Huh?? What's the relationship between a black and a chimp? No nothing! Then what are you angry for?

And for blacks, if you feel sad whenever whites discriminate you, then really you feel inferior. Also a kind of racism. A racism towards your own ethnics.

Say no to racism. But I can tell you if a Chinese discriminate blacks, he/she probably discriminates whites too.
 said on
October 3, 2013
An intelligent remark, political correctness ironically creates racism.
 said on
October 3, 2013
I havent heard the show yet, but if the presenters are claiming that richer Chinese maltreat poorer Chinese, this concurs with my experience. When I wasstudying at Nottingham University in Ning Bo most Chinese students refused to use please and thank you in the restaurant. They were always pressuring the overworked waiters to be faster and bitched about them. They werent slow in fact.

I made friends with the waitresses. They told me they rese ted Chinese students lack of politeness and appreciated the Englishmans thanks for their work.

So snobbery, to be sure.
 said on
February 12, 2014

I might not be educated, but you, a typical racist, have trouble in understanding a simple philosophy.

Perhaps there's a difference between your culture and mine. I mean how you value something is really different from how I value it.

You said,

Institutions and laws meant for oppressed groups like African Americans and women, etc, are put in place because those groups have been systematically oppressed by the white majority, and therefore have an unfair disadvantage.

I agree that's good for the needy. But just because it is good doesn't mean it is not a racism!

If you are against racism, then treat everyone the same!

If you think I should be given much more help because I'm a black, then indeed you are a racist! Because I'm not different from you, and anybody else. I am the same as whites, Asians, Latino, etc. I don't appreciate your sympathy at all. I can strive and compete with whites and all other people by my own capability!

You think that I can't do the same thing as white people do, how racist you are!

Thank you!
 said on
February 13, 2014
Wow, how I never came across this episode before, I don't know.

I thought it was a tad scattered, and like some others commented, there were some areas of racism in China that I felt weren't explored sufficiently, though I appreciate that it is by nature too big and complex a topic to tackle fully in just over half an hour.

Having said that, I was disappointed with how swiftly and unanimously Chinese-on-Caucasian racism was swept under the rug as basically nonexistent or unimportant.

If one talks about the scale and extent of racism, I can understand that it would be one of the less pressing facets of racism in China.

When I say scale, I mean that by comparison to other ethnic groups (Chinese or non-Chinese), Caucasians probably receive by far the least amount of racism. As for "extent", I mean that when even when being on the receiving end of racism, it's not likely to go as far for Caucasians as for other ethnic groups. Blacks being denied teaching jobs for simply for being black is just one example, and a very real one, which I image doesn't affect Caucasians.

However, the sheer reality of overt racism directed at foreigners of Caucasian origin is undeniable, irrespective of the scale and extent of it.

In my first year in China, I remember being stood by a street food vendor with an American friend around midnight. All of a sudden, a couple of men we'd never met came out of a bar nearby, and as soon as they saw us they started screaming "%$@&*# foreigners, get the #!@% out of China" in Chinese and all sorts of other obscenities at us at the top of their lungs.

I was very intimidated, but decided to ignore them simply because I didn't want to escalate the problem by confronting them.

However, it made absolutely no difference at all and they immediately headed over to us. One of them tried to kick me twice - once in the groin, and once on the chest -

although he didn't connect properly, and went on to try to have a punch out with me.

There were plenty of other Chinese people around, but no-one seemed to even notice, let alone try to intervene, until basically his friend and my friend held us both back.

I'd ignored the kicks without even making eye contact, but then when his friend held him back I said to him "你有什么问题呢?", which set him off.

Eventually he was dragged back by his own friend, who himself was also directing vitriolic abuse at us, despite never having met us.

I expect this kind of thing happens everywhere from time to time, but I'd lived in Europe and South America for half of my life before coming here, and I'd never seen or even experienced anything remotely like that. I was so upset, I cried and thought seriously about leaving China, since it wasn't the first instance of abuse I'd received.

It's impossible for me to know how representative my experiences in either of the three continents are, but the fact is that's what happened. And in fact, it's not the only time I've been abused by strangers for being a foreigner (I mean the word abuse in the real sense of the word, verbal and/or physical). It just happens to be the most serious example.

Perhaps the situations in south-west and north-east China vary hugely, which might be the reason Jeremy felt inclined to dismiss racism directed at Caucasians as preposterous. But it doesn't change the fact that it is real, and it happens with enough regularity.

It goes without saying that Caucasians do often receive preferential treatment in China, even over Han Chinese a lot of time, but in my view, positive stereotypes and negative ones (manifesting in actual racism or discrimination) do not compensate each other. They are part of the same problem, and I just wish the podcast had dealt with this particular facet of racism more earnestly.

That said, I also felt other facets of it, such as Chinese-on-Japanese racism, were curiously swept under the rug rather too quickly. I'm sure we've all seen the "日本人与狗禁止进入" signs somewhere. I've certainly seen them in numerous places across China, including on the gate of my guitar teacher's music school. I don't know if it's a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the Japanese for hanging similar signs aimed at Chinese people during the occupation, but to my mind it doesn't make it any less racist or unacceptable.

On the odd occasion where I pretended to Chinese strangers that my half-Asian colleague was Japanese, they have more often then not refused point-blank to talk to her thereafter (even after having chatted away happily with each other for a while), claiming that they don't talk to 日本小鬼 or whatnot. So again, I thought that aspect of racism in China was overlooked.

In short, I appreciate that there are too many facets of this topic to cover fully in such a short time, but I do feel that a few aspects in particular were dealt with rather too hastily, without doing justice to the reality of those problems.
 said on
February 14, 2014
I haven't had time to listen to the podcast itself yet, so forgive me if I touch on something that was already discussed or is totally irrelevant. But the discussion in the comments is so interesting I'm jumping in. I think to say that "racism is racism" doesn't actually do the complexity of the problem justice, and it leads to very unproductive discussions about whether racism is "worse" in America or China. There's a difference between racism-as-prejudice, where individuals make negative judgments and/or commit negative actions against other individuals because of their race, and structural or institutional racism, wherein a whole ethnic group is, statistically, at a massive economic and social disadvantage independent of individual racist opinions against them - such as African-Americans in the US. Of course the two feed into each other but I think they can be usefully distinguished (and conflating them is where the stupid argument about whether "reverse racism" exists comes from). I would loosely guess that due to both cultural habits and demographic factors, the former is more extensive in China and the latter is a far more extensive problem in the US. Certainly that's the case if we're talking about Chinese-on-black and Chinese-on-Caucasian vs. white-on-black racism. (Incidentally, @likee_arsenal, if you are not actually a troll, this is one of the most important arguments in favor of affirmative action in America. It's not meant to erase prejudice as a psychological phenomenon, it's an attempt to try to make up for some of the large-scale handicaps faced by disadvantaged groups, as @pichu6767 said). Whether it succeeds is of course up for debate, but nobody is arguing that it is "less racist" in the purely psychological sense).

Another cultural factor that I think can play into this is that many Chinese people, compared to Americans, are far more comfortable with expressing generalizations and stereotypes about groups of people in general - whether it's as innocent as "Americans like red tea and Chinese like green tea", through "Sichuan people are loyal and Henan people will cheat you"...and so on.
 said on
May 28, 2014
Yes, racism is a major issue in China, not only against darker skinned people but also against Caucasians. There is something I observed among Chinese peoples, northern Chinese are much more likely to be racists than southern Chinese, perhaps it has something to do with their ethnic background.

Northern Chinese are for the most part pure blooded Han, they are extremely nationalistics due to the proximity of Beijing which is the seat of political power in China, I have often heard or been told while in northern China that blood mixing is bad, that foreigners are evil, that Chinese women should go only with Chinese men, and so on.

Southern Chinese have for the most part mixed background between Han people and ethnic minorities, most are not pure blooded whether Han or from one of the minorities. Beijing and the central government seems far when you live in Guangdong or nearby provinces, almost like another country, peoples don't really care about what's going on up there in northern China, too far, too different, people seems to care more about making money than politics or being nationalistic, the local cultures are different and some cities in Guangdong have had uninterrupted exchanges (except during the Mao era) with foreigners for hundreds of years (Foshan for e.g.), people seems more open to foreigners, more friendly, more warm.

Also the gender gap definitely plays a role about locals' acceptance of chinese woman + foreign man couples, in Guangdong there are the only 2 major cities in China with more women than men (Guangzhou and Shenzhen), the more north you go, the more men and less women there are, Beijing has a one of the widest gender gap compared to the rest of the country. Of course when women are a scarcity local men don't want them to go with foreign men, it's understandable.

What's not understandable however is attacking foreigners who are dating local women, if instead Chinese men would trim their hair, take daily showers and learn how to dress, maybe local women would favor them above foreigners.

So, personally I prefer to live in southern China, not only for the weather but also because people are on the average much more friendly and less racially biased.
Mark Lesson Studied