Freedom in the United States is more rebellious, focuses on individual desires, and is based on human weaknesses, while China's freedom is more philosophical, focuses on social connections and is based on human decency, a Chinese reporter has said recently.
"Both Chinese and Americans value freedom, but both have their own definition of what it means," noted Xu Ruyi from China.org.cn in an interview with PR Newswire, a distributor of press releases headquartered in New York City.
"We cannot, in the guise of 'universal values,' judge something against our own standards, regardless of others' intrinsic features," she stressed.
To elaborate on the issue, Xu gave three perspectives according to her own research.
"First, freedom or liberty in America originated from struggles and battles against colonialism and slavery for example," she said.
She took U.S. protests against face mask wearing as an example, saying that those involved are actually protesting against interference in individual freedom by the government.
Secondly, Americans put individual freedom and rights first. They do help each other, they do work hard; but individuals come first, she noted, adding that it's simply not possible to talk about freedom without considering the group a person belongs to in China.
"If I choose not to wear a face mask during the pandemic, I will alarm the people around me, and if I get infected, I may infect others and add to the medical burden," she said. "In this case, I would rather sacrifice some of my own freedom to protect the greater freedom of others."
Last but not least, Americans believe humans are born sinners while Chinese believe in natural kindness, and that's why Americans are skeptical of the intentions and motives of others, Xu pointed out.
"When there is a requirement for face masks, an American will probably question first whether it represents an intrusion of his or her freedom, while the first thing that comes to a Chinese mind is more likely to be: This must be a scientific way to protect me," she explained.