By Craig Dietrich
In modern times as Chinese came into increasing contact with the outside world, they used several terms to refer to foreigners. These words reflect core cultural ideas, political climate, and degrees of familiarity.
One cardinal Chinese cultural distinction is nei-wai (inner-outer) or zhong-wai (central-peripheral). Nei-wai, for example, is used to talk about within-outside the family or within-outside a profession. Zhong-wai also means Chinese-foreign. China is Zhong-guo (Central Country), wai-guo is “foreign country.” A waiguoren (outside person) is a foreigner. More