Are you saying the Chinese government is comprised of people like your wife...or that their government is comprised of people unlike your wife.
It is hard to address this question with anything approaching a straight face.. Not that the question itself is silly (it is a dead-serious question), but because any answer is necessarily absurd. Spying is, after all, theft, and it is hard to defend or justify stealing without feeling like a politician (that is to say, without feeling dirty..).
I am not sure I know the real answer to your question, but, for what it's worth, here's my opinion.. I think that the Chinese government is comprised of people just like my wife insofar as my wife is very patriotic and has a sharp sense of honor. But the same can be said for the American government and its people, too. I don't think you can separate the Chinese from their government any more so than you can separate Americans from their's.
The Chinese government is pretty analogous to the American government in that both spy, steal secrets, etc.al.. It is the reaction that the Chinese (both the citizens and their government) have when caught (or when catching) that is different.
Take, for example, the recent case of the American FBI agent arrested for selling secrets to the Russians. The end result of this "affair" was that America threw out several Russian diplomats and Russia returned the favor by ejecting an equal number of American diplomats. There was no posturing, no threatening, and no demand for an apology from anyone. And, when I say this was the end of the affair, it was really the end. Both sides put this incident behind them even before the dust had settled. Even looking back at Los Alamos, you will see the big fuss in the US media was over the American government's inept handling of the case, and not over the actual theft of nuclear secrets.
China doesn't seem to be able to handle spying issues with the same reserve, however. Twice in recent memory (once over the Los Alamos incident and now over a wrecked spy plane), they have reacted to being caught spying and to catching us spying in, what to an American, seems a very strange manner.
In defense of the Chinese reaction to these two events, it should be said that spying is a rather dis-honorable activity and to be caught at it is shameful (Not that being caught is the cause for shame, but rather being caught with one's hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, is the cause). As for catching someone spying on you.. well, stealing from someone is just about the best way to show a lack of respect that there is.
Having said that, I think China needs to either swallow its honor or give up trying to be a Superpower. This, after all, is just the tip of the iceberg. America will continue to spy (and get caught spying) as will England, Russia, Japan, India, and any other country that feels it might have something to gain from China. China, too, will continue to spy (and get caught spying) on America, England, Russia, Japan, India, and any other country they feel might have something of benefit to China. These outbursts of slighted honor are silly at best and, at worst, dangerous for everyone involved.
China can, and probably will, force the US to apologize over this incident - The lives/freedom of our men and women are too precious to waste over this - but it will be unfortunate if this occurs. There are enough men and women in Washington with their own sense of honor that will be slighted over being force to offer an apology. No one needs, and no one wants another Cold War..
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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