to answer the question, the answer lies in the philosophy of one's tools.
you are correct in stating that chinese chefs love their cleavers and hey,
i love mine too!! at last count i have nine chinese cleavers, including
the incredible $205.00 shun cleaver i got for $98.00 on ebay when NO ONE
ELSE bidded on it! but there is a difference between the traditional "one
cleaver for everything" and the japanese philosophy of specific blades for
specific jobs. can you believe a special blade just for fugu?? for horse mackerel?? for unagi?? yeah, they exist. kinda like the difference between
having only a 16 oz. claw hammer and having a claw plus a ball peen plus a tack plus a ... well, you get the picture.
i love knives and love specific tools for anything and as a writer/researcher,
i find the japanese the most advanced in terms of steel production and
construction methods. no western sword ever made has ever come close to
japanese swords produced in terms of strength, durability, and balance. after all, people have found swords 400 years old with very little rust or corrosion on the blade!! this same dedication is found in their knife production.