This paper describes two experiments that first explore the potential role of Chinese character writing in character visual recognition, and then examine different evaluative responses towards the quality of pinyin and character handwriting. Taken together, the results suggest that drawing Chinese characters privileges them in memory in a way that facilitates their subsequent visual recognition. This is true even when the congruency of the recognition response and other potential confounds are controlled for. In terms of the writing quality, the reader’s empathy effect can be found for handwritten characters but not pinyin, since the handwritten characters tended to be rated more highly than pinyin. The experience of an evaluator also has an impact on the evaluation of writing quality. The pedagogical implications for Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) are highlighted at the end of the paper, in particular those relating to curriculum design and teacher training.