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Why are transliterations from Chinese not spelled as they would be in English?

For example, why is "Q" used to represent the "ch" and why is "X" used to represent the "sh" sound instead of just writing "ch" and "sh?" It's not as if the Chinese associate these sounds with specific letters from the Latin alphabet because they write in characters and these sounds are just part of lots of different characters. Let me know if my question is not clear, but I've been curious about this for a long time now and I'd love an answer. Thanks!