China: Not as Advertised in the West
China: Not as Advertised by Western Politicians and News Media
Shenzhen City Skyline - Photo from a postcard
I've been watching the popular media lately and continue to be amazed at how China is portrayed, especially in North America. "Hard-line Communists" is a very popular phrase with reporters. So is the use of the word "Oppressive". On my first ever trip to China a few years ago I recall being astounded at what I actually found after arriving.
One country, two systems is the mantra. There's a communist government to be sure but it's not like people have to line up to buy bread or nylons! One country, two systems allows the growth of the purest form of capitalist venture the world has ever witnessed. Originally coined by Deng Xiaoping back in the early 80's, one country, two systems envisioned China as a place where the common good is provided by the state, but the Capitalism that is most often associated with freedom is also allowed to grow. Put another way the state provides its citizenry with the basics.....health care, education, transportation infrastructure, even sports stadiums. Then within that framework of the basics needed for safe living the people go out and get jobs! Or, if they prefer start out on a business venture of their own! One country, two systems, and it's working. Of course China isnt yet perfect at providing everything the people must have, but neither are we.
Cities are especially impressive right now.......three thousand year old villages like Shanghai are being transformed. Shenzhen, a mere rice paddy 25 years ago, now thrives with over 9 million people. These are modern cities with all the comforts of western living that have ever been invented mixed with all of the ancient comforts the Chinese are famous for. Discos, posh hotels, elegant nightclubs, show clubs. The space theme park in Guangdong is out of this world, and the replica of the Eiffel Tower.....c'est magnifique! Everywhere I went I saw impressive and viewpoint altering evidence of 1st world living.....Not the images I was prepared to see from watching the six o'clock news at home.
Did I mention the 2008 Olympics? They're in Beijing this year. How about Expo 2010? Shanghai. Plan to attend that one because it'll be a memory of a lifetime. You'll fly into the beautiful and spectacular new terminal at the Pudong Airport, then climb aboard a 300 mile per hour Magnetic levitation train for the ride to your hotel. That's right, Maglev train. Been on one of those lately in the United States or Canada? Or anywhere for that matter? I don't think so, because we just don't have such technology in service yet. I describe these things for you because when I think back to the days before my first trip to China I recall being very apprehensive. Only after arriving and seeing it firsthand could I see China was being grossly underestimated, and was truly a must see part of the world for everyone.
Comfortable and safe with a million and one things to see and do. If you enjoy shopping theres no other place on earth that compares to the choices youll have here. This is the workshop of the world, so everything you can buy at home is found here, but without the cost associated with middlemen, brokers, importers, wholesalers and shipping. Just need some new footwear to replenish your shoe closet? The cost of the trip will be less than the replacement of every pair you have right now. Or maybe youre looking for something a little more upscale, like, say a jade Buddha.just check the gift shop of your hotel..Itll probably have one.
For me, China did not come as advertised.it far exceeded all of my expectations and Ive been telling that to everyone I meet.
3/5/2010 3:32:56 PM