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Lee Siu Hin - Journey to My Home: China - Introduction

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Lee Siu Hin - Journey to My Home China: Introduction January 15, 2003 After three days in Shenzhen, China I arrived to Shanghai yesterday. With the January 22
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2004
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      Lee Siu Hin - Journey to My Home
      China: Introduction
      January 15, 2003

      After three days in Shenzhen, China I arrived to Shanghai yesterday.

      With the January 22 Luna New Year (A.K.A. Chinese New Year) coming, the
      government estimates there'll be approximate 1.9 billion travelers for the holiday
      traffic from now until end of the month, most of them are migrant workers and
      college students returning to their homes for the holiday.

      Thanks to my family connections, I am able to setup several meetings with
      some foreign factories, factory workers and government officials in China.

      I was visit and work in China since 1970's, witnessed and involved at the
      China in transformation from Cultural revolution to Dang Xiao Ping's reform era,
      the Tiananmen incident of 1989, and the rapid economic growth of 90's.
      Although I had been absent from China for past ten years, I still maintain direct
      connection with many people there, however, I didn't expect it had experienced
      deep social and political changes in past five years alone.

      My country seems familiar but also had become very strange to me, the change
      in China had over exceed my expectations, I feel like Bill Murray at the movie
      "Lost in Translation"

      This time marks me many of my "first time" in China:
      - First time to use Internet in China
      - First time to use cell phone in China
      - First time to drive at China's freeways
      - First time to read China's tabloid newspapers
      - First time to see dozen foreign TV channels at China's TV
      - First time to see MacDonald's, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, KFC, 7-11
      are everywhere in China
      - First time to use track mill in China (remember the scene from "Lost in
      Translation"?)

      However, more the change, more still remain the same. Social and politically,
      there's many similarity between China and U.S.-just happened in slightly
      different way; however, there's some fundamental difference between China and
      America--some qualities we are very proud of, but Americans from left to right,
      would not like it.

      Similarly, something American activists, from left to right, hopes China will
      it have, but we against it-or at least it does not exits. One key problem,
      Americans from left to right, looking for something based on their arrogance or
      fantasy, based on their political motivations, it does not reflects the
      political reality in China. Just what I saw in Iraq half years ago, Americans from
      military officials to peace activists, are looking for something does not exist
      in Iraq, and missing the bigger picture-the heart and soul of people on Iraq.


      Since Opium War of the 1840, China had been fighting for the country's
      soverenty, and strong economy. Everyone will tells me they want to see China will be
      strong, prosperous and free from any western power control. There's no doubt
      Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Mao Tse Tung had liberate China from
      imperialism, feudalism and colonialism, and create modern industry, nationalism and
      new society. Despite many people in China have strong criticism about the
      government and the CCP, most people are strong supporters of CCP and Chinese
      nationalism (at least no one else can replace them), while many people express they
      wish China can be as free and democratic as Europe and U.S. but will strongly
      oppose any foreign powers to intervene country's affairs-it can similar to say
      while in U.S. Democratic and Republicans could fight everyday, but no one
      will suggest European Union to invade U.S. to resolve our problems. Any
      foreigners come to China, if they don't understand to deal with this, will end up no
      where.

      "Look what happened in former Soviet Union, and what America had done to
      Iraq." many Chinese told me.

      The modernization of China is not only to improve the living standards of
      every Chinese, but also a nationalistic movements to build a strong and
      prosperous country independent from western imperialist powers. Just like Peter the
      Great in Russia three hundred years ago to build the Saint Petersburg, every
      Chinese are visioning by the year 2050, China will be fully industrialized nation
      (after 200 years from Opium War). Any foreign powers who want to slow down and
      even derail China 's economy growths; will be consider conspiracies (in many
      way, it also true).

      This morning, I met with a branch customer manager from one of the major
      Chinese state-owned bank in Shanghai, he told me despite the SARAS outbreak last
      year (2003), China still have over 8% growth rate (over twice then U.S.), and
      he believes for the 2004 the growths rate will be even more robust.

      "We can create our strong economy because of cheap labor in China, that is
      our advantages, made in China means the labor costs could be one-tenth, even
      twentieth then made in the U.S." He believes if U.S. is believes in the rule of
      free trade and fair trade, "like Wal-Mart, they should return some of the
      profits back to Chinese workers, not just keep them all in U.S." He acknowledges
      the export-oriented factories in China, owned by Taiwanese and Hong Kong firms
      are the worse, "the factory is clean and OK, but workers need to work long hour
      and less pay," he says, "American-run factories are generally better."

      The high growth rate, created mainly by strongly domestic retail sales in
      China, will help China in high economic growth for the next several years,
      "within next 5 to 6 years, our economy will surpass Japan, and labor conditions will
      be getting better. By the year 2010, we will finally transform to
      industrialized economy. Within 20 years, we can beat U.S. and they will downgrade to
      developing nations" he says.

      More Stories about China, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai will follows…


      Lee Siu Hin
      Pudong District, Shanghai


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