Monday, November 29, 2010

Prosperity at a Price

View from Hong Kong Airport

Unfortunately, I didn't have much of an opportunity to see much of the old China.  It seems that most of us may never have the opportunity as high rise apartments and industrial dormitories dot the skylines of the new China.  

Since Deng Xiaoping, the pace of prosperity has quickened.  It's been at a price as old structures have been torn down to give way to growth.   China has only 65 clean air days per year.   The air contamination alone will shorten the lives of the Chinese more than cigarette smoking.  The pollution was so severe that in the week I was there, I managed to only see a glimpse a partial blue sky for a half a day.  The Sunday we were in Shenzen started out as clear day but the pollution quickly moved in by the day's end.

Texting in China
The truth is that I really didn't see much that was different than I would have seen in any other major city.  Chinese young people are equally a part of the tech generation as their western counterparts.  They love fashion and music and are ready to consume all things branded, but real.  The knockoffs are for us.

Perhaps the next time I travel to China, I will find more photo opportunities then the ones I saw.  Then again, it might be already too late.

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