After just a week in China I have discovered that there is more to this country that delicious food and an abundance of bicycles. I wonder how well the west really understands the ways of our Chinese brothers and the capacity of these people to take big strides forward.
I have been travelling with a group of photographers, starting in Beijing and heading south to Hong Kong, and have enjoyed the character and friendliness of people in China immensely. They are not always modern in their thinking, but neither is the west and our so called democracies.
My impressions of China are of a place where great personal freedom is enjoyed under a strict and powerful government, where natural beauty is respected and where cultural heritage is held dear. They have a natural flare for style that is struggling to cope with the flashy toys of modern lifestyles. These are people who ride a tinky beat-up bicycle to work, but carry a mobile phone worth many times more than the bike. This is a nation that doesnt always get things right, but when they do it's done on a grand scale that cannot be ignored.
And there's a lesson here for us all to observe. Do not be fooled by the loud-mouth rhetoric of western leaders. China is a threat to the economic power of the United States, and that's what all the fuss is really about. China is moving forward and will be one of the greatest and most relevant players on the international stage. These are a people who have travelled to every corner of the globe and proven successful in every venture they elect. They are not to be ignored, and they should never be type-cast by the roles of western politics and US foreign policy.
China is not just a nation, it is a collection of people and races. The time must come soon for the insular refractiveness of 'deomocratic' nations take note and demonstrate suitable respect.
The writing is on the Great Wall.
(Original story courtesy of ewenbell.com)