The Middle Kingdom is going through a period of rapid transformation, which is riveting and bewildering to the outside world; its rise has brought benefits to some and caused concerns for others. Inside the country, China's awakening is having similar impacts on its own people. The complexity of the nation makes China an exciting and difficult tale to tell. As a building block of this communist country, the writer of this blog tells first-hand stories of how life is lived in this vibrant part of the world.
Nearly a half a century ago in Vietnam, a photograph taken on a Saigon street shocked people around the world. At the center of the photo was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk sitting uptight in a lotus position; his entire body was engulfed by flames. This image reportedly prompted then President John F. Kennedy to reconsider his Vietnam policy.
China’s car industry has been booming and the country has become the biggest car market in the world. The old bicycle nation is on its way to become a nation on wheels. As income level grows and vehicle prices drop, Chinese consumers have become over zealous about owning a car. They have the money and a wide range of cars to choose from, all they need is a driver’s license.
Feng Jianmei, a 23-year-old frail woman was lying in hospital bed in a shabby hospital in western China’s Shaanxi province, her black long hair covering her face. Lying next to her was the body of her unborn baby that was aborted. The fetus was bloody and showed signs of struggling before her short life was ended by ruthless officials using a poisonous injection.
Every morning after one hour commute in Beijing, I come to Zhong Guancun, a place the Chinese call China’s Silicon Valley. Some Internet companies and countless computer products stores are located here. The streets in morning rush hour are packed with cars, buses and people going to work.