I still have my Deng Xiao Ping commemorative pocket watch celebrating the 50th anniversary. I remember I bought it in Beijing the day my lovely wife and I found out she was going to have our first child. A blessing she used later that evening to get out of a drinking contest she’d accidentally started by saying “gan bei“, literally “dry glass” or bottoms up, to one of our friends without understanding the full reciprocal connotations of the toast. The ensuing row over violated etiquette, amped up by her joyous announcement, meant that the celebratory burden fell on me. Fell rather hard as I remember. Nothing like being lost in Beijing at 3 AM, hammered on tequila and baijiu in the dead of winter. Again, guys, appreciate you leaving me like that. No hard feelings, really. 10 years later and I’ve almost moved on. Thankfully, my wizened little guardian angel in the Mao hat helped me flag a cab – the coal smoke was so bad, visibility was maybe 100 ft, not ideal cab-flagging conditions – and so my daughter has her daddy around today to tell her to stay in school and avoid such ludicrous situations.
There will be many, many, many, many articles written about this historic event. The transformation of the People’s Republic over the last 30 years has been particularly extraordinary; indeed it is unprecedented in human history. 30 years ago the GDP of the PRC ranked it as one of the poorest countries in the world. In the last 30 years, the PRC has industrialized and urbanized with astonishing speed. Roughly the population of South America moved from the countryside into brand new cities all over the country. Shenzhen, our corporate hometown, has grown from a fishing village to a city of 14 million souls.
I am not a panda-hugger, nor am I am dragon-slayer. People are people the world over. I became fascinated with Asia in general and China in particular nearly 20 years ago, because such change and dynamism is…fascinating. How could you not be amazed by so many people rousing themselves after centuries of enforced slumber?
Napoleon wrote, “when China wakes up the world will tremble”. I have certainly seen and felt the earth move during my lifetime, and was lucky enough to guess early on which way the ground was shifting. Mike Bellamy and I went to Asia at the same time; he to Japan, I went to Singapore. But from those separate vantage points we both saw the same thing and acted on that new-found knowledge.
China is here to stay. It is not anti-American or pro-Chinese to say so. PassageMaker’s goal is to help foreign companies successfully do business in China. Let us show you how we can make your project a success.