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10 Observations about China #ajustcoworldtour

November 29, 2013

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I recently traveled to China for the first time on a business venture – Ajustco, for which we are producing the world’s first adjustable barrel bolt lock.  I spent one month there with my business partner, visiting Shenzen and Ningbo, two very popular port cities and attending the international Canton Fair in Guangzhou.  While there is a lot that I can say, I boiled my observations down to these ten notes below.  This is naturally not a definitive statement about China – it’s my first time there.  Take it with a grain of salt, and if at all possible, I highly recommend taking your own trip to get first-hand experience.

  1. The people are very kind. They were friendly, welcoming and curious about us “foreigners”.
  2. People are happy and well-adjusted.  Could the one child per family approach contribute to this happiness?
  3. Living standards for most our the population is very good, and the youth very optimistic about their lives.
  4. Some people seemed naive about certain things, and only attributed positive qualities to their country.  While I believe that happens everywhere, I wondered how much of that had to do with strong state censorship of critical perspectives and mental programming through education.  I took a jog by a middle school, and observed young students in the school yard, receiving instructions over a loud speaker.  While I didn’t know what was being said, the feeling that “they are being brainwashed” came to me.  Where do we draw the line between programming and education?  Is positive programming (ie. correct lessons about healthy eating and ways of the world) just as damaging or equally deluding as negative ones?
  5. Internet speeds were not up to par with what I am used to in the US.  I wonder how much of this has to do with censorship and monitoring filters versus bandwidth and infrastructure.
  6. Non-Internet infrastructure (ie. roads, electricity, etc) is fantastic and very orderly.  People commute and move around cities harmoniously, from what we observed.  Of course, since we did not visit the two most populous cities – Beijing and Shanghai – I may revise this opinion in the future.  From what I have heard, it is similarly organized, in spite of the population.
  7. DIET.  Chinese people have a much better sense of their bodies than Americans.  They do not eat a lot of red meat or even chicken.  It’s fish, soup and vegetables.  They eat a lot of hot or warm foods.
  8. “Responsive Government” – Although the government is not democratically elected, neither is ours, and they seem to be more concerned with the well being of their citizens over corporate interests. Michael Bloomberg agrees, and said so on a recent week’s Fareed Zakaria hosted-show, GPS.
  9. People have a strong work ethic.
  10. The international business community is strong, with representatives from many regions and countries spending significant time in China. There is an air of excitement and partnership about these dealings, which we witnessed at the major trade shows and conferences.

On the whole, China is on the up and up. The combination of ancient wisdom and new world commerce makes for a wonderful place to live, travel and work. It is essentially nothing at all like what the US corporate media portrays it to be. Go see  for yourself. You may not want to come back!

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