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Reflections (2)

On my first day returning to New York, NYT started to run articles about China and I have a sense of dissonance after away from U.S. for a month and away from Trump and American politics. After reading some comments I find Americans still do not get China and still live in a dream world. So I’ll start right on the question the liberals here will harp on, the question of surveillance and privacy. It’s true once we left the plane, we got to passport control, we have our pictures taken for facial recognition and electronic fingerprints taken. The photographing will continue in every hotel front desk. There are as many cameras everywhere as in Times Square though not as well concealed as in U.S.. Yet we do not feel any privacy were violated. We did not have any contact with security personnel and walked everywhere at any time. We feel complete safety in cities as well as rural areas in day time and midnight, which is impossible in U.S.. We were informed by our relatives that pickpockets in Shanghai are vanishing as the police is very efficient in arresting them. Our personal spaces were well protected from any crime until we returned to U.S. and watched TV news with a sense of vulnerability returning. I myself very much prefer Google over Baidu because their search engine is so much better with less advertising. Google and NYT probably regret their exit from China and opportunities lost with their arrogant stance of superiority. I read Washington Post on WIFI there with 2 articles criticizing China on her Xinjiang policy toward Uighurs within a week. I am sure there are people who prefer no camera on them and free from dystopia like in “Blade Runner”, but for average citizen its a bargain well worthwhile.

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