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Reflections (3)

One thing when we look out the window from the high speed trains is the ubiquitous cranes from the top of unfinished 30+ stories of buildings sprouting like bamboo shots when we approach any city in China. I remember the same feeling 3 years ago when I visited China after reading about the ghost cities from the Western presses. Yet now all those ghost cities are teeming with people and the constructions of buildings, highways, subways, and rail tracks remain unabated. NYC with her skyscrapers is dwarfed by all those megacities or even provincial ones. Another thing I notice is the electric transmission lines crisscross any landscape interspersed with towers for mobile communications. The efficiency which China moves her people, be that be in airports, train stations, or subways astonish me. I knew about the smart phones used for payments in everyday transactions, but with trains schedule to move in the same tracks every 10-15 minutes, any deviation from schedule will be disastrous. It does required AI to route the trains accurately, and people disciplined enough to not cause delays unnecessarily, and that’s when we traveled not on the busy season of summer or national holidays.
Another thing I noticed is the new trees and older trees planted alongside any highway and train tracks. Xi’s slogan that “Green mountains and clean waters are the gold and silver treasures” are becoming the realities in China. China plans to plant trees about the size of Ireland this year alone. Even in the headwaters of Yellow River and loess plateau, new fruit trees generate incomes for the poor areas, as we bought fruits by baskets very cheaply. Since the revision to 1 child policy, we saw young children age under 3 with their parents ride in trains with their healthy and cue demeanor contrast with the pictures we saw of refugees in Middle East or Africa. Internal tourism is booming in China. It fills us with optimism and hope for the future.

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