Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wandering China Day 1: Onwards to the SARs and Xi-An

My adventures exploring and understanding China continue with a week-plus long trip to Hong Kong and Macau (two Special Administrative Regions which demonstrate that China is in principle and execution, capable of carrying out the one country-two systems policy). This will be followed by the ancient capital of Xi-An (Chang An) in Shaanxi province, which harks back more than three millennia. One of Four Great Ancient Capitals of China (中国四大古都), Xi-An is now an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for China’s space exploration program.

It was a 7419km long journey from Melbourne to my first stop – Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is like Singapore’s long-lost twin. Both crown jewels of British imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, both territories were eventually returned back to the Chinese. In the case of Singapore, ethnic Chinese took over to make the island state the only place in the world outside of China and Taiwan with a Chinese-majority population; right after witnessing that their British masters were far from superior and invincible during the second world war. In the case of Hong Kong, Hong Kong had to be returned to the political and national entity that is China, after being ceded after the Chinese loss in the First Opium War.

Sitting in the hotel lobby as I type this I notice the incredible amount of mainland Chinese guests. They easily outstrip the Japanese and Europeans and beyond visually; aurally, they are dominant here – they can be heard everywhere! Walking into shops and most retail staff are able to switch between Cantonese for the locals and Mandarin for the mainland guests. I understand the mainlanders are much welcome here – they pay in cash and they have wads of it, creating a social change in the Hong Kongers who never felt much affinity for their mainland cousins in the past.

Will report back with more observations over the next few days!


Filed under: Back to China, Beijing Consensus, Bob's Opinion, Culture, Hong Kong

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