Mark Kitto is someone I have been following for a while and he once said he was ‘committed to China‘. He has an interesting story to tell having experienced both the highs and lows, urban to rural, polluted and clear-skied bits of China. From his interviews he gives me a sense that he’s someone who has a nuanced understanding of Chinese culture and guanxi.
Here’s an interview with Kitto on Skynews Sunday Agenda back in 2009
In more recent news, Mark Kitto isn’t alone in deciding to leave China – Heading for the exits in China (International Herald Tribune)
Check out his Moganshan Lodge web presence here.
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You’ll never be Chinese
Why I’m leaving the country I loved.
by Mark Kitto
Source – Prospect Magazine, published AUGUST 8, 2012
Death and taxes. You know how the saying goes. I’d like to add a third certainty: you’ll never become Chinese, no matter how hard you try, or want to, or think you ought to. I wanted to be Chinese, once. I don’t mean I wanted to wear a silk jacket and cotton slippers, or a Mao suit and cap and dye my hair black and proclaim that blowing your nose in a handkerchief is disgusting. I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life. For the past 16 years it has been precisely that. But now I will be leaving.
I won’t be rushing back either. I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream. “But China is an economic miracle: record number of people lifted out of poverty in record time… year on year ten per cent growth… exports… imports… infrastructure… investment…saved the world during the 2008 financial crisis…” The superlatives roll on. We all know them, roughly.
Don’t you think, with all the growth and infrastructure, the material wealth, let alone saving the world like some kind of financial whizz James Bond, that China would be a happier and healthier country? At least better than the country emerging from decades of stultifying state control that I met and fell in love with in 1986 when I first came here as a student? I don’t think it is. Read the rest of this entry »