Chongqing Public Security Office was very busy putting the stamp
on outgoing visas last week. People were headed to South Korea,
Thailand, Australia, and Hawaii. Chinese have a little money these
days and they must be tired of watching foreigners walk by with
huge bags and cameras while they sit and make noodles, cook pork
and play mah jiong.
Midautumn Festival fell on the same night as National Day this year
and CCTV made sure we all knew it as they aired the same tired celebrations
the old recycled costumes, dances, songs, speeches that are
always shown and re-shown every holiday and every weekend. The celebrations
competed with the report that Jiang Ze Min and Pakistani President
Musharraf spoke on the telephone.
report was aired every hour on the hour until I could recite Jiang
Ze Min's statements of solidarity and coopoeration in the Central
Asia. China also provided Pakistan with 10 million RMB (about $1.3
million) as a token of appreciation and friendship. The two countries
have a lucrative trade in arms going as well as several joint-projects,
including port facilities and a railroads.
strong relationship has made China a key player and a potential
source of information in the new war. The US has even decided to
ignore Shenzhen-based Zhongxing Telecom and Huawei Technologies
work in Kabul, Iraq and Serbia. Seems the new war extends only so
far aiding and abetting are restricted for Muslims while Beijing
dismisses reports of cooperation as "working level" relationships.
China is the new indispensable nation. Businessmen here are taking
English courses in record numbers in anticipation of the foreign
businesses which are soon to arrive. As China is a new WTO member,
these businesses will have unprecedented access to Chinese markets
deep in the interior as well as along the coast. The accession process
shows that China is a special case: requirements strictly enforced
on other countries were waived and a grace period for many key industries
was established to allow China time to absorb all the incoming foreigners.
Agricultural subsidies actually increased under the WTO agreement.The
terms of the agreement, no matter what US politicians say, were
set by the Chinese.
aren't many countries out there that can build fibreoptic lines
in Kabul and Baghdad, sell fruit at really low prices, sell arms
to Pakistan and dictate terms to the US. But the New World Order
is slowly taking shape and China although politically still spouting
laughable lines about Mao Ze Dong Thought, Deng Xiao Ping Theory
and Jiang Ze Min's incomprehensible Three Representations will
be at once a strong ally and a strong rival.
people are already spending big money, talking about big money and
taking trips every chance they get. Tourist spots in the past reserved
for foreigners and tour groups are seeing increased numbers of families,
couples, documentary filmmakers, freelance photographers, travel
journalists along with the businessmen.
never thought of themselves as inferior, no matter how poor how
backward the cities of the West may be. Now this feeling is acquiring
beef in the form of affluent Chinese doing what the foreigners do.
I met an 18 year old girl who spoke perfect Englsih and very good
Italian. She'd traveled all over Europe and spent a summer in the
States. If this girl were American, I'd have been surprised but
not overly so. The fact that she's from South Chongqing, a very
poor part of town, makes her story astounding.
told my students that their children would be doing the things I
am doing now, traveling around and working in different countries,
learning different languages. But now I believe it will be much
sooner than that.
new war has changed the face of the world. Rumsfeld has finally
found his Satan and the Armies of Light and Darkness can now be
assembled. America is searching the globe and marking out enemies
and allies and neutrals. Where China stands will be of great importance.
Chinese are increasingly rich and with this wealth comes increased
confidence, optimism and nationalism.
sentiments do not make for a lapdog like Britain. They are the ingredients
of a superpower.
printable version of this article
is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column appears Tuesdays.
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