China: Giant Contradictions

China blipped up twice in a week. I stumbled upon Steward Brand’s summary of a speech by long-time China watcher Orville Schell, China: Giant Contradictions.

These days you cannot think usefully about China and its potential futures without holding in your mind two utterly contradictory views of what is happening there. On the one hand, a robust and awesomely growing China; on the other hand a brittle China, parts of it truly hellish.

And I received a poignant email which illustrates the personal impact of change in China.

This is from a new worker at a client’s China facility, who’d just been given login details for the helpdesk. I’ve left the spelling and grammar intact, though added spaces between words for clarity.

Hello,
I am very very very glad to join in here. Thank you very much.
I don’t know how to express my mood. Perhaps, I hav’t express a right
way, and I know this letter would cost your time to read, I have decided to
send this to you.
I am a local of countryside girl. I daren’t imagine one day I can speak to
any foreigner, I just a common girl, very common, but today, I can not only
speak to serval foreigner but also work with they, with many wonderfull
person they are far from here.
I will learn you language, with all I can to.
Thank you for you listen.
see you.

She was removed from the system the next day. I don’t know what happened. I, too, daren’t imagine.

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  1. Richard’s avatar

    For me, at least, one of your best posts.

    Reply

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