China – Opening Thoughts
China surprised me in ways more than one. Going into China, I knew that China has come a long ways since the days of Mao when people starved, just to keep up to their cultural beliefs. Yet, the sheer scale of development and the feeling of being in highly dynamic, fast growth, “everything is possible” mentality of China was overwhelming. Beijing and Shanghai are obvious examples of what China is hoping to achieve, but the development in interior areas like Suzhou and Chengdu made me stop and wonder what the Chinese juggernaut is striving to achieve.
The speaker sessions were eye-opening in a different sense. They brought to light the deeper issues, both positive and negative, at play in China. The cultural visits to Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden city and the opportunities to mingle with locals helped me understand the Chinese mentality to make the most out of least, and how it could potentially be driving the decision making process of business leaders in China. Visits to local restaurants, drinking Chinese beer, sitting in the middle of Shanghai outside a Cold Stone shop, dancing in a mostly western Chinese pub, all have left a deep impression in my mind about the whole host of issues that are at play in making China the place to be.
Frank Hawke and Donny Huang sessions
These two sessions represented the perfect yin and yang at play in China. While Frank exposed the flaws in Chinese growth model, its export-oriented economy, lack of domestic consumption, the mandate from heaven, the demographic challenges and how far China still has to go to achieve its true potential, Donny brought to light how far China has come despite the challenges, the fallacy of democratic ideology in China, the philosophies that drive Chinese decision making, the drive, passion and “everything is possible” mentality of Chinese and the ultimate mission that China is on, to regain its position as the world’s biggest economy (as it was...
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