Nice view above of Shenzhen, from one of its many mountain parks. Everything you see here did not exist in 1980. Shenzhen is a super place to live and work, and a great lens to observe China’s history breaking evolution – past, present and future.
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Dr. Godfree Roberts started seeing China’s development in 1967, something very few Westerners can claim, and since then, he has been in China many times and many different areas. This last weekend he visited “my town”, Shenzhen, a new city of 14 million people, created from the ground up, which is an appropriate bookend to his first visit 50 years ago.
So, I asked Godfree,
How would you tie it all together, the path China has been taking since liberation in 1949 and continues to do so into the 21st century, with Shenzhen as your last signpost?
This short interview is revealing and informative. In the meantime, Dr. Roberts is wrapping up his upcoming book, China 2020 – Everything You Know Is Wrong, which is expected to hit the markets next year.
Note: Before today, Godfree has been guest a record seven times on my radio show, and there is a reason why. Every time he comes on is like a breath of fresh air and a big, contented smile. Herewith is the list. Take the time to listen to them all. You will be glad you did:
- Shanghai’s public school revolution is burying the West – Godfree Roberts on China Rising Radio Sinoland 160507 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/05/07/shanghais-public-school-revolution-is-burying-the-west-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160507/
- The Myth Of Western vs Chinese Education Superiority-Godfree Roberts On China Rising Radio Sinoland 160714 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/07/14/the-myth-of-western-vs-chinese-education-superiority-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160714/
- China’s G20 Summit will decide humanity’s fate. Godfree Roberts on China Rising Radio Sinoland 160904 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/09/04/chinas-g-20-summit-will-decide-humanitys-fate-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160904/
- G20 Summit: Our Lives Are Changing Faster Than We Think- Godfree Roberts on China Rising Radio Sinoland 160925 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/09/25/g20-summit-our-lives-are-changing-faster-than-we-think-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland/
- No joke: your life is changing faster than you think – thanks to China http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/09/25/no-joke-your-life-is-changing-faster-than-you-think-thanks-to-china/
- Xi v Trump- the Real Story of Their Florida Meeting, with Godfree Roberts, China Rising Radio Sinoland 170409 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/04/09/xi-v-trump-the-real-story-of-their-florida-meeting-with-godfree-roberts-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170409/
- China’s dream is changing your world while the West declines – Godfree Roberts on China Rising Radio Sinoland 170516 http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/16/chinas-dream-is-changing-your-world-while-the-west-declines-godfree-roberts-on-cr-radio-sinoland/
Shenzhen’s eye-catching Municipal Building, which includes the city’s fabulous main museum. China constructs many concept buildings and this one represents an ancient mandarin’s hat. This photo was taken from Lotus Mountain Park, where a large statue of Deng Xiaoping is placed, a revered figure in Shenzhen’s modern history. Keep pinching yourself. This was rural farmland less than two generations ago.
When we lived in China, 1990-1997, going to Hong Kong was like an exotic, consumer fantasy land, being so different from the Mainland at that time. Back then, Shenzhen was still a helter-skelter construction site and a hard-around-the-edges provincial backwater. No longer. Now, Hongkongers look enviously north, as Shenzhen has leapfrogged them, to become what I call the San Jose, California of China. See that spoon-shaped highway that terminates right above the “H” in Hong Kong? My wife and I live just north of there.
China’s leaders (whom I wryly call “Baba Beijing”) are the best in the world for delivering on promises made to their citizens. Their mantra is a simple one, proclaimed by Mao Zedong in 1949: “Serve the People”. Another reason is their tremendous vision, mapping out plans five, 10, 20, even 50 years into the future. Pictured above is a futuristic look at what Baba Beijing envisions Shenzhen will look like, heading into the 22nd century. Can’t wait to see it unfold in real time.
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