China – Sleepy Canton Becomes Superport Guangzhou

The city near British held Hong Kong known as Canton has grown impossibly in the last half century. Ancient Chinese shop to fully modern city within a few decades.From its bucolic ideal life of simplicity, to a world powerhouse in half a century is an amazing achievement. For Canton, changing its lovely silk grass delta of several hundred thousand people into a metropolis of ten million people living in modern towers close to their factory jobs. We see the immense scene of boxed goods awaiting their turn to be loaded. The man on the television said that a ship loaded with cargo left every few minutes to somewhere in the world and nowadays it comes from Guangzhou.

This area has been so transformed in our lifetimes. One can recall television documentaries that showed desperate Chinese trying, and dying. Starving and eager Chinese were seen trying to break through and get through the barbed wired China had erected to keep Chinese out of free Hong Kong with all its promise of civilization and freedom. The amazing fact now is that mighty new Guangzhou is double the size of massive Hong Kong with its five million residents. Hong Kong deals finances, Guangzhou produces.

While we watch television, we get to spend much of a day with a young lady from Guangzhou who works on an assembly line placing a small component inside a larger component as it moves along the conveyor belt. She later confides she hates her job, but it is five times more money than she could earn back at home on the farm. This way, she can work here at the factory for three or four months and then return home to the village way of life, which most recognize is not a place with a future for them. We see abundant green space amidst the towers and roadways.

The scene is pleasant and we realize this was all planned as a working city in which people can easily walk to work. It seems a logic so of control by the central government to us, and yet so logical in its application. Most of all in the west we require freeways because we live far from our place of work. In China now it seems that when a factory employing ten thousand people is being planned, also being planned is the housing and other elements of metropolitan living possible will be nearby, and so it happens. Canton was not, and Guangzhou is no paradise.

In some ways it may seem to have the potential to be like 1930s Germany with its soldiers and batons and Tibetan monks, but over enough time that is likely not the case. Yet after so many decades of lives of poverty, international studies show the people of China now are among the most optimistic on earth, as the people see the progress. It is a worry for the Communist Government to keep villagers happy, which is a challenge. There are thousands of protests each year all over China.Protests erupt as the soldiers escort villagers out of their home in the path of a mega dam or large factory or new city. All can see that Chinese antique shop ways are of the long near past.

How you work with a system that seems to work very well is up to you.

Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure life at Chinese Antiques

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