The ongoing saga of the blind lawyer, Chinese travelers, and Shenzhen’s new airport

29 Nov

This is a fantastic piece about the saga of blind lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng… after he arrived in the US having escaped house arrest in China. I admire him and his work, as well as what he had to endure during his imprisonment, and it’s terribly unfortunate that having reached the US, all this new controversy would unfold.

No, I don’t think he’s China’s Jack Kerouac, but this Chinese guy sure has guts in traveling. Chinese are now traveling more widely and bravely, and not in tour groups only intent on shopping. This guy and his girlfriend decided they’d made enough money and spent the past year traveling the world, a desire not alien to some people in the West. What’s a little different is this guy is 37 and is a Chinese millionaire, which makes him a little older and well-off than a lot of longterm travelers. It is encouraging that even with so much wealth, the guy decided to stop working and start traveling, though in a practical sense, that’s a very logical thing to do. It’s even more encouraging given the huge value placed on materialism and consumption in mainland Chinese society.

Check out Shenzhen’s new airport terminal, which has a fantastic ceiling, not to mention an interesting outer shell.

It hasn’t been a good week for China, with its announcement of an air-defense zone over the disputed Diaoyutai islands being met with shock, anger, criticism, and of course, the US flying two B-52s over it. China seems to have overplayed its hand, especially considering its rocky relations with Japan lately, but I’m not sure China wants conflict, though its latest move was sending its own planes into the zone. It mustn’t be ignored that Japan has a longstanding air defense zone that partially overlaps China’s new one and isn’t that far from China’s coast.

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