B Raman, who toured Sichuan province last month, records his impressions of his visit to China
The Chinese leadership and people continue to prove foreign sceptics wrong and race ahead to the future without getting stuck in the past. Despite periodic negative reports in sections of the Western media and negative forecasts in the reports of some Western think-tanks, governmental efficiency has improved, there is a greater professional competence all around -- whether in the State or private sector -- than in the past, and there is a greater confidence in their destiny as the coming equal of the US -- whether in the economic or military sphere or in the field of science and technology or even sports.
Their successful execution of the Three Gorges dam project and the railway line to Lhasa are but two examples of the way they have proved the sceptics wrong. Unnoticed by the outside world, they are on their way to proving those foreign sceptics wrong, who had, in the 1990s, predicted widespread unrest in Western China because of the widened economic gap with coastal China, which was initially given priority for economic development when China opened up post-1978. This gap has now been sought to be removed through a crash development programme. The results are already there for everyone to see. Western China is not yet as developed as coastal China, but it is already far ahead of the most developed regions of India.
Image: The massive Three Gorges Dam project was completed before schedule. Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images<
Also read: The golden line to Lhasa