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An Indian in China

September 22, 2007

Managing Editor Sheela Bhatt was on an 11-day visit to the People's Republic of China. Bhatt, who was part of the 17-member Indian Women's Press Corps that went to China, visited Shanghai and Beijing and also took the breathtaking 4,000-km train journey from Beijing to Lhasa.

In a series starting with her first impressions, she will give you a ringside view of the China that she saw, and what it means for India.

Before visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Lhasa my idea of China was that of a country without democracy and leaders without hearts.

The Chinese had cheap and poor labour exploited by the owners of manufacturing units set up mainly for exports, I thought.

Their managers were robots and not as creative as our Gurucharn Das or Jaithirth Rao, I thought.

The Chinese professionals follow discipline on job and the Chinese, always, obey their government. How terrible, I thought.

The Chinese have a historical dislike for Japanese and they are doubtful of whatever America does in and around the world, I thought.

Then, in just over a week's time, China went about dismantling all my preconceived notions and smashing my theories.

I saw how China is developing, with what space and with what kind of resolve. Talking to some 40 to 50 Chinese brains and hearts was an experience worth sharing.

Before I begin, I must confess that ten days in China may not have brought me closer to the real China but it still holds useful lessons for urban Indians like me. So here goes.

Young China is all set to conquer the world

Photographs: Sheela Bhatt
Also read: Journey to the Middle Kingdom


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