Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Learning about China

When I traveled to a tiny piece of China (Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan), and later, as I settled in Bangkok (Thailand) to start my life as an expat, I began contemplating one day traveling into the mainland of China.  Never got around to it, but it's on my bucket list.  I even have an itinerary already mapped out.  Back in the United States, prior to my journey to the Far East, I had read the Rape of Nanking, and I'm sure I watched various History Channel films in which China was mentioned - ones on Vietnam come to mind, and the Japanese push to conquer Manchuria is another.  Other than that, I knew so little about China.  So sitting in Bangkok, in my studio apartment, I started reading a bit more on China, and my fascination grew.  Below I listed the handful of books on China that I have read.  The book written by his private physician (a very thick book, btw) enthralled me!  What's interesting is that years later, during one of our presidential elections, an American I was corresponding with via e-mail, was making blanket statements about China (negative, of course), other countries and various regions, all based on "knowledge" he'd gained from the political machine in the United States.  I remember asking him to name some books he's read, where he's gathered his own information.  He couldn't name any.  That's when I wrote down my few and shared them with him. I also e-mailed this:  Believe me, there's much we don't know about them, their culture, their people, how different countries have interacted with them, how they have responded, etc..  Remember, we are all learning.  I just think many of the knee-jerk responses to China and even our policies aren't always based on a good understanding or broad understanding.  
Sailing Down the Yangtze
(title name may be slightly different)
(written by his private physician)

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