...I'd be dead today.
I just got back from a week in China, visiting our colleagues located in Beijing. This was the first visit I've made in the summer. Damn warm (90F+).
I left Beijing on June 4, the 16th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. It struck me how much China has changed since then in some ways and not enough in others.
Certainly, there are few markets that are more vibrant or that really express capitalism to the same degree that China has adopted, and people are more free to pursue their choices than ever. In those ways, I'm very excited and optimistic about the future of China and the Chinese people.
On the other hand, there has been a renewed control over the media and continues to be limitation of public discourse. While I recognize there may be a desire to slowly evolve (vs. the explosive decompression seen in the former Soviet Union), there is a growing dichotomy between what people hear in the news vs. what the know to be true via their greater access to foreigners and foreign information sources. This can only increase tension and discontent in the current government. I only hope the situation resolves itself peacefully and soon.
Anyway, the food was great, and it's always inspiring to me to meet with my friends in China; they're incredibly talented and driven. They do great work for us and will do even more over time.