It's my fourth day here in Beijing and all I can see is a city trying to transforming itself. And fast. Its because of the Summer Olympics in August 2008. The streets are clean and the government is planting trees, flowers and all sorts of greens around the city. The stadiums, by the looks of it, are almost done. Yeah, the Olympics are transforming the city, physically. I'm certain, the coming of thousands of people from all over the world because of the Olympics are going to transform China's soul as well--how it sees itself, how it sees the world, and how it will perform its role in the international scene.
The cranes, the construction cranes, are all around the city! The city's skies are full of it, reminding each visitor that this is a city in a hurry. In a hurry to grow, to join the rest of the "developed world," to arrive at the world stage. And it seems to be succeeding. I don't see slums. It seems that the State has succeeded in providing shelters to its people. Its certainly an authoritarian state but its delivering the goods: progress, meaning high economic growth, higher standards of leaving, jobs. It works because deep in the Chinese soul is a yearning for stability. And stability they got.
We already met some interesting people here: business consultants, innovators, engineers, and they all share the optimism for China's future. Interesting place this is.