a journal of a researcher

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beijing 2008

I just came back from Beijing after attending ICWS08. Traveling always provides me good excitement and shocking. The experiences also make me thinking.

This time, I saw China makes progresses again. After the Olympic Game, Beijing still improved its hardware. The water cube and the bird nest are beautiful, though they were still closed for public when we were there. A lot of other stadiums are built in Universities. These universities got them for free. The climate seems better. We had several rains when we were there. For a city lack of water, it is a good weather.

It happened to be the night that the conference organization committee dinned in a Hunan restaurant when the Shenzhou 7 was launched, which sent 3 Taikongnaut to the orbit for a spacewalk. The waitresses opened the two big screens in the room rented by us. It was a surprise to see the waitresses do it by themselves. It is said during the Olympic Games, the gests even toasted for the medals and sang the national anthems. People in China, especially the lower working class, are very patriotic currently.

The difference between rich and poor continues to be bigger. For some people, money comes very easy. For some people, they never give any rights and chances since they were born. For example, in Beijing, all the taxi drivers should be native Beijingers. The Beijing natives get this privilege because the government wants Beijing to be stable and prosper. I took a taxi from Shou-qi – nation owned company, from the airport to the downtown. I chatted with the driver about how they were organized to serve the Olympic Games for 50 days. On the same day, I hauled another taxi to go to dinner with my classmates. This time, it is an illegal one. The owner of this car is from Henan Province. He could not officially drive a taxi in Beijing. This guy can only earn 2000-3000 Yuan per month, hardly to live in Beijing. Before he came to Beijing in 2005, he worked very hard in construction sites and factories (daily to 12:00AM) for several years. Because that kind of jobs exhausted him, he bought a car and started this business. But this job is not protected at all. If he was caught, the fine is 10,000 Y for one time. He said he happened to be a farmer and could not find a proper job to earn more. It is a problem to a large population of this country. He has average intelligence. But he has not the equal chances from the day he was born.

The chances go to the group of people like my classmates. They all live very well in Beijing – with a child, a car (or several), an (or multiple) apartment. One is a successful businessman – not appear like this when he was young. He is in energy industry. He traveled around the world for negotiating contracts. He has a Benz Series 8 car, and several others. My classmates all see the other part of China: the poor part. They agree that China still has a long way to go to improve the poor part of the country.

But still, China is now on the world stage. Nobody can neglect the power of China anymore. The world still needs to help China to understand the common value of human rights and the modern way to rule its people with laws and morals. Before China recognizes human rights, could the world recognize China.