I just returned from my first travels in Asia, a 10 – day business trip to the People’s Republic of China. While my two-city sojourn was far from an exhaustive exploration of the ancient nation, I obviously have some first impressions of those cities that paint my image of the country as a whole.
But more importantly, this trip profoundly altered, affirmed and added context to views I hold for my own country, the United States of America. These impressions were partially formed by my other travels outside the United States, in Europe, Canada and the Caribbean as well, but this journey confirmed some beliefs while completely obliterating others. And of course, since my tendency is to think too much and pontificate profusely, I thought I’d share these impressions with anyone who cares to take a moment and read them.
This is largely a message for my friends and fellow citizens of the United States of America, arrogantly known the world over as “Americans” even though the regions of North, South and Central America contain 35 nations and 10 non-sovereign territories, within all of which reside “Americans”. We Americans from the United States are taught from an early age that we are the center of the world, and that everything that happens on this planet revolves around US, and our political, cultural and financial interests.
Well, forget what you heard. China is the center of the planet. [Read more…]