Foreign experts applaud China's new goals

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-10-30


Foreign experts applaud China's new goals

Tom Watkins,

former Michigan schools superintendent, is a business and education consultant in the United States and China.

Note: Watkins did not respond to the first question

2. The progress China has made in three decades is remarkable. In the nearly 30 years I have been traveling to China there is no question that the lives of average Chinese citizens have improved remarkably. Seeing China then and now is like watching a movie that started in black and white and then suddenly switched to technicolor with surround sound - it is that remarkable and dramatic.

In many ways, China is more advanced than the United States, with modern rail stations and bullet trains, smooth roads, robust electric and other noncombustion engines, and a drive toward sustainable energy and technology that permeates the most rural areas of the country. China has surpassed the US in infrastructure investment.

The Beijing - Shanghai High-Speed Railway, 1,318 kilometers each way, connects two major economic zones. The fast train from Shanghai to Beijing - four hours gliding along in a comfortable car - is a great way to travel and see more of the countryside. Oh, by the way, it is profitable. There are many high-speed (up to 349 kilometers per hour) rail lines in China across the country and more are under development.

3. If the past 30 years are any indication, the future is very bright. When I first came to China in 1989 and stood on the Bund in Shanghai looking across the Huangpu River to Pudong, there was nothing there but farmland and a few low buildings. Today, the area is three times the size of Manhattan, with perhaps the most modern skyline in the world.

4. It is difficult to argue with success. China has lifted more people out of abject poverty than there are people in the US. Clearly, there is boldness and competence that has led China over the past 30 years. The level of pragmatism and willingness to do what is necessary to assure continued growth and development and improve the lives of the average citizen is palpable.

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