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China's Transformative Innovations

Popularity 2Viewed 2566 times 2017-7-7 15:45 |System category:Life

I first came to China on August 25, 2011. I've carefully watched China transform over the past 6 years. It has been amazing to see the innovation in technology and business.

With the opening up in the late 1970s due to the vision and courage of Deng Xiaoping, China turned a corner toward what it is today. 

 I was recently in the thriving metropolis of Shanghai. After arriving there and finding my way to my hotel, I checked in just before midnight. I was exhausted and barely able to stand as I was getting my room. All I could think about was a quick shower and a soft bed.

I got into my room on the 27th floor of the Wyndham Bund Hotel and as soon as I dropped my door key card into the slot, the drapes of my room automatically opened. It startled me a bit, but soon, I was about to be rewarded for my long day of traveling. When the drapes fully opened, there before me was the magnificent Yangpu Bridge. I was in the perfect room with the most amazing view I've ever seen in a hotel that I've stayed in.

The Yangpu Bridge was finished in 1993 at a cost of $259 million. Nearly 1.8 billion RMB. Today, if this amazing project was undertaken, it would cost almost a half billion dollars. It filled my entire window, wall to wall and floor to ceiling  and was more beautiful than any work of art that could ever be hung on a wall. 

I knew nothing about it before that magnificent introduction in my hotel room. Later, I read the history of the bridge. The first person to cross that bridge at its opening was none other than, Deng Xiaoping. It was at that moment, he would later say, that he knew that, as he stated, 'we Chinese can accomplish anything.'

I'd always heard of the American dream. When I came to China, I learned of the Chinese dream. The door swung wide at the 'opening up' of China during that time.

It was also during this time that the minds of young Chinese, like Jack Ma, were opening widely and looking towards China's future. I'm not going to make this blog about one person, however, if I did, it would be about Jack Ma. Wow! What an amazing man.

Jack Ma grew up in China as any young boy would. From all that I've read about him, there was nothing especially distinct or special about him except for his own desire to transform himself. He traveled by bicycle for 40 minutes every morning to give free tours to English speaking tourists in order to perfect his English. He not only accomplished his own transformation with his vision and fortitude, but, in doing so, he has transformed this country.

I've always admired the vision and foresight of Bill Gates. However, I am even more amazed at the innovation, foresight, wisdom and pure genius of Chinese giants like Jack Ma, Wang Jianlin, Pony Ma, Robin Li and so many other great business and science minds in China.

Jack Ma had the foresight to see how to merge the abilities of China with the West. He has affected the world with his talent and efforts.

Ma Huateng (Pony Ma), the founder of Tencent, has created the biggest and most amazing social networking platform in the world today. First, he did it with QQ. Then later with WeChat (Weixin). WeChat has proved to be the most innovative social media platform in number of users and usability on the planet.

Wang Jianlin and his Wanda Group Companies, has built an empire of premium shopping malls around China and the world. He now owns one of America's largest cinema chains, AMC. While America's malls are becoming a thing of the past, Wanda is thriving in China. 

Then there is Li Ranhong, (Robin Li) who built Baidu, China's premier search engine, into the most used and easily most proficient search engine tool in the world.

Then there is Tu Youyou, Nobel Laureate, who as a Chinese pharmaceutical chemist and educator, is best known for discovering artenminsinin (also known as qinghaosu) and dihydroartenisinin, used to treat malaria, and which has saved millions of lives. 

As an English educator and teacher in China, I'm wondering about the young Chinese students who are sitting in front of me day after day. What will they do? Who will they one day be? I can only imagine as I try to help them and give them all of the encouragement and knowledge that I can. I feel that when I do this, I am having a small part in changing the world.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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