China the Beautiful

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  • Author: Raymond Zhou;
  • Language: English
  • Format: Papercover
  • Page: 175
  • Publication Date: 01/2009
  • ISBN: 9787508513386
  • Publisher: China Intercontinental Press
  • Sample Pages: PDF Download
Raymond Zhou started writing in California's Silicon Valley in the early days of the Internet boom. His focus has shifted from high tech and e-commerce, to business, movies, arts and culture in general, and from social issues to travel and humor.
This book is Raymond Zhou's paean to his motherland, written after returning home following a long absence, which provided him with new perspectives and new opportunities to travel to places he had previously only read about. It is anything but a guidebook for roughly half of the country's provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
Zhou takes a multifaceted approach to each place he writes about. His real interest is always in ordinary people - their joys, concerns and anxieties, the breath-taking beauty of the sceneries, and the quandaries between economic growth and ecological preservation.
The book is a kaleidoscopic view of a country on the cusp of change - a country always yearning for something new, yet constantly reminded of its past glory; a country caught between the need for improving living standards for all and the hard decisions of what has to be given up in the process; a country where everything is happening so fast it's a blur and capturing it with words and images amount to sculpting in time.
Besides portraying everyday lives on the ground and up close, Zhou makes one exception by examining the Great Wall from an international space station. With the help of an astronaut, he busted, once and for all, the urban myth about the Wall as the only man-made structure visible from outer space.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Zhu Ling
Part One: Close to Home
Beijing Municipality
Looking at the Great Wall from up high —— very high
Wannabe extras dream of stardom
Guangdong Province
Out of Guangzhou, Africa trade booms
Zhejiang Province
Hollywood in central Zhejiang? Give it a break!
Jiangsu Province
Yixing: Pour to rich
Master Xu's feats of Clay
Collecting scraps of history, one certificate at a time
Suzhou: Paradise intact
Fujian Province
Heavenly Mountain

Part Two: Remote Places
Gansu Province
Surprise, the Yellow River is blue
Droughts root of poverty in Dongxiang
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Letters from Xinjiang
Turpan: Where all paths crossed
Qinghai Province
Letters from Qinghai
Tibet Autonomous Region
Dawa Dondop: Local son also rises
Letters from Lhasa

Part Three: Beautiful Mountainsand Beautiful Waters
Yunnan Province
Monkey business
Double exposures reveal clearer picture
Guizhou Province
'Emerald' a possible heritage site
Emerald masterpieces
Sichuan Province
Letters from Chengdu
Chongqing Municipality
Celluloid Chongging
In Chongqing, it's all in the cards

Part Four: Rising from the Ashes
Hunan Province
The sleepy town of Phoenix
Hunan television: The one to watch
Milk of love is magic potion for children in need
Liaoning Province
Rebirth of the rust belt
Then and now: Sea change in landscape
Hebei Province
30 years on, memories of Tangshan quake still shake them...
Rescuers tell stories of a shattered city
Henan Province
Henan stigma highlights regional bias
Tudging down a blessed coal mine
Justice, Bao style, dispensed with a smile
A French apprentice at Shaolin Temple
Henan Museum: An archeological paradise
Eostern Zhengzhou: a glimpse into the future
Back to the future for revival of past glory
Photo Credits
Sample Pages Preview
Sample pages of China the Beautiful (ISBN:9787508513386)

Sample pages of China the Beautiful (ISBN:9787508513386)

Before I left for the US in 1986, I lived in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou-three of China's biggest metropolises-and visited the terra-cotta army in Xi' an, and the karst mountains and Li River in Guilin.
That was all I saw of China.
Fast forward 16 years, I was back in China. I have had many opportunities to visit many more cities and provinces. It took a long absence and an outsider's perspective to appreciate what I did not know before or what I took for granted. This was a country I thought I knew but never learned to embrace.
The Chinese have a saying: Read ten thousand volumes and travel ten thousand miles. Having grown up in the latter half of the Cultural Revolution, I missed much of the reading, but I'm determined to make up for it with as much travel as possible. In a few short years, I have covered three quarters of the country's provinces, autonomous regions and central governmentled municipalities.
Every place is a revelation.
I' ve learned to leave behind any presumptions associated with a place. The biggest surprise has always been whenever I approach a location with a blank mind, ready to absorb the sights and sounds afresh and hear locals tell their stories.
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