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China Meets the West (7) -- Again Shanghai

Shanghai, known as the Paradise for Explorers (冒險家的樂園), has gone through many changes.

“…  in the years of 1947-50, … refugees from China rushed into Hong Kong … as we, students of Wah Yan College Kowloon, encountered them joining our classes in large numbers. The Shanghai boys spoke better English, were Catholics, and appeared generally confident.

… in May 1973, ... The streets were filled with thousands of running bicycles.

… the city planners had done an excellent job, by building a network of overpass highways to extend Shanghai outwards, like the pictorial structure of its old name, Shen 申, with a main cross surrounded by a square. It eased much of the original inner-city traffic congestions, and connected Shanghai to all the thriving neighbouring cities in the Yangtze River delta region.

… Teachers and professors were branded “rats dashing across streets” 過街老鼠 during the Cultural Revolution, to be beaten by everyone, especially pupils and cadres. Their salaries existed on paper only. Twenty years ago a full professor received $270 per month. Beginning about ten years ago, there had been no fixed salary for professors, even in the same university

… And, once again, Shanghai is a new paradise for new generations of explorers, who care not to exploit, but to share in the creation of a fair and commonly aspired future.

… Yet, the fact speaks loudly. A new approach is working effectively. It may mean that China is meeting the world on its own terms. It will be up to foreigners to learn how ‘offices’ operate in China.

… Today, the statue of Chen Yi 陳毅 stands where, one hundred years ago, a plaque stood to degrade the Chinese people. It said, ‘No Chinese and dogs allowed here’. ”

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