Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Review of The End of The Chinese Dream

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 13, 2013

I just got a book called The End of the Chinese Dream: Wy the Chinese Fear the Future, and was reading the comments. The first comment, by Harold, was so ignorant that I wanted to jump in. As you can see, however, others have done a great job of showing Harold’s foolishness, so I did not have to pipe up. The first comment is by Harold, which is followed by comments of normal people and the last is by some Chinese guy.

9 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 starsNot the China I Saw, August 14, 2012
Harold Kellman “HRichK”

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future (Hardcover)
I have been going to China since 2006 – the same year that Gerald Lemos was a visiting professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University. I usually hire a Chinese national who speaks Mandarin to show me around China for 14 to 17 days and see four cities. I have been to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou among other places in China. I make a point to see
families and how they spend their time on Sunday’s. Typically, there is a grandfather, son or daughter and grandchildren flying kites together. Uniformly, the families are happy and optimistic
about the future. Most of the young Chinese I meet (age 21 to 34) tell me that the 21st century is “China’s Century” or “Asia’s Century”. In 2006 they all wanted to be Bill Gates. In 2010 they wanted to be Steve Jobs (before his health issues were reported). I am going back to China this fall and will see Xi’an and Chongqing. The “frustration, anger, sadness and fearfulness” Gerald Lemos describes
sounds more like the I-5, I-10 and route 99 communities I saw in California since 2009. These cities included Stockton and San Bernardino.

Hal Kellman

Ravenmaster says:

I haven’t read the book, but if you have only been to Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and the other tourist haunts, then you really haven’t seen the real China. A population twice the size of the United States still lives in rural areas and suffers mightily. In addition, tens of millions in the cities you mention work as disenfranchised laborers with little in the way of a social net because they don’t have a Hukou for those cities. If you visited the US and only went to Washington D.C., Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago and Disneyland, that would hardly represent the real US. If you want to see the real China, go to the countryside and see how 700,000,000 million peasants live, or to the factories outside Shenzhen where peasants have been shipped in and work for a few hundred dollars a month, then you’ll “get it”. I have lived in China for sixteen years, and can assure you that you don’t have a clue about the real China…..

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