The new China
Yangshuo – Hong Kong, 23rd January 2014
As I am making my way from Yangshuo to Hong Kong for my next meetings, I am reflecting on some interesting developments taking pace in China. In the “new” China of today it seems the newly elected government is really serious in cracking down on corruption! No more lavish dinners and other “activities” funded by tax payers money. As I personally experienced last night, no longer can you invite local government officials for a “thank you” dinner in appreciation for their support (in this case for our project). It seems that local restaurants (and KTV’s for that matter) are doing bad business these days as local government officials are all avoiding being seen in public in these kind of venues for fear of being “reported”.
Point in case, last night we did have a dinner with the local authorities as the client wanted to express his gratitude for getting the final approvals for the project development and introduce the project team. However the manner in which we had the dinner was quite amusing. The local authorities party arrived to our site in the evening, in a convoy of about 4 black “unmarked” cars, and where then whisked away, after a quick show around of the site, to the contractors canteen. This was turned into a makeshift dining space with the help of some mismatched tables and wooden stools. For some reason a chicken was wandering around in the room…escaped from the kitchen?
Anyhow the ambience was not less cordial and the wines and alcohol added to the enjoyment through the usual toasting and drinking to good fortune. I guess the project is off to a good start!
Light Watch 5-9: One thing has not (yet) changed in China, the street vendors and individual entrepreneurship in finding ways to make money are still doing their thing…One of the nights after work we went to a kind of shopping street, with vendors and sellers trying to sell you their products, real or fake…As always at night there are many of them selling illuminated toys, lasers and even a LED illuminated remote controlled plane …Of course there were bright LED screens (KTV) and not to be outdone a 6D Cinema! I did not check it out, but I can only assume it is not even 3D…The illuminated mountains as backdrop certainly added to the ambience.