Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Look, See and Learn Field Trip in China.

This article is published under "Letter from China" column, Sunday Chronicle, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
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By Tony Jack Manab in Beijing

NI HAO (hello) and summer greetings from Beijing, the capital of China to you for reading this article.

As a matter of opportunity in continuing to write on this page, I am grateful to Mathew Yakai once again in brining my second addition to you.

In this course, your momentum of reading and interest in my article has been my absolute focus and so assumed it would be interesting to share my experience on the one week (22nd to 27th June) field trip to Shanghai and Jiangsu Provinces in China.

I have also decided before putting it into black and white that the focus of this article should be fair on both my social and work related experiences that transpired during the field trip.

Allow me to begin by asserting that China’s courtesy is one of the best and of world class and Iam sure most of my colleagues at the Training Centre in Beijing would echo the same when asked.

On my part, I offer compliments to the Chinese Government and its Embassy in Port Moresby as well as the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council in Port Moresby for such a wonderful courtesy during our field trip.

It was all beyond description for a young and junior officer to deserve such treatments for the first time in life.

We flew out of Beijing on Monday 22nd for Shanghai city, which is the second largest and fastest developing city in China.

Shanghai city is located at the front of Yangtze Delta, bordering on Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province in the west and washed by the east sea in the east of Hangzhou Bay in the South and near the Yangtze River pouring into the East Seas.

In this regard, Shanghai is assumed in the central location of China’s arcing north to south coastline with the largest port in China.

We checked in at Holiday Inn Express which is right in the heart of the city. Later took some time for sightseeing at one of the famous walking streets known as the Nanjing Road and spent the rest of the evening at one of the China’s most famous Acrobatic Shows in the city.

The city is more humid in temperature of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius higher than in Beijing which is around 34 now.

The people are as friendly as in Beijing and social activities occupy most of the time of the non-working class and the youths.

Actually, the PNG students in China told me that Chinese are very kind and readily available to help any strangers.

On industrial ratings, Shanghai city is also known for its commercial and industrial status in China.

On Tuesday 23rd, we attended a seminar with officials from Shanghai Investment Promotional Centre which is one of the leading institutions in China's economy.

We checked out from Holiday Inn Express for Suzhou city on Wednesday the 24th June and checked in at Bamboo Grove Hotel and then visited Suzhou Museum and Zhuozheng Garden in the afternoon.

Suzhou Museum is one of the oldest Museums in China and the artifacts were believed to have existed since the 13th and 14th Centuries.

Zhuozheng Garden is a huge and beautiful ancient garden that was once a home of a royal family during one of the 13th and 14th Century ancient dynasty. It covers about 20 hectors in land proportion and remains as one of the notorious tourist sites of the city.

Thursday 25th June was all devoted to sightseeing at one of the city’s most famous Tianmuhu Lake located east by 2 hours drive out of the city.

We were guided and led by several tour guides and was absolutely amazing as the lake is so beautiful and looks like an island paradise on earth.

We visited different sites by cruise ship and everything you could think of is on this lake island.

Entertainment, sky diving, rafting, surfing, boating, and artificial waterfalls and forests, gardens, non – occupied traditional villages, bamboo bridges, bars, resorts and just to name the few.

We left for Changzhou the same afternoon and checked in at Legend Holiday Inn in Changzhou city.

Changzhou city is situated in the heart of Yangtze River Delta and halfway between Shanghai and Nanjing and Boarders Suzhou and Wuxi, enjoying a unique geographical location and convenient transportation condition.

On Friday 26th we were scheduled for 2 hours seminar with the officials from Changzhou Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The theme of the seminar was Changzhou’s Investment Environment particularly on Foreign Investments in Changzhou, Business and living Environment and the city’s development status in China.

Saturday 27th marked the end of our field trip so we spent the morning for sightseeing, shopping in the city and boarded the plane for Beijing in the afternoon.

There is one question I tend to asked myself; “why would the Government of China after sponsoring for our training then decides to sponsor for such a field trip that seem like a leisure time for participants?”

I provide a simple answer. I have realized that it is a lesson of, “Look, See and Learn a Lesson from China”.

The broader picture of the field trip was to learn from China’s development experiences to reach our aspirations for the same.

Therefore, the field trip though seemed like a free time luxury blended well with everything that was said from the seminar.

For me personally, the field trip was basically an excursion for the participants to see and experience the outdoor realities of what we are actually learning from the seminar on the main activities.

The overall field trip was a lesson that enlightened the participants of the seminar on the significance of China’s “opening up foreign trade policy and reforms” that contributes to China’s rapid and outstanding development success amid the explicit effects of global financial crisis.

I am saying this as it is evident through the luxurious cities, living standards, infrastructural development, booming industries and ever inter-city competition for economic growth.

From cities to cities, the familiar message I continuously picked up during any government agencies organized meetings and seminars were inter-city industrial and economic competition.

I tend to see that the aspiration for economic growth and industrialization between cities in China is one of the reasons behind China hitting rapid development amid the global financial crisis in the 21st Century.

We visited certain Government enterprises and agencies known for their leading roles in China's rapid industrialization progress.

The enterprises we visited are the powerhouse for China to list herself among most rapidly developing countries in the world and currently one of the rising economic giants in South East Asian region.

One of the government owned enterprises we visited was the Changlin Company Limited which has its operation based in Changzhou city.

It is the world’s famous modern manufacturing giant construction marchnery and also has its operational branch in Papua New Guinea.

It is such a huge company and a processing plant that took us almost two hours to view its entire compartment.

The arranged seminars with the officials from Shangai Investment promotional Centre and Suzhou Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade were focused on Shangai’s and Suzhou’s investment environment and development.

I also applied the “look, see and learn principle” in my personal learning experience both in the seminar and during the field trip.

I adapted this principle from my current boss who says, “When you don’t know anything, the principle to know something is look, see and learn”.

This ends my experience for the field trip to the aforementioned provinces.
Our next and last field trip is scheduled for July 20 – 25 to Sichuan Province and likewise. Shall keep you informed.

Sichuan is an interesting place because of the recent devastating earthquake that killed millions and left millions of Chinese homeless recently.

But next Sunday, I will bring to you another interesting article about my experience in Beijing. This country is so amazing, and I am amazed so will you if you can read my Beijing experience next week.

Zai Jian (bye) for now!

Note: Tony works with International Relations & Aid Oversight Unit, Dept of PM and NEC. He is currently in Beijing for a two months seminar on Economic Administration for Developing Countries. Tony will tell us more on his experience next Sunday. For comments, email m_yakai@hotmail.com or call 15116988560. This column tells you the experience of Papua New Guineans in China.

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