An Eye-Opening Visit to China

Helvy Shaanika AN average Namibian perceives China as a country of unfriendly, corrupt people with an expansionist mentality, with no respect for other human beings and the rule of law.

A product branded “Made in China” is closely scrutinised and business deals with Chinese business people are branded as shady, before one could explain what the deal is all about. Any physical structure is also given a life span of months before cracks are visible. Chinese men and women, who over the decades failed to be good ambassadors of their own country and failed to exhibit the true picture and demonstrate the true values of an average Chinese and China as a country, are to be blame for this uninformed perception. Yes I am saying this because my recent visit to one of the world’s emerging superpowers painted a different picture and a different understanding of what China is all about. While on a trip to China, together with other Namibian journalists I realised that country is not all about garbage, cheap counterfeit goods shipped to Namibia and other African countries. That country is not all about bosses forcing employees to carry their (bosses’} dogs and excreta in plastic bags – no. It is not all about disrespecting national leaders, including the president, or disregarding laws and bribery of police officers.

China is a beautiful country with a highly developed and sophisticated infrastructure – be it roads, buildings or the Beijing Subway. Because of its low crime rate, one does not have to worry about the way you are carrying your handbag or getting in a taxi at 10pm. In their country, Chinese are law abiding citizens and very hospitable. When it comes to technology, aaye – since I’m technologically challenged, I’ll rather not talk so much about that. All I noticed is that technology in China has taken up so much of human interaction to the extent that if you travel in a train with 200 people, at least 90 percent of the people would prefer to interact with their smartphones and not with other people. Crazy heeeee! I have actually noticed that Namibia can learn a lot from China in various sectors especially transport which is a challenge in this country

With its population of 1.3 billion, transportation in China is not a big deal. One would have expected severe traffic congestion but on the contrary the opposite is true.

Public transportation in China is well managed and currently Beijing alone has 80 000 taxis and 50 000 buses. Urban transportation plays an important role in each city with highly developed road networks and there are therefore cheap and convenient transport options such as the subways, public buses, bicycles and scooters. A country with a small population like Namibia has a lot to learn from the highly efficient Chinese. Yes, just the way we preserve our dunes and national parks and other tourist attraction sites – China also has several ones. But what was breathtaking was the Great Wall of China where the fitness level of most journos was tested to the limit.

Source : New Era