The Prestige Trap
I started writing this blog while on a train from Nanjing to Beijing, travelling at over 300 km/h on one of China’s new high-speed railways. It’s a packed train, and will take just over four hours to reach its destination. Seven years ago, when I first visited Beijing, the two options were to fly or sit in the passenger car of a freight train overnight. Both options would have been more than twice as expensive as the fare I paid today.
Nanjing’s new South Railway Station
It is one thing to read about the rapid development happening here, it’s another to experience it. Infrastructure, technology, and the civil landscape have made leaps so large that one cannot simply grasp it by reading an economic figure. Other things have changed less.
Earlier this week, I visited my maternal family in Nanjing. We exchanged embraces and the customary questions: have I eaten (yes), was I alright...
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