Gordon Chang, the China skeptic famed for his apocalyptic pronouncements on the People’s Republic, begins his latest essay, “China’s Unstoppable Billion”, with the following anecdote:
Lydia, my wife, and I have just landed in Singapore, having endured a flight from Hong Kong. In the seats near us there is a tour group from Shenzhen, very noisy and rowdy. Sitting in the row next to us is a boy of about 10. Apparently, it’s his first time on a plane. His mom and a sister are next to him, the dad a couple rows up.
As we disembark, Lydia asks the boy how long he’s staying in Singapore. He says a week. Lydia then mentions how lucky he is to spend so much time there and that he will get to see a lot. “Yeah, but I have to follow the tour group,” the youngster replies. “I have no freedom.”
Lydia turns to the mother and remarks, “He’s so young, and he is already talking about freedom.” The mother replies, “They all do.”
The rest of the essay is lengthy, but thought-provoking, and well worth your time. Read it here.