American talking head Chris Matthews (star of Hardball with Chris Matthews) recently visited China and realized—wait for it—that China’s cities are really big, Chinese “communism” is anything but, and my god, China bares little resemblance to crumbling Iron-Curtain Eastern Europe. Revelations.
Matthews published his nuanced, expert write-up on China on the blog for his Hardball TV show, entitled, “The 10 days in China that shook me.” After reading it, I want to shake him too. The whole piece is on his site, but I’ll pick out a few of the good bits:
Here in New York, what we proudly call the “Big Apple,” there are eight million people. In China there are eight cities as big as New York: Guangzhou, a city I had never heard of, has 13 million; Beijing, the capital: 18 million; Shanghai: 23 million.
Never heard of Guangzhou? That should have been a sign to stop writing right there.
I get the idea that the Chinese consumer likes getting their hamburgers from McDonald’s, their chicken and French fries from KFC, their java from Starbucks.
One wonders what could have possibly given him that idea.
There’s a lot of confidence in their booming country. I can see why. The construction doesn’t stop on weekends. If you figure we humans reach full-size at age 18, I’d say China is about five and growing fast.
Juxtaposing China against “we humans” is probably not the best way to write about the country.
The one reaction I experienced in my 10 days in today’s China: respect. Profound respect for what this country has done with itself in such an incredibly short time-and it’s only just begun.
So much “profound respect,” in fact, that I referred to it as a 5-year-old just two paragraphs ago.