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November 22, 2013
Creative Living
China: A Country on the Move
by Dian Thomas

I first went to China in 1995. It was a country that was on the move. There were some cars, but more people were riding bikes. It was so interesting to watch what was on the back of the bikes.

I saw everything from a dozen cages of ducks to TVs and small refrigerators, all on the backs of people who were riding on bicycles. I was totally amused and entertained by the variety and amount of bikes on the road. My next trip was in 2007, and I have been back more than a dozen times since. I watch this country change trip after trip.

China is a country that is working hard to grow economically. I have said that we in America would not have the standard of living that we have without China, and China would not have the standard of living without producing products for the world.

China has the largest population of any country in the world. It is a country of great contrast. On one hand you will find the some of the richest people in the world, but you will also find some of the poorest.

Before 1976, China was a classical communist country. Nobody was really rich and none really poor. After Mao died, the next leader Hua Guofeng, could see that the people were not prospering and growing. He told the people that some of them would have to get rich before the rest, and he encouraged them to learn from the western world.

The door to the west and to capitalism was opened, and now I would say that they are more of a capitalist country than the USA.

While I have been here this time, one of my good friends had just bought a small hotel. A farmer’s wife came to meet my group and told us about her life. She lives in Moon Hill near Guilin, China. She did not know English and had never gone to school.

She met a lady near her home who asked her to show her the area. She was so good that her friend suggested she become a guide. Her friend made her a sign in English saying she was a tour guide. Her little tour business was born.

Slowly she began to learn words in English. With a lot of hard work and determination she became fluent in English and has a good tourist business. She has raised three successful children who have all gone to college and graduated and become professionals.

The new generation has caught the vision of Hua Guofeng and is well on its way to success. Many of the older generation wish they could go back to the Mao period where everything was provided for them. It was not as stressful for them.

Dian takes tours around the world. Come travel with her next year to China, Peru, South Africa, and even down the Rhine River. If you would like to know more, send her an email at To share her books for holiday gifts, go to

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