China Road

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Date Submitted: 11/16/2012 01:12 PM

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1. Executive summary:

Country Road is about a journey on China’s Mother Road, Route 312 starting from the boomtown of Shanghai to the western Chinese border with Kazakhstan taken by Rob Gifford, a National Public Radio reporter. In the book, the author describes not only signs of the booming urban economy everywhere in China but also some of the deep-rooted problems that could harm China’s growth. Key problem mentioned in the book is about government’s corruption and irresponsible local officials.

Gifford’s adventure becomes more interesting when along the way Gifford meets many people with different characters such as citizens frustrated with government corruption, older people worrying about changes in Chinese culture and morality or young people unsure and excited about the future. Besides, he also takes part in some activities with the locals. For example, he rides with members of a Shanghai jeep club, or sings karaoke with migrant workers.

Sum up, there are huge changes including economic growth, rich mixture of modern Chinese life, or closer commercial and cultural proximity between cities and rural towns in China. However, the country still has many frailties caused mainly from its government; local offices only focus on their benefits and never care about the locals. As a result, whether China will be really the next global superpower and whether it is as solid and powerful as it looks from the outside are questionable.

2. In your opinion, what is the most important contribution about China the authors have given the readers?

To begin with, the economic in China is changing remarkably. Although there are still continuous massive corruption which makes many people crushed and impossible to deal with the economic change and the huge wealth gap, China economy is booming almost everywhere. “Kunshan city is a sprawling mass of factories and development”. In Nanjing, “the streets are busy and the...