Travelling in China

I'm in China on an International Reporting Project Gatekeeper Editors trip which is focusing on economic, environmental and health issues.

This is not my normal political beat, but these issues are crucial to China's economic development, and are increasingly important to the world as China's breathtaking pace of development creates huge global warming issues.

Having seen Beijing when it was a dumpy low rise city whose most exciting shopping was the Friendship Store for people with foreign currency, it is overwhelming to wander the glitzy malls and high end stores, and take in the endless new high rises, whose architecture is not very inspiring but often a bit wierd.

But the Forbidden City in Tiananmen Square, once home to China's emporers, is a constant reminder that China has always wrestled with the issue of how an authoritarian central government can control the varied population of its huge land mass.

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