china & Tibet

OF MOUNTAINS AND SKYSCRAPERS

 

UPON VISITING CHINA AND TIBET FOR TWO MONTHS ONE MIGHT SURMISE THAT EVERYTHING IS VERTICAL—AMASSING TIBET COULD NOT QUENCH THE thirst FOR VERTICALITY IN  A COUNTRY THAT ALREADY HAD MOUNTAINS—THE PLAINS HAVE GIVEN WAY TO HIGH RISES AS CHINA AGGRESSIVELY WORKS seemingly TO PROVE ITSELF largely of itself.

 

CHINA SHOULD NO LONGER BE CONSIDERED A COMMUNIST COUNTRY, VISITING IT IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT IT IS MORE CAPITALISTIC THAN ITS so-often copied counterpart, THE USA. CHINA IS AN OLIGARCHY THAT HAS THROWN MOST OF MARXIST IDEOLOGY TO THE WIND WHILE ITS RULING ELITE OPERATE UNDER A THIN COMMUNIST veil TO MAINTAIN order, THEIR PLACE, AND POWER.

 

VISITING CHINA ONE MAY FORGET THEY ARE IN A COMMUNIST STATE—THOUGH IT IS OFTEN OMNIPRESENT, particularly IN PUBLIC FACILITIES LIKE BUS AND TRAIN STATIONS AND PLAZAS WHERE THERE IS AN extraordinary command for order.

 

This order is amplified when one reaches Tibet, where one is forbidden to take pictures in much of the city because of police presence. In all sensibility it is China that declares Tibet to be occupied by its own actions. Tibet is expected to conform to maintain order. At the same time the Chinese world is overwhelming Tibet with its own population while the central government does everything it can to homogenize this land with the Han's culture.

 

Leaving politics aside, China is a fascinating, sheerly veiled, and becoming a greater force to reckon with. perhaps it is like an alligator waiting in the pond for the right time to assert itself, as described in the art of war.

 

 

Hong Kong

HSBC Building - Lord Norman Foster

Bank of China Tower - I. M. Pei

Shenzhen

Macao

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport - Studio Fuksas

Vanke Center - Steven Holl

Kunming

Dragon Gate

Dali

Shaxi

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Shangri-La

Big Buddha

Chengdu

Baisha

Panda Breeding Research Center

Local Market

Three Gorges Dam

Yangtze River

White Emperor Walled-City

Xian

Muslim Quarter

Terracotta Army

Pingyao

Zhang Bi Old Castle

Wang Family Compound

   TIBET

Landscape

Lhasa

Potala Palace

Jokhang Temple

Sera Monastery

Drepung Monastery

Kumbum Stupa

Tashilhunpo Monastery - Shigatse

Everest Base Camp

Beijing

Forbidden City

Olympic Stadiums

Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park)

Great Wall of China

Shanghai

Yu Gardens

Huangzhou

Monasteries of Zhejiang

Hermit's Temple

Last Stop

Travel is awarding for two reasons:  to experience cultures intimately and the wonderful friendships it fosters. Eric Salmon and Fan Qian were wonderful companions on this trip. Their kindness offered  Ralph Shinogle a personal insight of China with with the compliment of their good company. Certainly, the trip would not have been nearly as enjoyable without their presence. And for this much gratitude is to be noted.