OTLEY AND DISTRICT MEN’S FORUM

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  China Revealed
John Morgan

29 Nov 2012

It could have been a Shakespearean morning starting with a “Comedy of Errors” but John Morgan partially over came the problems with what was probably a Chinese made Lap Top and proceeded to give us an illustrated talk about China before the Lap Top finally gave up.  

This failure did not prevent him from delivering a first class account of his visit to China last spring and combined with his subsequent research it certainly revealed China to us.  

We learnt of the Chairman Mau legacy, the famine caused by encouraging farmers to move to better paid jobs in the towns and cities and the adoption of the greeting, instead of “Good Day” or “Good Morning”, of “Have you eaten today”?

 

Corruption is endemic and has been since the building of the Great Wall in 210 BC when people were let through if they paid the guards. And the slow path to democracy has been hindered by the Communists’ reluctance to lose their control. Tiananmen Sq in 1989 was an example of their disinclination.

 Now very much an industrial nation the Chinese are hardworking and produce a vast variety of products for the world market. Beijing has the third largest airport in the world with the largest terminal. It also has the largest museum. But this emphasis on production and the use of land for that purpose has meant that only 15% of land is left for agriculture.

 Unfortunately time was limited and John ended his talk by quickly telling us of the rail link between Shanghai and Beijing where trains can run up to 300km/hr using a system developed by Eric Laithwaite in Manchester.


 Our next meeting, the last in 2012, is on Thursday 13th December at Otley Methodist Church at 10-00am when Canon Roger Dedman will tell us about “The Rise of the Post Office”.

Due to its proximity to Christmas Mince Pies will be available.

 

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