Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Only Some Things are Shared

Here is a view I enjoyed on an early evening this past weekend from near the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center:

It's hard not to be impressed by the architectural wonders and ponder what they imply about China's economic strength.  However, scenes such as this one are worlds away from the lives of most people in China, and they can be symbols of the relatively extreme concentration of China's new wealth.  For many in China, the photos I previously shared of Shanghai's Xiaonanmen are far closer to their daily lives.

The above photo can also be a symbol for how the costs and benefits of China's development can be spread very differently.  Even if one isn't reaping much profit from China's economic growth, you still breathe the pollution from its factories, power plants, and vehicles.  I can't say for sure whether the haze is a result of clouds or pollution but Shanghai certainly has more than enough of the latter -- possibly an unavoidable price for China's rapid economic development.

Two questions to ponder:  Which would be easier to change -- the amount of pollution or the imbalance of wealth?  Which would most people in China prefer to be changed?

1 comment:

  1. My daughter will be in Shanghai in a couple of months. Looks very interesting. Hope she takes lots of photos. The pollution issue will be solved eventually but it is difficult during rapid expansion. W.C.C.