Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Unity in the USA and China

I spent last night with a couple of fellow American friends to watch the complete and full election coverage on our little 3-monitor setup here in Shenzhen. After a rather quick electoral landslide, Obama will become the next President of the USA. This almost improbable moment just years ago - in a country with a racist and problematic past, the US voted for change.

Even though I am on the other side of the world, watching what is going on through video monitors, I could still feel the great aura of the moment. I could almost feel the excitement and sheer awesomeness felt all over the US. Many friends emailed, texted and even called me talking about their excitement, where they were and what was going on. Some partied in the streets of Harlem on the 125th and some were present at his acceptance speech with 70,000 others in a Chicago park. Just a great moment.

This moment, that brought together millions of Americans created a new communal feeling of togetherness and unity that has not touched the US for such a long time.

In actuality, this moment resembles a lot of the past few years in China. Yes its true. As much as a lot of people criticize China for "autoritarian gov't" and other "non-democratic" ways, it is a place that has this collective conscienceness.

Thinking back, I remember when China was awarded the 2008 Olympic games way back in 2001. I was in China for a few days and saw the millions of people celebrating in Tiananmen Square and all over the country. I remember the Sichuan earthquake and how that brought the Chinese people together. I experienced the sheer awe-inspiring 2-week Beijing Olympics and the subsequent liftoff and the 1st space walk of the Shenzhou 7 mission. All of these events (among others) are underlying reasons why China has been able to become what it is today.

Again this feeling of community, the collective idenity and conscienceness creates a great feeling of unity. With the looming economic crisis increasing in scope, this is exactly what the US needs. Just as it united the USA after the attacks of 9/11, it will make the country resiliant and powerful again. Even though i'm over here in China, i'm proud of my country and see a bright future ahead even with the problems that will come. For a country to be able to build the A-bomb and go to the Moon, nothing is out of reach.


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