If You Think China is “Coming Out”… You’re “Coming Out” of a 3 Year Coma

Monday, November 26, 2007 6:15
Posted in category The Big Picture

This morning when I opened up the Shanghai Daily on my RSS, I found an article entitled Expo as China’s ‘coming out’ party, and had a moment of inspiration as I like Stan Abrams at China Hearsay am just a bit tired of China’s perceived “coming out party” .

First, if there were going to be a coming out party, it would be the Olympics. right? After all, the Olympics provided the platform for so many others to “come out” onto the international stage.

anyway, according to the Shanghai Daily article:

It’s clear the Shanghai Expo in 2010 will be the biggest one in world history. We will look back in 40 to 50 years’ time and see it as a sign of China’s re-emergence on the world stage.

As if China’s mark on humanity were in question?

I will agree that China’s growth over the last few years, has caught a lot of people off guard. Many are still trying to figure it all out where China is on a map while others still think that it is an lawless society of farmers who are incapable of developing anything themselves..

But fortunately, the 2008 games and 2010 Expo will somehow fix all that?

Well, it won’t.

In fact, China came out a long time ago.. perhaps some would say with Deng’s famous color blind cat analogy that lead to the path of China that brings us to today.

In those 30 years, China has moved somewhere around 400 million farmers into the city, it has attracted several hundred billion USD of FDI; it has become the largest manufacturer of toys: it is the largest market for steel, cement, cranes: It is the #1 luxury market in the world; and to ensure the good times keep on rolling… it is the largest manufacturer and buyer of solar panels.

If that doesn’t convince you, I suggest doing a Google News Search of China (181,656 hits ) hits, China Business (60,905 hits), Beijing (53,083 hits), Shanghai (31,699 hits), China environment (12,322 hits), Chinese technology (10,698 hits), Chinese Language (5113 hits)….. and that is all in the last month.

What is not “out”, and what is left to “come out”, is in fact the recognition that China well deserves for progressing in the manner it has, and in the speed it has done so.

While reading the rest of the article, what I realized was not just that China was coming out, but that this was an opportunity for New Zealand to come out:

It’s about showcasing who we are, and what we have to offer.

What we want to convey is an innovative and technologically advanced nation. Usually people associate New Zealand with its natural scenery – its mountains, waters and forests. In fact, 85 percent of New Zealanders live in urban areas and we are a very well-educated, technologically innovative society that is becoming increasingly multicultural.

Wow.. until now, I had no idea. Perhaps I have heard too many sheep jokes, or watched to much Lord of the Rings, but I was unaware of New Zealand’s innovative and technological prowess.

Fortunately us, New Zealand will be coming out at the 2010 Expo!

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “If You Think China is “Coming Out”… You’re “Coming Out” of a 3 Year Coma”

  1. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    November 27th, 2007 at 2:15 am

    Actually I’ve never met anyone that has ever been to an Expo. I suspect the Shanghai 2010 event will be largely attended by local Chinese. What will be perhaps more interesting that year and which conflicts with the Shanghai Expo dates is the 76 nation strong Commonwealth Games which are being held in Delhi – second only to the Olympics in international athletics. Now that promises to be rather more fun…

  2. Rich says:

    November 27th, 2007 at 8:01 pm


    While I am sure you average cricket match lasts a year, I am not sure the Commonwealth Games will have much of an impact on Expo.

    Like you said… I have never met anyone that actually went to one before….


  3. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    November 27th, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Different crowds Rich. The Commonwealth Games don’t feature cricket. They’re the largest sports (athletics etc) event after the Olympics. 76 participating countries. Massive international sports tourism. See http://www.commonwealthgames.com. You won’t get international tourists going to the Shanghai Expo. Personally I think the Expo is a huge white elephant. The Delhi Games will be good though.

  4. Rich says:

    November 28th, 2007 at 12:18 am


    Sorry. bad joke. Cricket is the only game I know besides a few dog sledding and adventure races that can go on for an extended period of time.

    At this point, I will reserve judgment on the Expo. I can see your point, but there are already so many foreigners who have found their way to parts of Nanjing road that were unimaginably 3 years ago..