After a 2:00am early morning rise on Monday June 13, 2016 I finally arrived in Beijing, China on Tuesday June 14, 2016 at roughly 5:00pm local time. I was not really sure what I expected to find upon arrival, but I clearly understood that this experience would be very different from anything that I have experienced in the past.
During my research for the In-Country Awareness Analysis I learned that China is a communist state governed by strict rule. Having that knowledge combined with no personal history with communism may have caused me to expect to find a high level of military and police presence on public streets. Without question there is an obvious police presence and the officers present themselves in a very stern and disciplined manner, but nothing that I would describe as alarming. I have observed a low level of military personnel, but nothing over the top.
The one thing that has completely caught me by surprise is the number of automobiles, mopeds, scooters, and bicycles that share the same space on the roadways. There seems to be little respect for the right of way as everyone tends to assume that they have it, including pedestrians. much to my surprise I have not witnessed any accidents yet, but I will not be shocked to see one in the very near future.
Also, through my research I became educated on the population of China (1.3B). However, I did not really understand the magnitude of that number until I witnessed the volume of people everywhere I went. It was then that I realized having 1.3B people here facilitates large volumes of people everywhere you go and at all times.
I am looking forward to this experience and sharing the details with the readers of this blog. Over the next two days my cohort will be visiting Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and the Great Wall. There is no doubt that I will have lots of interesting things to blog about.
Please share your thoughts and feedback you your first thoughts of China
Daryl A. Renolds
The SoS Communicator