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A fascination with Beijing that started over thirty years ago

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2019-02-28 16:37
Friendship Hotel Haidian 1987 [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

In 1987, China was the final stage of a lengthy rail journey from Scotland that would terminate in Hong Kong. Approaching the border from Mongolia, I was feeling tired after the travelling and was indeed starting to look forward in some ways to arriving in Hong Kong and heading back home. China would be my third country to discover and as we headed eventually south towards Beijing I realized how little I knew about the country. It did not feature widely within our educational system and unlike today very little was mentioned in everyday news. It was only eight years after the policies of 'Reform and Opening Up' had been introduced but the country had not then developed into a modern economy. Most changes would happen over the following years. What would it be like, I wondered, what would I discover during my relatively short stay?

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