More Taipei-hotel-induced nostalgia last night. This time at the Howard Plaza Hotel, where my wife and I got married over a quarter of a century ago. My memories of the ceremony and accompanying banquet are hazy, though I do recall her looking stunning as she walked through the ballroom in a gorgeous red dress. That was just one of series of dresses that she had to change into during the evening. No wonder she was so exhausted by the end of it!
I don’t remember us having any grandiose dreams for the future apart from making enough money to buy an apartment of our own and raise a family. At that time, I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue. It was only by a combination of luck and circumstance that I ended up working in the computer business, but that’s another story.
Dreams were the major topic of the reception I attended yesterday featuring a delegation of senior officials of a city of just over five million inhabitants in China’s interior. Not so much dreams, in fact, though that was the terminology they used inspired no doubt by the Chinese Dream campaign championed by President Xi Jinping, but clear plans of action for building a High Speed Train hub providing rapid links to China’s major conurbations, establishing a major university, and creating an Electric Vehicle development and manufacturing center.
Since all three projects are well underway, none of these dreams are of the pie-in-the-sky variety. Applying the lessons that were learned in the development of the coastal regions, the smaller (at least by Chinese standards) second-tier and third-tier cities in the hinterland are now on the rise and determined to make their presence felt in domestic and global markets.
Judging by the quality of the officials leading them, backed up by huge infrastructure investments and a clear set of strategic priorities, these cities have every chance of achieving their objectives. Like all great dreams, the Chinese Dream is no fantasy; its roots are firmly grounded in practical reality.