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We got on the train to Beijing at 7am and are going through the outskirts of Gobi Desert. It is half past three and as you can imagine steaming hot and dusty in the cabin. Fortunately this ride only takes 31 hours. I’m already looking forward to the stop at the Mongolian-Chinese border where you can experience the bogie-changes of the wagons.

During that process and the passport check we weren’t allowed to leave the train. In total the stop at the border and on both sides lasts about 4 hours and we were only allowed to get off the train for about half an hour to be buy some daily necessities (beer). As I can only repeat myself this ride was the worst one in terms of our body conditions and the unbearable heat in the wagons. Some French friends of us even fainted during the train ride and had to undergo medical observation afterwards. The happier we were as we eventually arrived in Beijing.

北京 (Beijing)

We got out of train withdrew Chinese money, bought SIM-cards for our mobiles and walked to the LEO courtyard hostel which is located close to Qian Men (southwards of Tian’An Men Square) right in the middle of Beijing. It’s a great place to experience the characteristics of the survived still lively Hutongs and dive into Chinese culture and habits. We enjoyed our stay in Beijing although it was my third time there and thus the sights and places we visited were mostly redundant to me. Nevertheless I always accompanied the guys apart from one day when I revisited my colleagues at the office I worked for last summer. In the meantime they went to the summer palace by themselves.

上海 (Shanghai)

Now, after a week in the capital city of China Martin and me ended up on the train to Shanghai. The three of us had to separate, as there were complications to get three tickets for the same train. Philip didn’t mind though to stay two more nights in Beijing as he has more time in Shanghai than Martin anyways. I’m currently facing the challenge of finding a room for one month in Shanghai. Yesterday and on the train so far I was mainly on the phone digging out old connections to colleagues and friends in SH and crying for help basically.

I eventually found a place to stay though in Jing’An, a fairly central district. It takes me about an hour by public transportation to get to Fudan nevertheless. This Monday my student life here took off again, so future entries might be limited 😉 The basically exiting part of my journey is over anyways (not that SH isn’t exiting). I’m focusing on taking my chinese to the next level during the next three weeks even though having a tax law exam waiting for me as soon as I arrive back to Vienna.

Photos: EXPO 2010

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Brief Introduction

As globalization these days is thriving and therefore markets converging it is vital to understand the development of different involved countries from the present perspective as well as the retrospective. That is why fruitful future progresses can possibly only be foreseen through the knowledge of former times. As this topic is too extensive the elaboration will start with a brief historical review of the Era of Reconstruction mainly influenced by Deng Xiaoping beginning in 1976.

Not much attention will be paid to the Mao Zedong Era including the Great Leap Forward which is regarded as the first try to transform China mainland from a primary agrarian economy into a modern and industrialized country. Rather the Era of Reconstruction under Deng Xiaoping and its partial economical opening-up process towards the rest of the World and especially towards the United States in the beginning will be taken into consideration.

As China currently is on the brink of transformation from an elongated workbench as an emerging country to an advanced country it is essential to foresee the further development of the potential China of tomorrow by applying the knowledge from the last decades. The investigation of former economical achievements and upcoming challenges of China’s economy will be consulted to find a proper conclusion for the recent development.

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Download the whole Paper:

Case for Understanding China Today & Foreseeing China Tomorrow

(2009 | copyright reserved)

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Finally I found a silent moment to post the promised weekend update – so listen up! As I already told the School of Economics and Management spared no expenses to organize a trip for us newcomers to the picturesque over 400 years old water village, called Zhu Jia Jiao which is located outside of Shanghai. This village used to be important for trade, as the man-made canals are connecting into rivers and therefore enhanced the shipping of goods. On Saturday Felix, Thomas and I went to a Teppan Yaki place which is always great. Afterwards we met some French Tongji Students at the Club “Dela Coast” on The Bund Nr.1.

Sunday was mainly for recovering from partying, unfortunately Felix and me got a little bit sick and Felix couldn’t even attend the first courses of the new semester because of a fever. I somehow made my way to the courses (beginning with Accounting & Finance, followed by Chinese Economy: Reform & Development) today even though not feeling that well. Although the Professors in both topics are really proficient I could raise further interest for the Chinese Economy course as it is tought by a former Harvard-lector who’s very funny and always searching the contact to the students. In the afternoon the first Chinese lesson took place where most of the students seemed to be slightly overstrained. I hope that this will change somehow as the prerequisite for the basic course is no Chinese-knowledge at all and the prerequisite for the intermediate course seems to require a really fluent level of Chinese and a clear understanding nearly based on everyday conversations. I will of course update you about the courses to come and wish you all the best in the meantime!

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…of a student and socializer. On Monday 1st September I checked out of my beloved Tian Ci Service Apartment in the heart of Shanghai for the sake of a student and campus life at Tongji University. My update only comes that late because I had limited Internet access in the International Students Dormitory of the university till yesterday when a guy from China Telecom relieved me from my WWW absence by installing a modem in my room. Fortunately I managed to operate my blog again via proxy server. Let’s go back to the beginning because this week happened to be a really eventful one.

After checking out on Monday I made my way to the Maglev (engl. magnetic levitation) train station in order to pick up my colleague Felix also from Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration. This hyper modern train connects the Pudong Airport with the more central part of Shanghai and at his peak reaches a velocity of almost 430 km/h. Besides me Felix has also been nominated from the home university to undergo this exchange term at Tongji and through my pick-up at the airport I wanted to help him to make his start in Shanghai easier. Unfortunately due to some delay in Vienna his luggage didn’t make it to the connection flight in Düsseldorf. Nevertheless we took a cab after going back by Maglev to reach the Tongji University at Siping Campus, which serves as the biggest and main part of this institution in Shanghai. After asking us through to get to the International Students Dormitory we happened to get a room next to each other. The first appearance of the dormitory wasn’t the best, but after cleaning up and making ourselves more comfortable it’s kind of bearable here. Moreover the distance to the seminar buildings are really a big advantage in comparison to flats outside of the campus. The rest of the week had some sightseeing in store for us three (Felix, Thomas – also at the same floor of the dorm, and me). I showed them a little bit of Shanghai as I meanwhile know the centre a little bit and a part of the most important MUST SEE’s.

Here are some impressions of the university campus which’s entrance is currently under construction, unfortunately:

On Tuesday during the registration we came in touch with the people at School of Economics and Management (SEM) for the first time. They gave us the schedule for this first preparation week and also helpful information for the begin of the semester, which is today, actually 😉 On Wednesday I showed the Xintiandi to the newcomers and they had their first nice Chinese dinner. Following that once again Bar Rouge was on schedule where they could get a great impression of the skyline of the New Bund of Shanghai. On Thursday the placement exam for the Chinese language courses took place and Felix and I fortunately advanced to the “intermediate” level, which is the highest level offered for Chinese courses. On Friday the SEM organized a trip to Zhu Jia Jiao (Watertown). But this is worth a separate blog entry going with the obligatory weekend party-update. Coming up soon…

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