Introduction to China

Great Wall of ChinaThrough wars and famines, as a whole, China has come out on top with a thriving economy and tourist industry. The development seen in China has only really been grasped in the last thirty years after the country was opened up to foreign travellers and forced into foreign trade by the world superpowers.

China’s splendid sights have captured travellers’ eyes and seen tourism increasing rapidly. From the Great Wall of China which has been in some parts completely rebuilt, never failing to impress visitors as it winds over hills into the distance, to the impressive collection of unveiled Terracotta Warriors, China’s attractions pull tourists from every corner of the world. Since its rise into a world superpower of sorts, people have been intrigued by China’s history, culture and current developments. While some come to explore the historical and cultural relics such as the Forbidden City and its labyrinth of passages, others choose to explore the modern China, full of skyscrapers, bright lights and endless entertainment.

This surge of development has been largely a consequence of the successful 2008 Olympics. Although there was a crash in the market directly following, China has continued to boom, and in more ways than one. China’s population has increased from approximately 400million to about 1.3billion within a century generating a explosion of consumerism. Now when you visit places like Shanghai you are inundated with huge advertising screens reminiscent of Times Square but on a much larger scale attached to towering skyscrapers and shiny malls.

The downside to this vast expansion and development has been the increases of people venturing into the major cities from rural areas in search for a ‘better life’; infrastructure has been stretched while unemployment has risen. Unfortunately the environmental effect of such development has seen China rapidly shoot up to become the world’s number one polluter. While some initiatives have been set up to counter the growing pollution, the groggy air found in many cities is testament to how bad it has become.

As for China’s politics, the communist party still holds its power which seeps into everyday life with little that can be influenced by individuals. Even down to your tour guide, politics has made its mark as the guides are trained to support the views of China associated with what the Party wants to promote when giving information on history and culture.

Politics aside, China has developed into a contrasting country fostering its history while developing entrepreneurial metropolitan cities. Travellers will be able to explore both worlds of the old and new while reaping in the fantastic Chinese culture.

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