Shift to Shanghai

On October 4, 2009, in China, by Mark Norris

Shanghai is 667 miles from Beijing. We arrived by air from Beijing around noon on Friday.

The population is a staggering 20 million souls. It is divided by the Huangpu River along the banks of which rise dozens of futuristic skyscapers. Shanghai is also home to the world’s second tallest building (and the tallest in China) – the World Financial Center at 1,614.2 feet. On one side of the Huangpu stretch the 19th-century structures known as “The Bund” – buildings once home to British and “other Imperialist” (as my guide calls them) nations’ financial institutions. Today they house shops and restaurants. On the opposite bank, in what only 10 years ago was literally a rice field, rise dozens more skyscrapers.

Shanghai will be host to the World Expo in 2010, and the city is festooned with reminders of it. A businessman I meet from the United States tells me they call this city “Disneyland.”

I will be meeting with International Paper Asia. The Arkansas leadership will be meeting with Cooper Tire. They are especially concerned about recent U.S. tariffs on tires and China’s interest in reciprocating on chicken.

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