Writing from Shanghai this week and how different this city is since I first came here almost twenty years ago. Unrecognisable really with the high rise buildings replacing the mostly single story ones and the elevated roadways jammed with cars that took over from the rivers of bicycles that were everywhere.
Shopping is a mainstream event for locals and visitors alike with the increasing globalisation of the look, feel and names of the shops. While we have got used to the idea that much of what we buy is made in China many of the global producers now have a presence here and have been building that for years.
VW for instance started with a smallish business making taxis and now there are a lot of different VW models on the road.
Today we went to a French supermarket, then lunched in a traditional Chinese cafe but everything was on offer depending where you looked.
What is evident from the outside looking in is the rapid increase in sophistication, understanding of the global pressures and a better handle on the recent (last fifty years) past.
Even more than this on a policy level while the carbon deniers smugly say that they want to see China sign up to Kyoto before they agree the Chinese are putting the rubber on the road and are building gigantic capacity of solar and wind without missing a beat.
In some ways it is an advantage of a command economy while the so-called democracies are tied up in the false debate about the evident, demonstrable and obvious facts of what is a global crisis. Short-termism, political opportunism and the idea of a dollar today versus energy and global security for tomorrow should be a no brainer but we are faced with no-brains in top jobs.