Last Day in Hangzhou; Off to Xi’ an

It has been a few days since I have posted; so there is some catching up to do.   While I have had internet access at each stop, my ability to access our WordPress blog publishing software has been spotty.   Tonight we are in Xi ‘an and before dinner I was able to upload some pictures, but as I type this in Word for later paste into the editor, I am not able to log in to WordPress.

Yesterday was our last full day in Hangzhou.   Bob Rogow, Chang-Yang Lin and I spent it visiting Zhejiang University of Technology and Aida Pharma, a pharmaceutical company run by an MBA grad of EKU, Xiaoyong Jin.   His late father was a ZUT alum and he also visited the institution with us.

ZUT is sincerely interested in building an exchange partnership with EKU.  If it comes to pass, and I must admit it is attractive, that would give us a partnership with two Chinese technical universities, the other being Liaoning University of Technology.  LUT is a 30,000 student institution and feels good about its top tier ranking of 75 out of the PRC’s more than 2,000 four year universities.   They seem genuinely student centered and sponsor annually a widely recognized international conference on small business.  They have indicated an interest in EKU becoming involved in the conference in a significant way.  Below you see Dean Rogow, the blog author, ZUT President Libin Zhang, and Chang-Yang Lin.

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Our afternoon at Aida Pharma with Xiaoyong Jin was fascinating.  We not only learned a lot about his enterprises (they are manifold) but got a solid introduction to the intricacies of Chinese real estate matters.  The government owns the land, but individuals and businesses can own the right to use it.   Bob Rogow and I had time for a walk before dinner and passed one of at least five KFCs within a few block radius of our hotel.

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That evening, the Jins hosted our group at an excellent dinner at a restaurant on the banks of West Lake.  The highlight of the evening for Joanne was the recognition of her birthday and the sharing of a beautiful and delicious cake.   The graciousness of our hosts and the conviviality of the evening will make her Chinese birthday a fond memory. 

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Thursday we took a morning flight to Xi’ an, a historic city of 8 million persons in central China.  The country’s capitol before Nanking and Beijing, it is the home of the famous terra cotta soldiers and horses.   We will see them tomorrow along with the Large Goose Pagoda, a jade factory and other points of interest before taking an evening flight to Beijing, our last stop before flying home on Monday.  Naturally, if there is a Large Goose Pagoda there must be a Small Goose Pagoda.   Here it is.

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More than 600 years ago, when Xi’ an was the capitol city, a large wall was built around the city center as a protection against attack.   It’s four-sided perimeter measures eight miles and it is very wide on top, as the photo below shows.   The haze in the photograph is air pollution, which was quite bad this afternoon.   The other photo is of one of a large number of performers who were preparing to perform at a ceremony welcoming some VIP tourists (certainly not us) just outside the wall.

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Our evening ended with dinner and a show.   Xi’ an is in the heart of the winter wheat growing region of China and is consequently famous for its dumplings and noodles.   Dinner was a dumpling banquet (it was wonderful) and the show (see below) was a tribute to the Tang Dynasty which ruled the country from Xi’ an for 300 years.

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