Inaccuracy is a matter of perspective. The debt I vaguely referenced was US publicly financed debt, raised by the KMT to support its efforts during WW2 and plunged into chaos when the KMT retreated to Taiwan. It's a source of "hot" contention for those interested in such things. Hopefully that will sate your incitement to the fantastic. On a less savory note - now I'm also wondering if China repaid its war debt to the USA as it seems more complicated than a single lump-sum war debt. Too complicated for me.
On the issue of segmenting and compartmentalizing as Napoleon suggested - that's absolutely imperative. If Obamacare crashed on launch for a few million Americans, I shudder to think what would happen in densely populated provinces such as Yunnan and Sichuan, much less trying to aggregate all this information into a monolithic Beijing database, but those are also technical issues.
Segmentation into bite-sized pieces is an operational solution. It doesn't address the core issues of financial and economic feasibility and sustainability, which I believe ultimately doomed Obamacare.
@geezer - thanks for clarifying that point. I didn't know about the UK war debt to the USA - I was under the impression it was forgiven also.
War debts are typically forgiven at the sovereign level, in exchange for other barter - such as economic privileges (example - building railroads using the "forgiving" nation's firms as prime contractors, etc). The government of Taiwan (KMT) incurred significant private debts from WW2 approaching roughly USD 1 trillion in today's value, that are now expected to be repaid by China, to include back interest and potentially penalties. Given the history of settlements on other debts, China might opt to settle for literally pennies against the face value of the debt. Most of the owners of that original debt are dead, so I'd venture to guess the inheritors would settle, given the opportunity.
If China were able to create a sustainable and affordable national healthcare plan - would that essentially become the potential model for the rest of the world?
Given the scale and complexity of the project, I'm interested in observing China's solution to this critical social issue.
USA = United States of Amnesia.
While it's true that the Chinese government and people at the time experienced one of the worst famines in Chinese history, ostensibly due to the failed Great Leap program, China was under US (aka UN) trade embargoes AND was still paying off its war debts to the former USSR using badly needed grain.
It's also worth noting that China is the ONLY country in the world that paid off its entire war debt to the USA, unassisted by Taiwan. EVERY other country including German and Japan, were "forgiven" vast portions of their remaining war debts to the USA, EXCEPT China. So the politics involved complicate and bias the image western media and history would have us believe.
A couple of excellent examples of historical bias are the UK and French perspectives on Joan d'Arc and the UK and US perspectives on Benedict Arnold (hero spy or treasonous spy). History is always a matter of perspective.
So, yes - China suffered a major famine - but NOBODY is completely innocent and NOBODY is completely guilty.
Historically, in China, when the people are in such dire straits, revolution is sure and quick to follow, so the fact that the government managed to keep the country unified during those turbulent times was also a testament to its leadership. And we all know the USA and its allies were working overtime to destabilize the PRC using whatever Machiavellian means possible, to advance it's alleged platform of global "democracy".
Some will of course pick and choose the brutality - but this is no more brutal than the US Civil War, the Korean War, or the millennial conflicts currently waging across the middle east and Africa, or China's own incredibly long and bloody and brutal history during the Warring States period.
It's incredibly easy to criticize and tear down, but much more difficult to provide constructive criticism.
On that note, China generally provides basic healthcare for roughly 1.4 billion people. Obamacare failed and Americans also had to PAY for the privilege of "affordable" health care, which became "unaffordable" to both the participating health insurers and arguably, to the participants.
This point is NOT to gloat over the demise of Obamacare - it was a valiant effort, poorly planned, poorly executed, and probably and eventually, poorly shutdown.
Affordable, quality health care is a major pressing social issue for both China, the USA, and many other countries in the world. Current models of socialized health care in Canada and Scandinavia may or may not be realistic for a country of this size.
So how to finance and implement such a complicated and expensive national infrastructure, in a sustainable manner is the core issue. The potential solutions are in front of our eyes, but it will require a major shift in culture and behavior.
On that note - I understand China's 13th Five Year Plan is also focused on the ELIMINATION of poverty by 2020 - a very worthy goal, that should be interesting to see.
Both China, Japan, and the USA's social security (retirement) programs face similar challenges.
So now we know the issues, how should the government fix these critical social problems, in an economically and socially feasible, sustainable and scalable manner?
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Took the family here to stroll around and there's a LOT of walking. Many of the stores appear closed, but the bar street nestled inside seems quite well populated.
We chose the Japanese restaurant near the entrance (there are many entrances). The food and service was quite acceptable - from the fruit salad, tuna salad, curry pork cutlet, and the ubiquitous California Sush Rolls (you can buy the small size or the large size).
It rained a little while we were there, which helped drench the heat and humidity. When the sun came out - it was HOT.
If you're lucky, you'll occasionally see people (usually women) wearing minority clothing being photographed by professional photographers. There's also a small photographer's store where you can rent various ethnic clothing and have professional pictures taken (maybe the two are related...now that I think about it).
There's also the ubiquitous game centers (shooting galleries etc) for the kids and unaccompanied teenagers.
It seems the most popular venues were the prolific food courts - but that's probably related to it being lunchtime when we visited. The place is clean and plenty of antiqued door fronts (the wood panels) for those photo shoots.
Capping off the visit, one must of course take pictures on the bridges crossing the lily ponds and the landmark temple spire. We didn't make it to the surrounding temples. Maybe next time.
Transportation is everywhere - but make sure you have your mobile phone ride share app working, just in case you hit rush hour.
Again - for now - it seems many vendors were closed - but I'm positive that'll change again as the economy begins to rebound.
Excellent way to spend a half day as opposed to the kids faces glued to their mobile devices...fresh air, good food, plenty of people watching, and walking...walking...walking...
Took the family here a few days ago. Wonderful place to go walking with lots of snack & drink kiosks (along with chairs and tables) to rest frequently. This zoo is similar to most other large open air zoos with reasonably spacious enclosures. This place is HUGE so be prepared for a LOT of walking. Consider wearing sensible hiking or walking shoes. Your feet will be grateful.
Entrance fees when we went still cny100 for adults and kids cny70. Feeding the animals at the managed venues - cny30 per site...per child. Monkeys can be fed by tossing carrots and sliced apples into their enclosure - which is good. Monkeys famous for flash mobbing. Can be terrifying for kids (and adults). Even in the enclosures, you can clearly see they're territorial and aggressive. Bullying is displayed frequently enough for teaching moments for the kids (cuz there are monkeys in all schools everywhere in the world).
MOST people bring their own food and drink, as the kiosks are quite expensive. Example a cny5 drink outside is cny10 in the zoo, so expect most everything to be twice as expensive. I had a bbq chick drumstick (leg?) for cny25...ouch.
Bring carrots. LOTS of carrots. The zoo has several managed (paid) and unmanaged petting areas for most semi-domesticated animals, such as the Alpacas (seriously cute), deer, giraffes (ok...you can feed the giraffes on an elevated platform, but probably difficult to "pat" the animals. It's kind of spectacular to actually see giraffes face to face - these animals are simply vertigo inducing huge and tall.
The seal show was nice - typical of seal shows everywhere. Seals are kind of like the dogs of the sea. Friendly and ravenous appetites so easily trainable.
Lots of cheap touristy souvenirs to buy the for the kiddies (and relatives kids).
HIGHLY recommend taking the bus tour - they basically zoom around picking up and dropping off customers (they check your e-ticket at every pickup site) at entrances and exits to walking enclosures. They'll drop you off at roughly 15 minute walking sites. NO need to rush and you can grab ANY bus upon emerging from the walking enclosure sites.
Of course, the ultimate attraction always the lion and tiger exhibits at the top of the mountain.
Bring a fan. It gets hot. We were fortunate as the sky was mostly overcast so the temperature was generally cool, but heated up almost instantly whenever the sun peeked out of the clouds.
Bring LOTS of water. Most veteran tourists have their own liter bottles of water. Bring your own umbrella. When the sun comes out - it's HOT. Bring a wide brimmed hat if you're into comfort over vanity. SUNTAN LOTION never goes astray.
Aside from that - typical Chinese group site with everyone rushing the buses and ticket counters. Not so much rushing for the food venues, so seems the elevated prices keep that comfortably in check.
All in all - GREAT place to take the kiddies (or a date if you both know you're into each other - cuz you'll be spending an entire day together). The Outdoor Zoo seems exceptionally well designed with plenty of both managed and unmanaged (eg walking deer along the roadside and the stroll through the peacock "garden").
Easy cab or shared ride out and back. Taxis aplenty when you're ready to leave (just walk past the parking lot gate - they'll be waiting for you). You should consider dining out or delivery at the end of the day.
Took the kiddies here again.
1. It's FREE.
2. NO knives, lighters, sharp objects, etc. There's a place in front to check bags, luggage (if you're traveling), etc - but the exit is in the rear of the monolithic building, so it's a bit of a hike to walk back around to the checked storage area (it's also FREE).
We went straight to the third floor - History and artifacts of Yunnan (mostly). Rich history - lots of original sculptures etc removed from grottoes and displayed in the museum. Lots of English language titles and occasionally some explanatory text in English.
This is the evolution floor with lots of petrified artifacts - sea life mostly, lots of recreations of animals and environments from pre-man times.
There are coffee shops and dining areas on the first floor and drink vending machines on the second and third floors. The place is HUGE so a great place to take the kiddies and walk around until they're tired. They'll probably enjoy the dinosaur exhibit on the second floor the most. Wait a few minutes and the dinosaurs will roar and move their heads and maybe pretend to chew (open and close their maws).
PLENTY of parking and unfortunately NOT close to any subway station, so you'll have to grab a cab or rideshare but seems taxis and transportation are aplenty in the city and surrounding environs.
And...it's FREE for now. Museum closes at 5pm so make sure you leave by 430-445 so you can hike back to the storage area if you checked anything in as they also close at 5pm.
This is a great place to walk around and generally kill time while shopping for nothing in particular. Nearby is the Paulaner Brewhouse for super fantastic food, coffee and drinks, outdoor patio dining or just hanging and people watching.
Just popped in for the annual to biennial visa health check. Cost was CNY 487 - don't forget to bring at least THREE (3) visa pictures and your mask.
As usual, there are TWO health codes to display - the usual kunming/yunnan green QR code and the green "Arrow" code.
I went late in the morning, but still managed to shuttle through all the departments and get out before lunch.
I used didi to get there and the map now correctly shows the rear parking entrance as the destination drop-off point. You can also take the subway to a nearby station, and walk walk walk walk walk - it's actually not too far but it will elevate your blood pressure and pulse (BPP) - so make sure to rest 5-10 minutes to allow your BPP to drop back to resting state.
Upon arrival at the main gate, you'll do the usual check-in procedure - mask, sign-in, green QR code, temperature check.
Once inside - Present your passport, green QR code, and green (hopefully) arrow code. Scan the QR codes on your left as you walk in if you don't have these prepared already. The staff will then pass you an application form. Walk over to the wall of stand-up desks to your right, fill out the forms, then stroll over to the clerks to present the form. They'll print out a sheet of bar coded labels for your tests, take your digital picture, attach everything together with a paper clip, then direct you to the cashier to pay CNY 487 (WeChat, alipay, bank card, etc) Don't know if they still accept cash.
Hike up the the 2nd or 3rd floor to start the battery of tests:
Physical (height, weight, BMI/body mass index)
Eye test (color blindness and eye chart)
Heart (pulse, blood pressure)
I may have missed a few like the OB GYN...
It seems they also have a COVID/NAT (nucleic acid test) center in a shipping container lab outside the health center - but I didn't bother jogging over to check if it was still operational. In retrospect, should've checked, as the hospitals are jam packed with Chinese New Year travelers.
The test results are ready the afternoon of the second day. The facility seems sparsely busy even though they service both foreigners and nationals. There were rarely lines or noticeable waits beyond a few minutes, with at most 1-2 people ahead of you.
Staff are always nice, polite, professional and tirelessly patient for those of us with limited to no communications abilities.