Blogs & Comment

China

I will be blogging from China this week, covering the Canada China Business Council’s joint trade mission with four provincial Premiers to Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai. Aside from CCBC members, the Premiers of Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and PEI are leading delegations of select corporate and higher education representatives targeting specific provincial priorities. A delegation from Quebec is also attending, although not with Premier Jean Charest, who may be poised to call a snap election; former premier Pierre Marc Johnson is going in his stead. In all, there will be about 200 Canadians here. Monday promises to be the busiest day of the mission, including the CCBC banquet. It’s all taking place at the Kerry Center international hotel, in the Chaoyang district, five or six kilometres due east of the central Forbidden City.
I’ve only just arrived in Beijing, and it is early evening now, but the level of pre-Olympic development is apparent even in the dark. The new international airport is a stunning piece of architecture, and the Beijing Central Business District, near the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium and home to the new CCTV Headquarters and the World Trade Center, is now a crowded series of brightly lit towers. When I was here four years ago, this was all just starting to be developed.