Journey to the Northeast
First of all, I want to thank everyone who contacted me to tell me that they heard my interview on NPR, discussing China’s new currency policy. For those who missed it, you can listen to the story here. You can also read a few more of my comments in an AFP wire story here.
I just returned from a week-long trip to Jilin, one of the three northeast provinces that make up the region I call (in my Nine Nations of China framework) the Rust Belt. The trip was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (Amcham-China), and our delegation visited a range of companies in the automotive, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and property sectors, as well as meeting with provincial and municipal officials in both Changchun and Jilin City. Over the next day or so, I’ll share some of my impressions and insights from the trip.
On Wednesday, I’ll actually be heading back to Jilin to begin a 10-day journey to North Korea and Russia. Those who are already familiar with this blog know that this will be my second trip to North Korea (you can read the series of posts I wrote about my first trip here). This time I’ll be visiting a very different part of the country, crossing over the Tumen River into the Rason special economic zone, which is the focus of most Chinese investment in North Korea. Our group will then cross by train into Russia, completing our trek in Vladivostok. To my knowledge, if I’m not the first, then I’ll certainly be one of the first Americans either to visit Rason or to cross the Russian border with North Korea.
Unfortunately, this means I probably won’t be able to share the presentation I gave on China’s monetary policy at the FCC last week, or my thoughts on rising wages in China, until after I return on July 10. But both topics, along with impressions of my North Korea-Russia trip, will be something I promise you can look forward to.