China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power  by Rob Gifford 2007

Host: Mike B.

Date: April 17, 2008

Judges Score: More than a year after Fight Club’s first bout, Mike B. finally puts some points on the board.  All around positive reviews from the pugs.

Food & Drink: Tsingtao Lager, Qingdao, China (#1 Chinese consumer brand export from China, 10th largest brewery in the world), Kung Pao chicken, shrimp and spicy sauce, egg foo young and fried rice.  And, Mrs. Mike B. made brownies with whipped cream on top, oh, the brownies.

Other Sources:

Rob Gifford is a correspondent for NPR and has done a 7 part series on his journey available here:


Random trivia:

  • China has about $1 trillion in personal savings and a savings rate of close to 50%. The U.S. has about $158 billion in personal savings and an average savings rate of only about 2%.
  • Shanghai boasts 4,000 skyscrapers — double the number in New York City. Still, 17% of the entire Chinese population lives on $1 a day. Only about 300 million people in China, or 23% of the population, are considered middle-class.
  • Wal-Mart Stores bought $18 billion of goods from China last year. With China’s annual exports amounting to $583 billion, that means Wal-Mart ranks as its eighth-largest trading partner, ahead of Australia, Canada and Russia.
  • In China, the 40-richest people are worth a collective $26 billion, up from $18 billion last year. China has 10 billionaires, up from three last year. The richest person is Larry Rong Zhijian of CITIC Pacific Group, who is worth $1.64 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
  • China has 100 million Internet users, second to the U.S.’s 135 million users. In September, there were 62 people jailed for violating Chinese Internet laws, up from three in 2001. The word ‘democracy’ is banned in online chat rooms.
  • Over the past decade, Russia and Israel have been China’s main foreign sources of weapon systems and military technology. Russia has supplied more than 85% of all of China’s arms imports since early 1990, the Pentagon says.
  •  China’s present population is approximately 1.2 billion, which is about one fifth of the earth’s entire population.
  • China has to feed 22% of the world’s people on 7% of the world’s arable land.
    today the urban population density per square kilometer is about 137 (Israel 325, US 31)
  • In 1949, the population on the mainland was about 541.67 million people. by 1969 the population was 806.71 million. The birth rate then was very high–about 34.11 per thousand.
  • It wasn’t until after the peak birth period, 1962-1972, that a stronger program was made to control the ever increasing population. That program is basically what is followed today.

1 Response to “#13 – China Road”

  1. 1 Matt H. April 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Great book – Five Red Stars! And great recap… and of course now I know why some Chinese dishes have rice and some have noodles!

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