- There are 2 million travelers from China to the United States
- Of that 2 million, 200,000 are students currently studying in the US
- In turn, there are only 15,000 US students studying in China
- "Everything's big in Texas until you come to China."
- There was a comparison made between "China Inc." and "China Incoherent"
- In discussion on Internet policies, one representative, calling to mind the Great Wall, called the lack of access to websites Americans are used to the "great firewall of China"
- The first overseas Fulbright Scholarship in 1947 was awarded to a person in China
- The Chinese are investing 44.3 billion yuan in science and technology in 2013, and have outlined 7 key areas they are particularly investing this money into
At the Embassy, there was also great emphasis on the idea that we, the EAPSI Fellows, are cultural ambassadors to China, which is to say that some of us may be the only example of an American that some Chinese have ever or will ever come into contact with. Thus, it is important for us to have an open mind, be kind, and be willing to share our American experiences and interests. It was a great experience listening to and speaking with the State representatives, and it has me interested in possibly pursuing a career in scientific policy.
Today we received a lecture on the Chinese economic and political systems from a professor from one of the universities in Beijing (pictured). Suffering from a bit of jet lag, my attention drifted in and out, but he touched on subjects ranging from Communism to Russian relations (and the Orthodox churches they have built in NW China) to the one-child policy (and the issue of forced abortions resulting from it) to their stance on religious freedoms (which apparently are several, so long as the churches do not get politically involved or too big).
So far I've enjoyed the food that I have eaten. The cuisine I've had has ranged from the pretty spicy to the flavorful to rice. I particularly like the steamed bread (filled with pork) and these fried pockets filled with leeks for breakfast. Aside from breakfast, I've enjoyed the wide selection of items at the cafeteria here in the apartments we are staying at. My procedure is to get my tray, point at things, and then pay for the food by handing the cashier money until she has enough. When you do not know the language, there is a lot of trust that you need to put into people to treat you well. The food here has been really cheap so far. For breakfast this morning it cost me 5 yuan, which, at about 6 yuan to the dollar, means that it cost me under a dollar for a great plate of food. Lunch has been a little more "pricey" at about $2 for a plate of food (or 12-15 yuan). So even if I'm getting cheated (which I do NOT think that is the case at all), it's not that hard on the wallet.