www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Map of China, Tibet, and East Turkestan China, Hong Kong, and Macau
In June, 2001, I visited Tibet, China and The Silk Road - This was at a
time well before the Beijing Olympics when China's GDP was only about
13.5% that of the United States. In 2014 I returned for the Hong Kong and
Macau Highpoints where I got a really good, indepth look at both territories.
Unfortunately it was clear that the Chinese government's brutality of the
people in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xingiang had only worsened...

 

We must never forget that China and Russia are our adversaries.
Don't be mistaken, they are not our friends nor will they ever be...
- Roger J. Wendell

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page about the Silk Road and the Uyghur people of East Turkestan...

 

There is no press freedom in China:

BBC Logo The BBC remains one of the world's most respected news organizations yet China's National Radio and Television Administration banned them in February, 2021.
 
China accused the BBC of failing to meet the requirement for news to be truthful and fair, and accused it of damaging China's national interests.
 
The BBC had been covering a number of sensitive issues in China, including its treatment of the minority Uighur people in China's Xinjiang province. (Including recent coverage on the rape and torture of women in "re-education" camps for the Uighurs.) Also, the BBC had recently questioned China's treatment of its people during the COVID crisis and questioned whether the government's death figures could be trusted.

 

Dr. Li Wenliang (RIP)

Dr. Li Wenliang Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist who worked as a physician at Wuhan Central Hospital. Li warned his colleagues in December 2019 about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome, later acknowledged as COVID-19.
 
Li Wenliang became a whistleblower when his warnings were later shared publicly. Local Chinese police and government then accused Li, and others, of "rumor mongering" (making false comments on the Internet) and punished them. Li was forced to sign a letter of admonition issued by the Wuhan Police Bureau ordering him to stop "spreading rumors" about "SARS"
 
Li returned to work but shortly after contracted the virus from an infected patient (who had been originally treated for glaucoma). Li died from the disease on 7 February 2020, at age 33. Li and his wife, Fu Xuejie, had one son. His wife was pregnant with their second child at the time of his death
 
A group of Chinese academics, led by Tang Yiming - head of the school of Chinese classics at Central China Normal University in Wuhan - published an open letter urging the government to both protect free speech and apologize for Li's death.
 
The death of Li provoked considerable grief and anger on social media which became an extended demand for freedom of speech in China. The hashtag #wewantfreedomofspeech gained over 2 million views and over 5,500 posts within 5 hours before it was removed by Chinese censors, as were other related hashtags and posts.

 

Dr. Duc C. Vuong, MD on the Wuhan Virus

Dr. Duc C. Vuong, MD In his March 23, 2020 China Virus YouTube video,
HOW COVID-19 KILLS--I'm a Surgeon--And Why We Can't Save You,
Dr. Duc Vuong stated, "Don't belive anything out of China"
(stated at minute 32:58).

 

Loss of Freedom in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - 2019 In December, 2014, Patrick, Tom, Steve and I spent some quality time in Macau and Hong Kong exploring both countries and hiking to their highpoints. Unfortunately the transfer of sovereignty of Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and Hong Kong (a former British colony), to the People's Republic of China (PRC), took place in the late 1990s. Both were some of the world's most prosperous countries but are now considered Special Administrative Districts of the PRC. Since both Macau and Hong Kong will maintain a high degree of autonomy, for about 50 years beyond their loss of sovereignty, they're still considered separate countries by most measures (and me). HOWEVER, in 2019 China began stripping the citizens of Hong Kong their freedom and liberty. The photo, at left, is an example of some of the protests that took place during the summer of 2019...

 

Minorities in China

China National Flag
 
At 3.691 million square miles, China is the world's 3rd largest country in land area (Russia is 6.5, Canada 3.851, the U.S. 3.623, and Brazil 3.284 [Actually, the CIA's World Factbook pages indicate the rank order for size as: Russia, Canada, USA, China and Brazil - China and the U.S. are very close in size with America's larger water areas making it bigger]) with a population of almost 1.3 Billion (India is in 2nd place with about a Billion and the U.S. is in third with almost 300 Million).[note: the U.S. population soared well beyond 300 million a few years after I made this entry in 2001...]

The majority of Chinese are ethnic Han. There are 55 recognized minorities in China but they only account for 8% of the total population. China has 23 provinces and 5 "autonomous regions" where minorities reside and supposedly self-govern. Although our respective countries will probably never be friends, we found the Han people themselves to be warm, accommodating, and generally curious as to our actions. But, sadly, most Chinese were indifferent to the suffering their government has brought to the peoples of Tibet and Xinjiang...

  - Roger J. Wendell, July 2001

 

 

At the time of our visit Beijing was competing to take on the 2008 summer Olympics. We were surprised, later, when the IOC (International Olympic Committee) finally awarded Beijing the summer '08 games. Our amazement even went beyond China's horrible human rights record and its treatment of the Tibetan and Uyghur peoples - we were astonished that athletes would even want to compete in such a crowded, polluted city! In 2001 the air in Beijing was so bad that our eyes and lungs began to burn immediately after stepping off the plane and walking over to customs - really! So, how can athletes be expected to perform and stay healthy in such an environment? Doesn't the IOC, or sports world in general, take into consideration the health of the participants AND spectators? And, it wasn't just me at the time - a number of athletic organizations around the world were very concerned about the air pollution issue in Beijing at the time.

 

People from the outer provinces like to have their photos taken with foreigners...
(People from the outer provinces like to have their photos taken with foreigners!)

 

Click on any of these "thumbnail" images for a larger view:

Mao Rests Here - June, 2001
Mao rests here!
Beijing Soldiers Marching with Water - June, 2001
Marching with water
Chengdu, Mao is Everywhere - June, 2001
Photographing Mao*
Looking up the Great Wall of China - June, 2001
Great Wall of China
Looking up the Great Wall of China - June, 2001
On the Great Wall
* Mao was everywhere...

 

It appears as time goes on the Chinese people, and government, hold Mao in less esteem. At the time of our visit, during the summer of 2001, they were referring to him as "70/30 Mao" - suggesting they believed Mao to have been correct 70 percent of the time, wrong the other 30. Very different from the late 60s when Mao was always right, all of the time!

 

Forbidden City - June, 2001
Forbidden City
Jody and Randy - the Emperor always used the middle - June, 2001
Emperor used the middle
Dressing Up Like the Emporer - June, 2001
Dressing up for a fun!
Walking is an option in China, this photo from out west - June, 2001
12-yar-old Jeshua
Roger Wendell drinks Future Apple with Ray Anderson - June, 2001
I drink Future Apple!
Streets of Beijing - June, 2001
Streets of Beijing
Streets of Beijing - June, 2001
Streets of Beijing
Chinese Environemnt Cigarettes and Toothpaste - June, 2001
Environment Cigarettes
Chinese Pottery Maker - June, 2001
Pottery Maker
Chinese Military at Tiananmen Square - June, 2001
Military at Tiananmen Square
Jody and Randy Wendell at a National Tourist Attraction in China - June, 2001
Jody, our guide
Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China - June, 2001
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China - June, 2001
Tiananmen Square
Statue in China - June, 2001
Statue
Classic China - June, 2001
Classic China

 

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My Police Troubles and Hospital stay...

China Map
(Click on map for larger view)
While in the Tien-Shan mountains, nearly 1,500 miles west of Beijing, we were able to sneak into a military area where few Westerners had ever stood before. Although we were successful in reaching that rare spot the police found us out and took us in for the night. Unfortunately they were not in the mood to allow any picture-taking in and around the jail. Nevertheless, I was able to preserve pictures of the "Out of Bounds For Foreigners" sign (And boy did they mean it!!) and the shot of me and my brother on that rare and remote Tien-Shan mountain real-estate where few westerners had ever stepped before.

The following morning, after being released by the police, we left the restricted area via an 11,300 foot pass through the Tien-Shan mountains. Unfortunately, on the way down, we came into a head-on collision with a utility truck that completely totaled our car. Our driver's face was cut, pretty badly, with Ray, Jeshua, and my brother sustaining a variety of bumps and bruises. I, myself, hit my head and shoulder really hard as I was leaning out the window taking a GPS reading at the time of the collision. I think I went unconscious, briefly, but was definitely disoriented and dazed for awhile. According to my GPS we were doing about 40 mph when the truck hit us head-on as we both rounded a curve along the mountain road.

I was taken to what I believe was the region's only hospital - nearly six hours away via unpaved road to Kuche, still well within the huge province of Xinjiang. The hospital staff treated me well although I do recall some chuckling as they kept trying to stand me up in front of their X-ray machine and I kept passing out and crumpling to the floor. Many of the other patients, and their visitors, found me to be a curiosity - some asking if my nose would ever stop growing while they stared smoking next to me in the hallway and hospital room (Many Chinese are fascinated with blonde hair, something I don't poses. They're also distracted by what they believe to be very large noses on the faces of Westerners - I'll have to agree with them - my nose, and that of the majority in North America, is pretty darn large when compared to Asians!)

 

Out of Bounds for Foreigners
Me and Randy on Some Rare and Remote Chinese Ground
Me and my brother
on some very rare and
remote Chinese ground...
Our Chinese Car Wreck in the Tien-Shan Mountains
We were in a head-on collision
coming down from an 11,000 foot
pass in the Tien-Shan mountains...
A Crowd Gathers Around our Chinese Car Wreck
A crowd almost immediately gathered
out of "nowhere" as I didn't recall
seeing any villages or people in the area...
Roger Wendell Fractured Shoulder in a Chinese Hospital
The Chinese were able to X-ray
my skull and arms where they
found fractures my left shoulder.

 

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More China Photos:

Roger J. Wendell in China - June 2001
Me in China
  1. The crowd takes our cue inbetween some immitation Terra Cotta warriros at a restaraunt near Beijing (34k)
  2. There are a lot of yurts throughout western China (24k)
  3. Here's a Power Point presentation on where we were... (It's a BIG 857k)
  4. I found the toilets of China, despite their lack of cleanliness, to be much more healthful than what we're accustomed to.   This is because a natural "squatting" position is required that doesn't entail touching your bottom to anything.  This particular photo is of a typical train toilet and is a stainless steel version of what can be found in all kinds of different forms around the country. My Toilet Matters page has more info on this delicate subject... (5k)
  5. There are more photos from our trip on my Tibet and Silk Road pages...

 

"Despite China's development of technologies such as gunpowder, compasses, paper, and the printing press hundreds of years before
  Europeans did, China experienced nothing equivalent to the European Renaissance and the successive scientific and industrial revolutions."

- Lee Billings in his book,
Five Billion Years of Solitude
(The Search For Life Among The Stars), p. 22

 

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Links:

  1. Aconcagua
  2. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  3. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  4. Amazonia and Ecuador
  5. Antarctica
  6. Argentina and Brazil
  7. Australia Main Page
  8. Australia Two Page
  9. Bolivia
  10. China Daily
  11. CIA World Factbook on China
  12. Climbing
  13. Ecuador
  14. France
  15. India
  1. Ireland
  2. Japan
  3. Mexico
  4. News from Inside China Today
  5. New Zealand
  6. People's Daily - China
  7. RFA - Radio Free Asia
  8. Russia
  9. Silk Road
  10. Southeast Asia
  11. Tibet
  12. Travel and Travel Two
  13. United Kingdom - England
  14. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  15. Waypoints

 

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