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20 April

Today was the beginning of the second China Sourcing Fair. I'm surprised by the somber and withdrawn atmosphere among the vendors. One of the employees of Global Sourcing listens to my perception of this fair as compared to the one last week and he accompanies me down one of the isles and sees it as I do. It is quite a departure from the typical energetic presentation and salesmanship usually practiced by the Chinese people.

In spite of the depressed mood I manage to meet a number of very enjoyable people. The most remarkable being Chester, a man of my own age, born but days after I was. There exceptional moments in life and this was one of them. Rarely do I have anyone speak to me with such deep feeling. He is the president of Alpha Metal Corporation which manufactures aluminum ladders that can be configured in a variety of forms. While he travels during moments of waiting he draws images of the places he visits and writes very profound and insightful comments on what he sees. I can feel from his emotional words that his life being born in China during the Second World War and growing up since then has been very difficult at times and much different than the fortunate peace and security that I have experienced. It is amazing to me to see his radiant personality and nobility of character. No words can express the quality of the spirit of our short time spent together. I hope to see him again in my future and wish everyone could meet his like each day of life.

I also met a man and his wife who were very interested in the idea of offering social and business English conversation training. She sincerely wants to participate in such a program by including etiquette classes along with the language.

I also enjoyed the few minutes at the booth of Sunlle (Zhong Shan) Electronic Co. ,Ltd. hosted by Anita Sun and Jacqui Lee. The radiant friendliness of such lovely young ladies makes the business environment of China a very pleasant experience to enjoy. I don't think there is anywhere else in the world with quite the same qualities of poise, competence, charm and professionalism.

Ken Emobo and I go together to meet Zhi Ting and her friend for supper. We have a very nice time and I catch up on the news regarding Chris's return to his home in Nanhui with his wife this coming weekend. Since he will require a couple of days to become comfortable being back home I decide to take the opportunity to spend another Sunday at the People's Park and extend my stay here at this hotel until Monday when I plan to move to Nanhui.

While I'm writing this I hear a long series of small short explosions, sort of like the propane cannons used to scare birds out of the orchards in the Okanagan. From the location and duration I imagine it is from the construction site nearby where they may be demolishing old concrete to make way for new building.

While I watch the news about China's role regarding the WTO I hope the government will establish the principle that the economy of a healthy society involves more than free market consumerism and must take into account the social responsibility that those who accumulate wealth from society also have a moral responsibility to ensure that the wealth they acquire must also assist in the establishment and maintenance of the general health of the society from which they obtain their money. As it is, it is too easy for those who have come into possession of unimaginable wealth to believe that it is done by their own deeds while ignoring the fact that a society is required from which to accumulate the wealth.

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