Twenty-eight years ago, I would never have imagined that the President of the United States and other world leaders would visit my hometown, Hangzhou, and discuss important matters that will affect humanity’s future.
The Hangzhou I left behind was a backwater town, with narrow alleys and rundown dwellings. There was only one department store, Liberalization Department Store, one decent hotel, Hangzhou Hotel (now renamed as Shangri-La). Many people still wore Mao suite. Most rode bicycles to work and for daily chores. The only automobiles on the streets were dusty buses, which ran sparsely between hours and were almost never on time.
Yes, there was West Lake, and people said it was beautiful. To my unappreciative eye, however, it was a dead lake. The stillness of the lake seemed lifeless to me. I was yearning to see oceans. But I was desperate to leave the “paradise on earth.”
Now one of the wealthiest cities in the country, who have seen their life dramatically improved over the past decades.
When President Barack Obama arrives in Hangzhou on Saturday, he will not see a backwater town. Instead, he will see a bustling modern metropolis nestled in lush hills.
Now that I have seen the oceans, visited the Lincoln Memorial, and watched Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech many times, and looking from the other side of the Pacific, I can truly appreciate Hangzhou’s beauty.
(Read the full article on Forbes).