China Tours: Growth & Change
Dates: Sept 4 – 12, 2015
Single Supplement: £400.00
China’s global pre-eminence seems to be a foregone conclusion. Newspapers routinely point to the 21st century as belonging to China, much as the 20th century belonged to the United States. Internally, however, China is at a crossroads. Questions abound as to how it can sustain growth, and adapt to enormous social and economic change.
Our China Tours examine this dilemma in a wide-ranging journey that takes in rural Sichuan, the boom city of Chongqing and ends in the capital Beijing.
We meet with everyday people, business leaders, and leading political and economic commentators alike. We track the changes that have taken place since the end of the Cultural Revolution and Deng Xiao Ping’s modernisation, and see how China has coped with the global financial crisis. We also ask where Chinese thinkers and businessmen believe China should go next.
The 9 day tour includes all meals and accommodation and land transport but does not include flights. There is one internal flight from Chongqing to Beijing on Tuesday 8th September, which must be purchased by passengers separately. Political Tours will advise customers on which flight to book. Like all our expert-led tours we travel in small groups with a maximum of 14 passengers. Most of our tours number between 8 and 12 people.
This tour runs back to back with our tour of the North East of the DPRK that starts on Saturday 12, which starts in Yanji. Customers will have time to fly to Yanji for the start of the tour on Saturday evening.
Day 1: Arrival in Chongqing
Introduction by Political Tours staff – “Growth and Change in China”.
Day 2: Rural China
Departure for Tang He – a small town South of Chongqing for a view of rural China. We examine what life used to be like in China before industrialisation and learn about the country’s modern history through the eyes of local families – from the Great March to the Cultural Revolution and the rapid economic expansion of today. Return to Chongqing for dinner.
Day 3: Chongqing
An introduction to one of China’s rapidly changing metropolis. We start the day with a brief walk around the centre of the city. We visit the Three Gorges Museum, one of China’s best-rated museums that charts the rapid economic and social change in the region as well as the development of the Three Gorges Dam. We cross the river by cable car and visit the remnants of Old Chongqing, including the British and American legations. Dinner on a riverboat. (Chongqing was the administrative capital of China during the Sino-Japanese war (1937-45)). Return to Hotel.
Day 4: Chongqing – The Techhub & Auto Centre
Partnerships between firms like HP and Foxconn have made Chongqing one of the world’s leading technological centres. Low labour costs, relatively cheap land prices and a free trade zone have brought similar firms. The city is also the 4th largest producer of motor cars in China. We visit HP’s innovation centre, and the autozone, and meet with city officials who explain how they have attracted international firms to the area. Dinner with local guests.
Day 5: Chongqing Review & Departure for Beijing
(Tuesday 8th September 2015)
Arrival – Time off or optional visit to Forbidden City and the Hutongs (additional charges) for those visiting Beijing for the first time. Dinner with foreign correspondents based in Beijing.
Day 6: Who Rules China?
We get a first-hand understanding of how government has worked in China since 1948, and where it is headed next. From Mao Zedung (Tse-tung) to Deng Xioping we learn how China has transformed itself to become the world’s foremost economy.
Day 7: Media, Economy & China and The World
We visit a major Chinese newspaper, followed by a TV station. How the media works in China. Lunch with local journalists. “An impending crisis?”: A series of briefings from leading thinkers on China’s economic development.
We look at China’s relations with it’s neighbours, from North Korea, to Japan, Russia and tensions with countries around the South China Seas. Briefings with diplomats and leading Chinese thinkers on the country’s strategy for the 21st century. Dinner with guests.
Day 8: Jiuxianqiao + 798 Art District
Tour of Jiuxianqiao, a Beijing neighbourhood with a leading Chinese writer; how Beijing changed during the Cultural Revolution and beyond. Home visits. Lunch in a neighbourhood café. Followed by a visit to 798 Art District whose roots date back to the 1950s, and now home to leading contemporary art galleries. Farewell dinner.
Day 9: Tour Ends Saturday 12 Sept 2015
Breakfast & Departures
Customers for our DPRK tour – The Remote North East – fly to Yanji.