Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, July 02, 2010

Zhang Xin 

You really need to watch this interview. Zhang Xin, a real estate developer in Beijing, is one of the richest women in the world. In this interview, she talks about the some of the problems presented by a country that allows great freedom to pursue business interests, but is so restrictive in other areas. "We're only allowed to make money--nothing else."

Zhang Xin converted to the Baha'i faith a few years ago, and this is apparent in some of the observations she makes. It seems that perhaps she has discovered that money doesn't satisfy. For the poor people in the countryside, it is not the easiest message to hear. There are many people in this country who would just love to have her problem. But this does not negate her point. A country that gives freedom only to generate capital is much more spiritually impoverished than the "capitalist" countries China used to rail against.

But in fact, it is not as bad as all this. There is another area in China where bright young people are given quite a bit of latitude to be themselves and pursue their interests. That is the Christian church. Zhang Xin can be forgiven for not knowing this, because she is not a Christian, but the church in China has been growing exponentially precisely because Christian young people who have so much to offer this country, are barred from participation in areas like government or politics.

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