Saturday, May 10, 2008

Three Mountains

On the journey back from Suzhou yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with Mandy, a colleague from AMD, who is a Chinese national.
She shared an interesting perspective on the 3 Mountains that sit on every Chinese back:
  • House - a roof over their heads
  • Health - to keep working in order to earn a living
  • Education - for their children
These 3 "mountains" are a constant worry to the average Chinese because it's not within easy reach. In spite of the Chinese economic miracle, there isn't a strong personal pension/insurance scheme which leaves many workers pondering their future. In addition, the growing chasm between the rich and poor is a thorn in the flesh since the last 2 generations have been schooled in socialist doctrines and suddenly, they've found the goalposts changing in their twilight years.

It probably easier to take the position of an armchair intellectual and say, "That's what all developing societies go through", but when you've got someone sitting across from you detailing their "3 Mountains" struggles, it's hard to stay objective and impartial about the topic.

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