I could make a case that I know China pretty well. I was born and raised in Beijing, spent each summer in my hometown except the year SARS ran wild, and came back to live here right after I graduated from college. I then spent most of my time living here, with two stints of living in Tianjin and Shanghai. I also voluntarily and involuntarily travel around the country. The first trip was to Shandong when I was 6 years old; the last trip was to get married in a city by the sea this August.

I speak the Chinese language fluently, consumes tons of books (both ancient and new), magazines, newspapers, and blogs. English affords me an addition venue to get to know China from a foreign perspective, and I also read a lot about China this way.

Yet I dare not to claim to know China. Case in point, I have no idea that Chinese people who study abroad is a rarity. Out of 1.3 billion people, about 1.5 million Chinese have studied abroad since 1978. Yet somehow people around me are going abroad left and right. Just in the last couple of years, my friends have landed in Great Britain, Italy, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

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Yang Wang

Yang is currently the brand and media director at Elitime Media & Consulting. He has published and translated seven books, and several of his works have been translated and published in areas such...