The New Dragons
In the urban canyons of modern China, renegade herds of Benz’s, Porsches and Beamers roam the valleys.
The cranes, flying high in the air, are adding new, high-rise caves at dizzying heights and prices in the sun-hidden skies of smog.
The great gathering places of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing are fed with a constant torrent of people from the flooded valleys of the latest power generating dam projects.
New cities spring up like shoots of bamboo from where once were farms of pigs and wheat and oranges.
Farmers displaced or no longer content, migrate to the great cities, giving up their centuries’ long attachment to the land to work in shops or hotels or in the mushrooming complexes of factories.
No longer satisfied with the simple life of the rural peasant. Becoming, instead, an urban peasant.
The one child rule has produced a new generation of Little Emperors, self-entitled and seemingly unfazed by the fact that the day will come when responsibility for the support of several generations will fall solely upon them.
Not on an extended network of siblings, a tradition that no longer exists
Today, however, they wear the livery of the fashion warlords they follow – Coach, Givenchy, Prada and Armani as they press the battles in the export wars with North America, Europe and the world.
Wearing their arrogance as if it was a new Hugo Boss tie.
Those left behind question why. Why the government no longer provides for all their needs. Why the government no longer provides a full education for free.
Why the city dwellers can afford to live in their aeries, high above the teeming streets, in spaces that at one time would have been large enough for two families. Or three. Or four.
How had the Long March taken such a radical detour the old ones ask?
Who paid the price for the Cultural Revolution, a time in history that left such deep scars?
Scars that the Little Emperors refuse to see or acknowledge.
It can happen again say the elders. “Bah,” say the Little Emperors.
“Go mind the grandchildren, old ones, while we gather the wealth from the East and the West.
We are modern. We are invincible. We are the New Dragons.”
And so they continue their four wheeled rampage across the ring roads and elevated highways of the new China.
Under a sunless sky, in air thick enough to carve like jade.
While the true heartbeat of the Middle Kingdom continues to pulse from far below.