Chronicling a new revolution

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No country has ever changed so aggressively, in such a short period of time. How Pittsburghers are participating in China's transformation -- the greatest explosion of capitalism since the Industrial Revolution -- is the subject of this series. In Business, starting Tuesday and continuing through Friday and then next Sunday, you will discover:

  

How a man from the North Hills became "Mr. China," a mythic figure who claims to have eaten "every part of every animal" while scouting the country for business opportunities.

Why a local company that first entered China in 1920 and was one of the first to return after President Nixon's visit in 1972 is now being asked to reduce China's over-reliance on coal power, address China's rampant pollution problems and strike a victory for U.S.-Sino relations -- not to mention the Bush administration.

How a Downtown-based Fortune 500 firm burned by China investment in the 1980s left its mark on a cherished symbol of national unity.

What life is like for the young, low-skilled Chinese workers -- participants in the greatest mass migration in human history -- who travel hundreds of miles from home to produce the bags and computer portfolios imported to the United States by a Pittsburgh-area company and then made available on the shelves of your local office supply store.

How an entrepreneur from the hallowed home of Chinese communism became one of the richest men in the country without help from the state -- wealthy enough to own China's first private jet and send his son overseas to study at Carnegie Mellon University, a customer for one of his products.

How a CMU graduate became one of the best-known motivational speakers in China, exhorting students to embrace individualism and "Be Your Personal Best" -- all while his company struggles to reconcile American-style freedom with the reality of Chinese censorship.

What the Chinese central government wants from CMU -- and whether the university can provide it.



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