From made in China to created in China
One in four computers in the world comes from China; but from each computer produced, China earns only what 10 apples are worth. I read this in People’ Daily not long ago. While the force of globalization has spread Chinese-made products all over the world and earned China the name “world’s factory”, China earns very little profits from this kind of low-cost production. It’s even been said that China has to export 800 million shirts to get an airplane.
The problem is, China has involved in countless processes of production, but doesn’t necessarily have the intellectual property rights. If all we can be is part of the low-cost, labor-oriented production process, we’ll remain in a passive, disadvantaged position and gradually lose our competitive edge in the global arena. To develop China’s creative industry, transforming products from "made in China" to "created in China" has become one of China’s major tasks.
This transformation will be no less like a marathon, requiring much effort especially that from Chinese enterprises, the major force in Chinese economy. Though there’ s no one in front leading us which direction to run, there’s much to learn from some Chinese enterprises that have already found the right strategies and are shining on the global stage. These strategies involve brand identity establishment, technological innovation and modern management system.
Firstly, the brand that I mentioned above is an intangible yet most valuable asset to a company. It gains credibility from consumers, thus constituting the reason for consumers to buy habitually. Tong Ren Tang, the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine, remains one of the oldest surviving brand names. The credibility that it gained through quality products has made its name known worldwide and maintains its recognized brand.
The second strategy is innovation of technology, which helps enterprises gain its core competency. In the global era where technology emerges at a rapid speed, one has to adopt the latest technology, and also to compete for the speed of developing new ones. The success of Haier, the third largest household appliances manufacturer in the world, lies in its constant innovation. Over the past 16 years, Haier has invested a total of 7 billion RMB in technological development, using 6 percent of its income for scientific research and the development of new products. At present, Haier's development operational speed is turning out 1.3 new products a day, maintaining its upper-hand in the fierce competition.
The third strategy is the establishment of modern management system. New Hope Group, the National Leading Enterprise for Agriculture, started from family-owned business. When the business was soaring and situation was changing, the family members had divergent views of management. To make sure of the development of their business, they decided to turn their company into a limited liability one, distributing property rights efficiently. Because of this, the company increased its competitiveness rapidly. Establishing a modern management system will lead to efficient levels of division of labor and efficient patterns in the business cycle.
With brand identity, technology and flexibility, China’s creative industries will blossom and give China the cutting edge in the fierce global competition. One day, China will stand firm and proud, with national brands thriving on the global markets, and with millions of products tagged “created in China”, instead of “made in China”.
Giving is Receiving-Personal Growth in Volunteer Work
Last summer, I volunteered to work as an English teacher in a primary school for children of migrant workers. To be accurate, I didn’t volunteer. I was dragged in. When my friends first hit upon the idea of this project, I was all against it: “What? To spend my vacation standing in the heat, yelling at a bunch of nine-year-olds who couldn’t even speak proper Putonghua? After all, there’s no pay for my toil. No, I’m not going.” But my friends twisted my arms to have me join them.
Unexpectedly, the first lesson I taught turned out a lesson for me. The moment I stepped into the shabby classroom, I was touched by the loud, respectful voices in unison: “Good morning, teacher!” Instead of fooling around, the children were thirsty for knowledge and efficient in absorbing everything I was able to give them. I started to blame myself because I hadn’t even prepared for the class. During the break, I leaned over the squeaky desk, chatting with a sweaty boy in the front row: “Without air-conditioning, it’s pretty hot here. Are you tired?”
“Not at all,” said he, shaking his head. “It’s fine here. My Dad builds asphalt roads. That is really tiring and hot.”
As summer advanced, my enthusiasm as a teacher grew. I prepared my teaching carefully and even used some methods my teachers used. I organized many group activities to give the kids fun. Strangely enough, the heat was also becoming less and less unbearable.
Soon, my one-month volunteer work came to an end. When I was leaving my last class, I turned back and saw smiling faces and waving hands. Never before had I ever had such a feeling of sadness, which was nevertheless mixed with a sense of enrichment, fulfillment and happiness. I was paid for my work, amply paid, not in terms of money, but something more valuable.
My English was improved. I was able to teach it, although not very professional.
I learned about the grassroots-level society. Inside myself a heart is growing, a heart that not only beats for myself, but cares for others as well. The volunteer work gave me a precious little chance to say thanks to people like the little boy’s father, who construct highways and undergrounds, build up modern skyscrapers, and make our cities more and more beautiful. To help the children with their English was all I could do at present to show my gratitude to these unsung heroes. The world may not have been fair to them, so people like me are obliged to do whatever we can to help make their life better. Whatever I do for them, however, I know it cannot be compared with what they have done to improve the quality of life in our cities.
Ladies and gentlemen, now I realize that volunteering is not just a one-time personal experience. It should be a lifetime activity of everybody. Many of us are now offering our assistance to the needy and to each other. Our efforts have indeed made a difference. Whether we are helping children with their schooling, or caring for the elderly in nursing homes, or helping out with 2008 Beijing Olympics, we will not only contribute to the harmony of the world but also elevate ourselves. Emerson once said, “It’s one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” He was right.
I hear that my university is going to organize another voluntary teaching program this summer. This time I won’t be dragged in. I will volunteer.
Our Future: A Battle between Dreams and Reality
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen:
When I was in the primary school, I have a dream. I want to invent a device which could bring you from one place to another in no time at all. When I was in the secondary school, my dream was to study in my ideal university. And when eventually I got into the university, my dream was to graduate.
How pathetic! When we grow up, we dream less and become more realistic. Why? Why do we have to change our dreams, so, so in order to let it be "fulfilled"? Why do we have to surrender to the so-called "reality"? What IS the reality actually?
Ladies and gentlemen, the reality is not real. It is a barrier keeping us from all the possible fantasies. Flying, for example, had been a dream to mankind for thousands of years. A hundred years ago, "man could not fly" was still regarded as the "reality". Now if that was really the reality, what did the Wright brothers do? How did some of you get to Macau? Only when we believe that the reality is not real can we soar with our dreams.
People say that our future is a battle between the reality and our dreams. And if, unfortunately, Mr. Reality wins this war, then I see no future of mankind at all. AIDS will never be curable as this IS the reality; People living in the undeveloped countries will suffer from starvation forever as this IS the reality; 4)Disputes among different countries would never be settled as this misunderstandings and intolerance IS the reality.
Ladies and gentlemen, how many of you have a dream of being able to make a lot of money? Please raise your hands. Oh, quite a number of you! Actually, ladies and gentlemen, this is not a dream, but a task. Every one of us has to make a living, right? Anyway I hope your task will be accomplished. How many of you think that you have already fulfilled your dream and that you don't dream anymore? Dear 5)adjudicators, what do you think? C.S. Lewis once said, "You are never too old to dream a new dream." So for our future, please dream and be unrealistic.
Now that I am a university student, my goal is to graduate with excellences. But at the same time, I have a dream deeply rooted in our future. One day, people living in the areas now 6)sweltering with the horror of wars will be able to sit with their families and enjoy their every moment. One day, people from the rich countries are willing to share what they have with those from the poor countries and those from the poor countries will eventually be able to make their own happy living themselves. One day, different cultures in this age of globalization will coexist with tolerance and the unfriendly confrontations among them will be 7)eliminated. One day, the globe will share the dream with me and we will all contribute to making our dream come true. One day, our dream will defeat the reality! Thank you very much.
What would you do if you had only one day left to live?
“What would you do if you had only one day left to live?”
I asked this question to my young students when teaching English this winter. What were their answers?
“I would watch television!” the first answer. “I would play with the computer!” the second one. “I would play with computer TOO.” The girl finished her sentence perfectly with a serious smile. Indeed how cute and innocent that smile was, but how seriously my heart was hurt. I was too frightened to listen to more answers like that.
Ten years ago, at their age, I had a different answer: I would spend the last day of my life gazing at the face of my dear grandmother until I inscribed every detail of it onto my mind.
When grandmother was getting old and weak, my family bought her a telephone so I could save time and the trouble of traveling to her home by making phone calls instead. Later we bought her a television so she could watch modern dramas by herself. Then grandma must have been, we assumed, very contented and happy.
But I never really knew how grandma felt. She silently passed away without a word one night. When I heard about her death, a chilling pain pierced my empty heart. The pain grew even sharper as I tried to remember in detail exactly how grandma looked and I failed completely! How could I remember? I had not visited her for ages—it seemed like a century! My memories of her dissolved into thin air and leaked away like water.
Even though I have a telephone, can she hear me now?
Even though I might be on television, can she see me now?
Even though I have modern telecommunications, can she still communicate with me now?
With all these “tele”s, I was powerless.
Don’t people just love the word of “tele”, which means far away. Indeed this is how modern technology has changed our world. But please don’t forget this other word with “tele”: telepathy: which refers to human beings’ inborn ability to connect to our loved ones. Our minds are supposed to read each other’s minds; our hearts are supposed to feel each other’s hearts — and fulfill these without any forms of tool!
But the moment I desperately struggled to remember grandmother’s face, the telepathy between her and me had shut down forever. With the help of modern technology, I killed our telepathy.
This shall never happen again! The “tele”s are great inventions. But “telepathy” gives them the warmth of a human face. Let’s harness the power of television to excite our kids to develop their telepathy with nature… so that they can read the secret language of flowers. Let’s make the telephone lines provoke us to preserve our telepathy with each other, so we can connect in a warm and feeling way. Let technology keep our “telepathy” ALIVE! We need to wake up and make this happen.
I told my grandma’s story to those young kids that day. They got very quiet. They asked me for a second chance to answer the question. They had come to a new understanding – that very moment they had made to me and to our future together, a dear promise.
Thank you very much!