外文标题：Shining Shenzhen and Chinese tea
It is hard to understand why construction activity is going on at such a furious pace in Fangchenggang, south China. Scores of sky-scrapers are adding millions of square feet of residential space in this fledgling port town. People from all over China are investing in properties in this town of 700,000 people.
The confusion cleared after we reached Shenzhen, a much bigger city in neighbouring Guangdong province. Shenzhen, which is close to Hong Kong, was the first special economic zone in China.
In 1979, when the SEZ was first planned, the population of Shenzhen was barely 300,000. Today, 34 years later, it has risen to 20 million. If you want office or residential space in Shenzhen, it is perhaps twice as expensive as south Mumbai.
Shenzhen has the highest per capita GDP in the whole of China. Plenty of expats, including Indian IT expats, live here. The town has grown to such proportions that it almost rivals Hong Kong's economy. People from Shenzhen go to Hong Kong for shopping- 80 Yuan fetch you 100 Hong Kong dollars.
We went to the Shenzhen Press Group, which runs the largest newspaper in the province. Of course it is government owned and controlled like all other publications in China. The editor-in-chief told us over an elaborate dinner that he just tries to ensure three things - profits, professionalism and political correctness - the last one being most important. In 1992, when ex-premier Deng Xaoping visited Shenzhen, the paper carried a report on how China was opening up its economy. The world was surprised. Even Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency was taken aback. But the words proved to be prophetic and the reporter who filed the story went on to win many awards.
In the evening, we went to a discotheque which was swarming with youngsters dancing to Chinese and western rock. The pole dancers were unlike their counterparts anywhere in the world. They would climb up and down the pole with the ease of gymnasts.
There were about a thousand youngsters packed in the disco on the eve of a big day for China - the university entrance exams and Xi Jinping's meeting with Barack Obama. The youngsters are central to Xi's Chinese dream and their energy is just infectious. Many years back, the Chinese youth used to swim across the sea to Hong Kong to escape from the communist regime. Not any more. High speed trains and highways take you across in barely 30 minutes and there are plenty of Hong Kong residents who now travel to Shenzhen for work and business. Everywhere you go in China for official meetings, there are these beautiful 'chaiwalis' who keep pouring out a variety of green teas into your cup. That’s one continuity from Ahmedabad where I hardly drink any water and, instead, survive on about a dozen mugs of black and green tea a day. In China, the tea culture is so widespread that no one offers you water, even in a restaurant, unless you ask for it.
Coming back to the disco and the subject of food, you get a basket of fruits if you order for a drink in the disco. Also, having been a great fan of black and green teas, a visit to the plant which makes the was an eye opener. A pack of 60 grams of tea flower can cost you $ 10,000. Who buys? The Chinese, of course.
Spotted a couple of other funny signboads. At the Fangchenggang airport, a hot water vending machine said 'Hot water. Burn care'. At the Fortune hotel in Shenzheng: 'If any regards, contact manager'.
此外，我还发现了一些有趣的标语牌。在防城港机场，一个热水自动贩卖机上写着：Hot water. Burn care （水热，小心烫手）。在深圳财神大酒店有这么一个标语：If any regards, contact manager 。