We are in Chengdu, China staying at the Kemplinski Chengdu Hotel, Nice modern hotel by any standards. This is a city of 11 million with good infrastructure. The highways are similar to what you would find in any American city. They have a subway and are expanding that. They are also building an elevated rail system using the same building technique that was used on the Highway 17 bypass bridge in Washington.
It is really clear that economically this is no longer a totally socialist state. I saw dealerships this afternoon for Jaguar/Land Rover, Lamborghini, Lexus, and BMW. There also many banks in this downtwon area. Now political and social oppression are a different matter, especially in Tibet where we are headed tomorrow.
We leave early on an Air China jet for Lhasa. It is supposed to be much colder there. We have our warm clothes ready.