Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones

Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones offers insights into China's economic development, contrasting rural and urban dynamics, and the implications of national policies on local communities. It explores tourism, demographic challenges, and the blend of traditional and modern life across various regions.

Economic Development Urban vs Rural Dynamics Tourism Demographic Challenges National Policies Traditional vs Modern Life Local Community Impacts

The hottest Substack posts of Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones

And their main takeaways
393 implied HN points 25 Oct 22
  1. Maine and rural China face similar economic and demographic challenges with distinct approaches based on political culture.
  2. Maine, specifically Aroostook, struggles with labor shortage, population decline, and attracting businesses due to lack of skilled workers.
  3. Organizations like the Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) in Aroostook work to support economic development and entrepreneurship in rural communities.
235 implied HN points 21 May 23
  1. Ruili, China's most locked-down city, faced extensive lockdowns due to border cases from Myanmar.
  2. Ruili's economy heavily relies on the jade industry, but the extensive lockdowns impacted businesses and caused many to leave.
  3. Despite challenges, some locals like Xu show resilience and adaptability, with hopes for Ruili's recovery post-pandemic.
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216 implied HN points 05 Nov 22
  1. Tourism is a key focus for rural areas like Aroostook County in Maine and rural China.
  2. Local politics play a significant role in the development and growth of rural communities.
  3. Balancing the approaches to rural development between top-down, like in China, and private sector-led, like in Maine, highlights different philosophies and challenges.
137 implied HN points 18 May 23
  1. Frank Dikötter's works have faced lukewarm feedback from academic peers in Chinese history.
  2. Despite popular success, Dikötter's writing style tends to rely on shocking anecdotes rather than thorough analysis.
  3. Scholarly reviewers have criticized Dikötter for bias, lack of rigor, and ignoring contrary evidence.
157 implied HN points 30 Aug 22
  1. China's 'New Countryside' initiative aims to transform rural areas and create a balanced urban-rural lifestyle model by 2050.
  2. The initiative focuses on rejuvenating rural areas without turning them into tourist destinations or neglecting their development.
  3. The program faces challenges like ensuring fair compensation, preventing misuse of funds, and addressing complexities within rural communities.
78 implied HN points 11 Aug 22
  1. Furong Village has a picturesque setup with a rich history but is struggling with commercial exploitation and conflict between locals and development companies.
  2. The locals, like Boss Xiao, are directly impacted by the tourism industry, and their livelihoods depend on visitor support.
  3. Visitors are encouraged to balance concerns about over-commercialization with supporting the local economy through tourism activities.
78 implied HN points 31 Jul 22
  1. Many apartments in Chenzhou are empty, possibly due to Covid's impact on tourism and real estate
  2. Developments in Zixing also show signs of struggle, with empty shops and abandoned factory sites
  3. Despite economic challenges, Zixing seems to be coping well, especially with its focus on tourism and unique culinary experiences
78 implied HN points 29 Jul 22
  1. Eight out of ten Chinese people don't live in the biggest cities.
  2. Smaller Chinese cities like Chenzhou have unique charm and development.
  3. Travel experiences in smaller cities can provide insight into the diverse reality of modern Chinese life.
39 implied HN points 30 Jul 22
  1. Jishou, a city in Western Hunan, has a unique, oversized infrastructure designed for future growth.
  2. The new district in Jishou is a top-down planned expansion that is still underpopulated, awaiting more job opportunities.
  3. Jishou differs from typical 'ghost cities' in China, with a real town feel and planned development strategies for future growth.
39 implied HN points 27 Jul 22
  1. Local politics can have a significant impact on the development path of tourist areas.
  2. The personal character and leadership of the village leader play a crucial role in representing the interests of the villagers against external influences.
  3. Balancing development and authenticity is essential for the well-being of local communities in tourist areas.
19 implied HN points 02 Aug 22
  1. Chinese development planners leverage natural and cultural resources in rural regions for tourism.
  2. Ethnic tourism development requires respect and balance to be successful.
  3. Cultural tourism in Dehang Miao Village shows a mix of economic success and local acceptance.
19 implied HN points 27 Jul 22
  1. Running a guesthouse in a Chinese tourist zone can be economically challenging
  2. Guesthouses in Longji Rice Terraces had to invest in facilities and compete for guests
  3. Despite challenges, development in the village has greatly improved the residents' lives