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China Visit, August 2000

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Women in traditional costume greet dignitaries to an economic summit at the Jade Palace hotel.
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The Third World abuts the First World in Beijing, as seen by the shanties next to the formal hotel.
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Beijing looks a lot like many cities -- concrete, steel and glass.
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I enjoyed a traditional Chinese meal with other attendees to the meeting. Most meat seemed to come with the faces still attached, but our hosts were extremely accomodating to my vegetarian diet.
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This building, the Tian'anmen Gate, is on the north side of Tian'anmen Square, the largest public square in the world.
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This mystical lioness is a traditional symbol of China's emperors.
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The walkway from Tian'anmen Gate to the Meridian Gate, entryway to the Forbidden City, is teeming with tourists.
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Tian'anmen Square is seen here from the balcony of Tian'anmen Gate. Traffic was positively orderly, albeit bumper-to-bumper.
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The view to the northwest from Tian'anmen Gate's balcony overlooks one of few wooded areas in the city.
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The imperial Chinese buildings were very ornate, as evidenced by this detailed artwork on the gable of the gate.
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This bronze lion is another imperial symbol and appears at many royal sites as a companion to the lioness.
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Incense was burned in enormous urns around the Forbidden City.
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Several crane statues were located on the Forbidden City's terraces.
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Only the emperor was allowed to pass over the sculpted ramps in the center of walkways, carried in his sedan chair. This one is on the walk to Ding Ling's tomb.
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This colorful gate stands over the walk to Ding Ling's tomb. Ding Ling was a Ming Dynasty emperor, one of thirteen buried at separate, impressive sites known collectively as the Ming Tombs.
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The Pavilion atop Ding Ling's mausoleum commands an impressive view of the valley of the tombs. Unfortunately, the perpetual haze prevented any good snapshots.
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In Badaling, a cable car took us up the mountainside to the Great Wall.
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The mountains in Badaling were beautiful, rugged terrain.
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The Great Wall runs along mountaintops for more than 3000 miles. At its longest, it was once nearly 4200 miles, built entirely by hand over centuries of time.
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The Great Wall is quite steep when it ascends a ridge directly up the fall line.
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Graffiti mars the crenalations on the Great Wall. I suspect this is a fairly modern mark, but suppose it is possible that soldiers did it centuries ago.
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Proof that I was there: the only picture taken that had me in it ... and part of some other guy.
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The touring Joint Engineering Taskforce members had a wonderful time on the trip hosted by CNNIC.
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I wish I thought to get a picture of the chaos of walkers, cyclists and cars that was typical of Beijing. I finally thought of it in the taxi on the way to the airport, and this doesn't really convey how crazy the situation was.

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Last modified: Fri Jun 8 13:49:07 2001
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