Surprising Harbin - Music Scene
Did you know . . . a museum
culture and its development in China (the first of
its kind in China) has recently opened in Harbin.
Miao Di, curator of the Heilongjiang Music
Museum said that the museum has a collection
of 100 valuable musical instruments, 400
potraits of notable Chinese musicians and
manuscripts of a dozen of famous Chinese
composers such as Wang Luobin, Fu Gengchen
and Zhang Peiji.
Positioned as one of the major music centers in
China, Harbin is not short of musical talent.
Chen Lin is just settling into her new hometown,
as assistant professor of conducting at the
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of
Music. Born the daughter of two physicians in
Harbin, China, she started playing piano at age
5. By 15, she was admitted to the renowned
Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing as a
composer, and 10 years ago, she took up the
conducting baton. Chen Lin beat out more than
120 applicants from around the world for that
Also in the Midwest, the newest addition to the
School of Music faculty at Northwestern
University is Zhang Daxun, who is the newest
lecturer in Double Bass. Zhang, a native of
Harbin, attended the Central Conservatory of
Music in Beijing and completed his post-
graduate studies at Indiana University. He can
be heard on the soundtrack of a 10-part
documentary series on Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road
Project and on the companion CD that will be
released by Sony.
It appears that the Chinese economy is in hyper
overdrive. The reported 9.9 % growth rate
in the fourth quarter of 2005 seems to have
triggered a round of analysis that has put all
previous projects out the window. China
has the world’s fourth largest economy, and
producing more than 25 percent of the world’s
economic growth – an amazing achievement
despite it daunting size. These are statistics
not usually associated with so-called emerging
countries. Is China still emerging? Looking at
the statistics and the import/export figures, it is
hard to characterize China with such third world
A lot of concern is being expressed in the
western world. Is this the “China Century” as
some predict . . . or fear, as the case may be?
Too many in the U.S. are still thinking
defensively. How do we slow down China? How
do we protect previously dominant U.S,
manufacturing industries? How do we maintain
America’s world economic lead? All good
questions. However, we will not succeed unless
we understand that the real answers lie in very
different questions. How do we develop new
industries? How do we bring investment
China to the United States? How do we benefit
from U.S. investment in China?
If we look to dominate an economic based on
our political borders, we will fail to stay in the
race. The new global economy will be based on
the two-way flow of investment and product
(services). The situation is similar to what our
colonies faced more than 200 years ago.
Instead of economically autonomous colonies or
states, we created a universal economy
embracing now 50-plus political jurisdictions
without destructive tariffs and trade wars. We
should anticipate that same outcome on the
For the forward thinkers, cities like Harbin are
the golden gateway to a strong economic future
based on proven free market principles. Contrary
to the myopic thinking of unions and
isolationists, investments in China (and other
nations) will create a healthier economy for all.
Funds flowing to the U.S, from successful U.S.
enterprises overseas produce wealth and jobs for
Americans. The growth of the Chinese
produces wealth that can be invested in
America – and that flow is already
Enough for now. Next time, I will expound a bit
on a concept I call “localizing investments.”
Have a productive week! Larry P. Horist -
|Personal Income On The Rise
The per capita disposable income of urban
residents in northeast China's Heilongjiang
Province reached over USD 1,000 last year, a rise
of 10.7% year on year. The income rise is
attributed to the increases of wages, business
incomes and incomes from properties, according
to the provincial statistics bureau.
The per capita net income of rural residents in
the province surged 7.2% year on year to USD
400 last year. The bureau attributed the
increase in farmers' income to better sales of
grain and increasing incomes from labor services.
|Pepsi Expansion in China
Pepsi (China) Chairman announced that Pepsi's
first canning plant funded with USD 20 million is
due to begin production in two months. Pepsi
further adds that over the next three years,
Pepsi would spend USD 850 million in China.
In 2005, Pepsi opened three plants in China. Till
now, Pepsi has set up 40 businesses and
projects with a total investment of over USD 1
billion. It currently employs 10,000 people in
|Public Relief For Public Inconveniences
Alongside food and fire crackers, Chinese are
adding a new item to their lunar New Year
shopping - Adult diapers. No, you did
Sales have soared ahead of the holiday as
travelers prepare for long trips home aboard
trains so crowded that even the toilets are
jammed with people. A southern industrial city
with a large migrant population, stores report
diaper sales have risen 50% since the main
travel season began.
The problem arises from the need to sell twice
as many tickets as there are train seats to
accommodate the crush of travelers. Those
without seats must find some place — any
place — to put themselves, including in
overhead racks, between cars, and in the usually
stinking toilets. Just purchasing a ticket can
mean lining up for hours.
Despite such inconvenience, the deeply rooted
concept of a family reunion prompts people to
undertake such journeys, at all cost.
|Ski Makers Eye China
The world's largest ski makers have seen the
future, and it begins at places like Nanshan Ski
Resort in China, where the snow is man-made
and each of the 12 runs lasts less than a
minute. Nanshan and China's 204 other ski
areas may be the hottest market for ski makers.
"China has all the ingredients: mountains, snow,
people, and economic enrichment," says Jean-
Francois Gautier, 51, president of Skis Rossignol,
which is based in Voiron, France. "It would be a
big mistake not to be there."
The Winter Olympics, which opened on Friday in
Turin, Italy, may give China its first skiing gold
medals, helping ski makers to lure more of the
country's 1.3 billion people to the slopes. Skis
Rossignol's local agent last month sponsored the
2006 Youth Cup slalom competition near Beijing
to pique interest in the sport ahead of the
The number of Chinese who went skiing last year
rose to 3 million from 300,000 in 2000, as
economic growth created a middle class with
money to spend on leisure.
Skiing will take off in China when investors
improve its resorts, especially in the mountains
near Harbin, says Michael Schineis, president of
Atomic, the world's largest ski maker. The
Harbin Yabuli Ski Resort, China's biggest, is 74
miles from Harbin or a two-hour flight from
Shanghai. Opened in 1996 for the third Asian
Winter Games, its highest peak is 3,200 feet.
Opportunities at other ski resorts in Heilongjiang
are also seeking investors and joint venture
"They ski on hills and the only real mountains
are difficult to get to," says Eric Guilpart,
director of marketing at Paris-based Compagnie
des Alpes, Europe's largest manager of ski
areas, including the Chamonix resorts in
France. "It's not the sort of quality we look for."
Many companies, including Vancouver-based
Intrawest Corp., the largest ski resort operator
in North America which also manages Whistler in
British Columbia, have begun scooping out
opportunities for expansion into China. Boosting
the popularity of winter sports is an important
part of China's Olympic sports strategy, says
Duan Shijie, a deputy director of the General
Administration of Sport in Beijing.
For more information about Yabuli or other ski
resorts in Harbin, please contact us.