Runan (汝南), a thousand year history small town in Central China

Runan (汝南) is my home town, so in the Spring Chinese new year, I went back to Runan to celebrate the Spring Festival with my family.

Runan, another name Tian Zhong, have thousand years history in China, and many famous people are born here, also with many beautiful cultural stories, for example, Lian Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, a famous lover in Chinese history, died here.
With tremendous history background, there are many beautiful scenarios.

This is Tian Zhong Mountain (天中山), it is very small, however have a famous name. In Tang dynasty, the famous calligrapher Yan Zhenqing leave his calligraphy work of three words: Tian Zhong Mountain. So many people are coming here to witness the great artwork. In Runan, the calligraphy is very popular, and it’s also a very important part of Chinese culture. You can see many Calligraphy here.

This below ancient bridge and gate was built for defending invasion before, and it’s still kept in good form for people daily usage.

Another famous place is Nanhai Temple (南海禅寺). It’s the one of the largest temple in China. Every year, especially in Chinese New Year, lots of people from China are pouring into here to pray for Budda.

Next is Wuying Tower (悟颖塔), which is built in Song Dynasty. It is said there was a night bright pearl on the top of the tower, however sadly, it was stolen during Japanese invasion.

Last is about Ruhe (汝河), it’s the mother river of Runan. In my childhood, there are many beautiful memories here. And it has changed a lot, unfortunately, I didn’t find the picture of Ruhe is past time.

As we can see, Runan is a very beautiful town and full of Chinese culture.

Besides the beauty and cultural part, I want to focus on brief of my recent witness on the development and problem of this town.

1. The better living environment: With the development of Urbanization, Chinese government encourages the village people move to the city, and the prosperity of real estate business propels China GDP growing fast. Runan is in no exception. In the past several years, many tall buildings was built to meet the requirement of people want to live better environment. The government also make the town cleaner, and built a better living environment than before.

As people living in new building and pursuing better life, the home appliance companies, such as GREE (格力), Midea (美的), Haier (海尔), etc, entered in the broad market of home appliances. You can see many GREE, Midea, Haier stores in Runan.

These Chinese companies are dedicated to develop good quality products and satisfy people daily needs, such as air condition, refrigerator, wash machine, etc. Hence, they takes large shares of home appliance market, grown fast in the past and will continue to have bright future in Chinese huge market.

2. The amazing transport road. With huge investment in the infrastructure, Chinese government has built amazing infrastructure system in China, such as high speed train, airport, the high ways, etc. The road in Runan is very wide, which is even better than Manila in Philippines.

Even in Rural area, the villages are connected by fine road, it’s very convenient to drive car to the villages from town compared with past times.

As people getting wealthy and developed road system, people bought cars for traveling convenient. In one Runan living area, you can see the parking lot full of cars. And just imagine there are 1.4 billion people in China, and around 100 million young people every  year to have the needs to buy new cars.

3. Delivery and eCommerce. Since the transportation is very developed, goods can be transfered very efficiently from different places. So people from the small town and villages can also enjoy eCommerce from home. When I stayed home, I buy a wifi box from JD eCommerce platform (京东商城), a similar platform as Amazon. The good is delivered to me in the second day after I purchased online. The world is flatter in Internet and developed transportation world.

However, there are also some problems I have found out:

1. Gambling. When I visit my home village, I heard someone have drank posion because he lost all his money with high interest debt in gambling. Gambling is very popular in villages before, and makes many people lose their home, family, and Even life. Government has done lots of efforts to prohibit gamble, and the gambling is hard to find now, however, most of them are transfered to underground. The misery still happen nowdays.

2. Health. In China, due to very complex reasons, a lot of young people got disease which are hard to cure. Although people are getting wealthier than before, there are still many things to be fixed for people’s health, for example, air pollution, contaminated water, high pressure work, etc. I believe this is next big opportunity in China, people focus on making money in the past 30 years, however, in the next 30 years, healthy is the most important focused thing in their life.

3. Credit issue. In China, especially in villages, most of people still making business by guanxi, not by legal contract. So you can find some friends turned into enemy in the end, because they cheat each other for self benefit. Many evidences shows that guanxi is not a reliable thing, and interest is. In the modern wold, business should be rely on legal contract and credit. Especially, Internet eliminate information disparity. If a person have good credit and reputation, he can make money very easily; however, If he has bad reputation, he will have nothing in the end.

Last thing I want to simply talk about is the wine culture in China.

In my home town, wine is still a mandatory thing, especially when friends or relatives are gathering for dinner. The more famous and expensive wine the hosts brings, the more good feeling every guest have. In the dinner, wine takes the most major cost not the cuisine.

In the past decades, Mou Tai (茅台) and Wu Liang Ye (五粮液), the most two famous wine brand in China, have shown us how they can beat inflation, revenue and profits grown steady in history. They are also a hundreds of years business, which is ideal investment for investors. I will expand the topic in future.

From the above introduction, taking Runan as a sample, we can see great development has achieved in the past, however, there are still many problems to be solved. These are next big chances for Chinese development, and also big chances for us to focus on.


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