Given China's vastness, it was only due to the remarkable thoughtfulness of our hosts that the six members of our Chase group were able to see and experience so much during just ten days in Peking, Sian, Shanghai and Canton. In terms of simple geographic expanse, a week and a half visit to China is something equivalent to trying to see New York City in less than one and a half minutes.
One is impressed immediately by the sense of national harmony. From the loud patriotic music at the border onward, there is very real and pervasive dedication to Chairman Mao and Maoist principles. Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose.
General economic and social progress is no less impressive. Only 25 years ago, starvation and abject poverty are said to have been more the rule than the exception in China. Today, almost everyone seems to enjoy adequate, if Spartan, food, clothing and housing. Streets and homes are spotlessly clean, and medical care greatly improved. Crime, drug addiction, prostitution and venereal disease have been virtually eliminated. Doors are routinely left unlocked. Rapid strides are being made in agriculture, reforestation, industry and education. Eighty per cent of school‐age children now attend primary school, compared with 20 per cent just twenty years ago.