One of the things about making frequent business trips to China is the opportunity afforded by it to take some time out. And so it was in the city that was the gateway to imperial capital Beijing. The seaport that is.
Tianjin, like many coastal Chinese cities in the 19th century was witness to the arrival and eventual domination of foreign powers. No different from the likes of Shanghai, the port were part of the “concessions” granted (well forceably) to foreign governments to maintain their own quarters and laws (yes extraterritorial). To the point that jurisdiction was off limits to the reigning Qing dynasty of China. So much for benevolent rise of stronger nations…
Today it has re-emerged as one of the industrial giants of China. And with development has come not only the glitzier skyscrapers and wonderful looking modern architecture, but also the pollution.
Our little red dot has an on-going collaboration to build an eco-city in Tianjin. This is envisioned to be a model of sustainable city living and development. Eventually to be copied (heheh what’s new) all over China. It’s a grand experiment.
While it may not have as much to offer as nearby Beijing, it certainly has its character. Read our short handprint story here. Have you been to Tianjin?