I'm presently attending an MTV-Nickelodeon management conference in Beijing, a city I last visited in 1995. While I was primed and pumped up by cliche and high expectations, I was not quite prepared for the dramatic changes from my ten-year-old memories. The new skyline composed of new glass high-rises and cranes jostling for attention, the wide highways and traffic, and the Changi-styled airport were all within my expectations.
But there was something that has changed and was very different that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Somehow, there is a different kind of air in Beijing now. You'll recall that while it was always the capital of the largest country in the world, the city always seemed to be on the periphery, perceived as somewhat of a backwater and largely irrelevant compared to the Tokyos, Hong Kongs or even Shanghais of the world.
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