A Short History of Hong Kong

by Joe

Located on the Southern Coast of China, modern day Hong Kong is a thriving cosmopolitan city and international financial center. With over 7 million people, the city is the most densely populated in the world. It’s unique geographical position on the coast and natural harbor serves as a gateway between East and West, perfect for international trade. With over 200 outlying islands, Hong Kong is a popular travel destination, offering world class dining, elite shopping and extraordinary attractions.

The Beginnings

It was during the Opium War in 1842 that the Qing dynasty government was defeated and China ceded Hong Kong Island to Britain. Shortly after, the area became an important trading port. In the early 20th century, refugees fleeing mainland China helped populate the city, turning it into a major manufacturing hub. In the 1980’s Hong Kong earned its place as one of the world’s top 10 economies and in 1997, China resumed sovereignty.

Do You See The Whole Elephant?

by Joe

In an old fable, “six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.” Each of these men were right, but at the end of their investigation, none of them really knew what an elephant looked like as a whole.

In many ways, we tend to view China in this same manner. We assume that since we’ve become familiar with one aspect or another of the country that we have everything we need to make a fair assessment. And just as the blind men were limited in their understanding, by failing to comprehend China in its entirety we limit our ability to appreciate the country for its true worth.

First Make Friends, Then Do Business

by Joe

When it comes to doing business, Western philosophies may involve some of the same general ideas as the Chinese, but the underlying rationale couldn’t be more different. As Americans, we have lunch meetings to discuss important dealings or sit through lengthy dinners to finalize important negotiations. The reason? In most cases, it’s probably to impress upon our colleagues the notion that we have the ability to get the job done- and that’s an important part of American business. It’s a display of power and nothing more.

To the Chinese, building relationships is an essential prerequisite that must be achieved before any business can take place. The Guanxi, or network of relationships, in many ways defines business success or failure. And if you want to proceed, you must first make friends, laugh, share a meal and develop trust. A simple strategy for a complex process – first make friends, then do business.

DO NOT POST Fundamentals of Feng Shui

by Joe

In Chinese, “feng” means wind and “shui” means water. To the Chinese, wind and water are essential elements that support survival, but they also represent Earth energy. Years ago, Feng Shui masters used to follow the rivers through the mountains to study “chi” which is an abstract, ancient Chinese science and part of the Earth’s energy.  The belief is that wind and water carry chi, and when it is good, your house is favorable, but when chi is bad, many hardships ensue.

Feng Shui Basics

Feng Shui is essentially the study of chi energy and how it if affects our environment and other aspects of life including health, finances, career and well-being. Chi flows through our bodies, our homes, and the atmosphere around us. When chi is in harmony with the environment around you, then you are considered to have a good Feng Shui house. However, chi that is not in harmony could mean potential trouble in your personal and professional life.

 

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