Fortunate areas have much similarity; Unfortunate areas all have their own stories.
My interest with the great disparity between different local areas within China derives from a field work in a small village in ShanXi province. Compared to the modern city where I grew up, peasants there live in small caves, and there is no water or electricity, say nothing of education and democracy. I remember clearly that I could not sleep those days and many questions never left my head: How come such great disparity? What is the real cause of poorness in the country? Where is their hope?.
Stimulated by strong curiosities, I first dive into books. Many professors have done excellent researches on the issue of rural China, the most impressive one of whom is Professor Jean C. Oi in Stanford with her distinguished book: Rural China Takes Off, which examines the issues that must be resolved if China is to modernize its agricultural sector in the 1990s. Indeed, I am fascinated by the great passion, the insight and the methodology of these professors, while as to me, a Chinese student, I have my own advantage: that is I am much more familiar with the reality in China and I have the great responsibility for the poor people in my country. And I believe that I can make certain contributions to this research area.
I know what I want to solve, and what is still needed is methodology, namely, the instrument to work on those problems. To more fundamentally examine the development in rural China, the power of Politics is far from enough. Politics without Economics is wan, just as Economics without Politics. Thus, I began to learn Economics as my double major in China Center for Economic Research (CCER) and finished all the required Economics courses that are designed for three years within two years, which few of my counterparts have the passion and willpower to even think of it.
During my Economic study, I was attracted by the powerful explanations of Economics and moved by the social responsibility of the most distinguished economists in China, and I actively participated in kinds of lectures and forums, as well as discussed with the professors.