I went on a 2 week Panama Cruise last month. Fear not. No pictures nor travel log here. Just to relay a very unusual experience. I was taken aback by the Panamanian tour guide plainly pointing out the American-induced Panama independence from Columbia in order to gain control to build and own the canal. The best living conditions, “paradise-colony” as quoted, taken up by the American military and canal adminstrators and paid for by the billions of canal fees annually. Then came the student prostestors shot dead, the riots, and eventual return of the canal to Panama on the eve of the second millenuim. Manuel Noriega and the 1989 US invasion was also mentioned. What was shocking to me was the fact that the tour group was made up of mostly Americans. Not only did they listened quietly, but even tipped the tour guide as expected, uncharacteristic of American tourists a few decades ago.
One week later on CNN, the newsperson reported that due to economic hard times, US college graduates enlisted in the military doubled to over 6,000, only some are officers, hence greatly improving the quality of its arm forces. At the same time the Chinese military recruits with college degrees numbered over 100,000.
These factual first hand observations have nothing to do with US bashing or pro-China sentiments. May be just subtle signs on the rise and fall of nations. We are of Chinese origin. We are also citizens of a nation neighbouring the incumbent richest superpower. Their rise and fall makes us the “New Sandwitch Generation”. And of course more so with our Chinese-American friends. Can anyone tell me what that means?