The Great Chain of Power

Just after I took her picture, two Chinese tourists shouted at her in Mandarin, an attempt to get her to look at their cameras. When she turned her head away and hid it in her hands, they laughed.

Paul Mozer, Being Tracked While Reporting in China, Where ‘There Are No Whys’, N.Y. Times, April 16, 2019.

This is consistent with my experiences in Xinjiang and Qinghai two decades ago. Even then, before urban China was really rich, there were Chinese tourists in these regions, tourists who viewed the locals as underdeveloped and exotic, not realizing, perhaps, that when Americans visited their hometowns of Beijing or Shanghai, it was they who were the exotic and underdeveloped ones in the eyes of the tourists.