China: AUG 4, 2017

After arriving in Shanghai on the 3rd, Kun Shi and I traveled west by high-speed rail to Changsha. The station was enormous! This was my first experience with high-speed rail and it was pretty awesome. We glided along at 305kph through the rugged mountains of Jiangxi Province and it made it easy to see why the Japanese had so much trouble occupying this region and how the Chinese could have had such a robust guerrilla movement with an impressive record of rescuing downed American aircrews. It also made me think about the difference between the heartland of China and the United States. The US has vast plains devoted to agriculture. China has rugged, forested mountains. Both countries have about the same land area, but the US has 40% more arable land than China for a population that is 1 billion fewer. It took us 4.5 hours to go 1,083km.  

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