Many people have visited China but few went there to get married in the twenty-first century and had close contact with the Chinese by working and living there. The author took many notes and photos to record experiences, personal conversations, and observations to provide an unvarnished view of modern Chinese society. The huge material advancement of China was obvious, but the subtle influence of the Chinese Communist Party was everywhere, but not realized by tourists—or me at first—or casual observers. The National TV station (CCTV) was often blatant in their propaganda, but everyday life was benign, and the ordinary Chinese lived without obvious interference. The author was not aware of the inconsistency until many Chinese pointed it out.
The author’s only credentials were being a keen observer, listening carefully to the Chinese people, and having a strong desire to look for underlying, unbiased facts. His new stepdaughter was one of the first individuals to jolt me out of just admiring the material advancement of China and thinking about people’s opinions.