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Searching in Asian Backwaters for Pontiac's Next Act

Deputy Economic Director Matthew Gibb of Oakland County, Michigan invited me on a trade mission to China which would change my world view in 2014. After 4 days in several cities in China, I awoke on the 30+th floor of the brand new Intercontinental Hotel in a city called "Chengdu, China" - never heard of this place, didn't bother trying to find it on a map before I left the states.

When the blinds automatically opened along with my preset alarm clock's alarm I saw this building. The world's largest structure. Inside there are malls, waterparks and HOTELs (several), office buildings and more. We were shuttled around that day, saw pandas and communist leaders, and I never went inside or near this incredible structure, but I was humbled to see its scale and it has left me numb to the idea that America is leading the world in the 21st century. The urban experiment growing places like in China and UAE are a must see for anyone who thinks we are the center of the planet, today or tomorrow.

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