Day 25: Rest day at Kashgar

We were all very tired, so we had full rest on the rest day today. We had planned some sightseeing programme with the guide in the morning yesterday, which was cancelled. We took a small tour of the old Kashgar city in the evening. There is an old market like the one in Hyderabad or Old Delhi. We visited that market.

We most surprisingly learnt that two persons from Mumbai are travelling to four continents, Asia, Europe, South and North America. They were in Kashgar today and Anupam contacted them on social media. We made appointment with them to meet in the evening.

We met Mr. Praveen Mehta, a textile businessman and Dr. Sudhir Baldota, a homeopath turned photographer, in a restaurant. We talked and talked and talked late into the evening. Their plan is to go to new places and meet and interview interesting people including a Cambodian Akira who defuses landmines. They have met many celebrities on their way till now. They started from Mumbai to North East and then enter Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and then China. They plan to cover 70,000 kms. in 4 continents in 300 days.

It was very interesting meeting. There was lots of common interest between us and it never looked that we were meeting for the first time. Dr. Sudhir took lot of photographs. We took dinner together.
We returned hotel late in the evening.

Today, being the last day in China, I think we would learn something about China’s political system. The political system includes the Communist Party and its military, the People’s Liberation Army, the state, led by the State Council, to which the Party delegates day – to – day administration of the country, and the National People’s Congress (NPC). China has a Unicameral legislature.

China is governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct- controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.  There are 33 province-level administrative divisions and two Special Administrative Regions.  These administrative divisions are headed by a Secretary. He is in-charge of the province. The second-in-command is the governor of the provincial government.

A Municipality directly under the administration of the central government is a higher lever of city which is directly under the Chinese government, with status equal to that of the provinces. In practice their political status is higher than that of common provinces.

An autonomous region is a minority subject which has a higher population of a particular minority ethnic group along with its own local government. An autonomous region theoretically has more legislative rights than in actual practice. The governor of each autonomous region is usually appointed from the respective minority ethnic group.

The Special administrative region is a highly autonomous and self-governing sub national subject of the People’s Republic of China, that is directly under the Central People’s Government. Each Special Administrative Region has a chief executive as head of the region and head of the government. The region’s government is not fully independent, as foreign policy and military defence are the responsibility of the central government.

We had very good journey in China for 20 days. We will leave the country with lots of best wishes for the people here. We admire the infrastructure here, specially the highways in the country, and would be missing the same.

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