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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.



North Korea doesn’t have many friends, but they do consider China one of them.

Last year China exported $1.08 billion worth of goods to North Korea, up 35% from the previous year and bought $499 million worth of imports – mostly minerals.

The North Koreans literally are digging themselves into a hole.

From 100-200 tourists each day crossed over from Dandong, China into North Korea.

It’s a kind of history lesson. The Chinese learn/remember what it was like to be under a totalitarian regime and rejoice at their foray into capitalism.

There are nearly 350,000 residents in the border town, Sinuiju, across from Dandong. But the factory smokestacks are just stacks – no smoke.

The North Koreans pass time by fishing in rusted out boats, squatting and staring aimlessly. The Ferris wheel doesn’t turn.

It is easier for the Chinese to visit North Korea than to visit Hong Kong, one of their own cities now.

But, when the Chinese visit, the list is long of what NOT to bring.

No Mobile Phones – they take pictures, you know.

No binoculars – what you see is what you see.

No laptop computers – no place to plug them in.

No professional cameras – or otherwise.

No zoom lenses – what is it that is far away but can’t be seen?

North Korea considers China a friend. They gladly welcome the Chinese to come bringing nothing to a place where there isn’t anything.

The Chinese, in turn, are always happy to go home.

What do you think?

go to 老毕看中国

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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Growing Up Aimi Series