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E-ticket: Behind The Bamboo Curtain

Originally Published: August 8, 2007
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Story by Wright Thompson


EIJING — We leave the capital on Highway 108 early in the morning, ahead of the sludge of commuter traffic, which grows by a thousand new cars a day. The blacktop beneath the green Jeep knocks us around; we're taking the back road west, ignoring the modern, smooth expressways.

More than 2,500 kilometers separate us from our destination: Chengdu, the dominant city in China's Wild, Wild West. A driver, interpreter and I are setting out to look at a sprawling, complex ...

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