Here's one last Random China Comment.
Random China Comments: Improvements I'd Like to See
While China is a fun place to visit, there are some things about it that can be very problematic for tourists. On that note, I'd like to quickly go over some of the things I'd most like to see change in China over the coming years. Note that, for the purposes of this list, I'm only going to cover things that strongly impact the average tourist (though most of them would be really beneficial for Chinese citizens as well) and I'm going to mostly avoid political and cultural issues. If these things are dealt with, visits to China will be much safe and more pleasant.
So, in no particular order...
1. Less Smoking
Or at least less smoking allowed in public places. Though, if you are a smoker, you'll probably find the much small number of restrictions a nice change... While more businesses and/or the government could easily limit smoking in more locations, a lot of people seem to ignore the no signs there are and actually reducing the number of smokers will take a lot of time. So yeah, I assume this will improve, but very slowly.
2. Less Pollution
Over all, China is easily the most polluted place I've ever seen by far You really have to get far into the countryside if you want to find clean air and water and even then there's usually still some smog around. Another difficult and time consuming problem to fix, but certainly doable if the government really gets behind the effort.
3. Easier Train Travel
More high speed train lines would be nice but, from what I can tell, those are already an ongoing project. I won't even complain about all the security checks (though I'm not sure if they're really needed). However, it would make things so much easier if the Chinese government would just allow tourists to buy train tickets using the automated kiosks (you need a Chinese ID card). They already have an English menu option, so it would be a simple enough. Right now though, not being able to use the kiosks means talking to an actual ticket agent. Problem is, there are usually very long lines and most ticket agents can't speak English, making the ticket buying process a difficult and time consuming hassle.
4. Improved Sanitation
Being able to actually drink the tap water and not having to carry around anti-bacterial wipes or gel to use before meals would be a huge improvement, and go a long way towards making China feel like a fully modern country. Not having to worry about getting food poisoning from smaller restaurants and street food would be awesome as well.
5. Faster and Less Restricted Internet
While I think the hotels I've stayed at are partly to blame for the horrendous internet access I usually have in China, that's not the whole problem. Though I did recently read that the government is going to be investing a lot of money in improving internet speeds throughout the country, so that's one issue hopefully taken care of.
One thing I'd really like to see though, is for the Chinese government to stop blocking access to so many web sites; including gmail (and everything else Google), Facebook, and many other widely used sites and services. I do appreciate that I can access them on my phone (at least so long as I'm not on wi-fi), but data costs when roaming are pretty expensive and not being able to access them on my computer is, at best, extremely inconvenient. At worst, it could make conducting business while in China near impossible if you rely heavily on some of the blocked sites.
6. Better Cleanliness and Repair in Hotels
While I've yet to get a hotel room in China that's so bad I won't stay there, I've only had a couple where I'd say the room cleanliness and quality was completely up to US or Japanese standards. I'm not sure if the issue is hotel policy or the maids' skills or work ethic, but something could use a bit of improvement.
7. Less Scams
China is getting a bit infamous for scammers that target foreigners (trying to sell knock-off items, overcharging in restaurants and taxis, pretending to need money for train tickets, etc., etc.). Sure you can avoid at least most of the scams if you're careful, but it would be nice if they weren't so prevalent.
8. Better Traffic Safety
Not knowing China's traffic laws, I'm not sure if the main problem is due to lack of suitable laws, or a glut of drivers who ignore them. Either way, appropriate laws should be made (if needed) and very strictly enforced. Especially in regards to stopping before turning on red lights and giving pedestrians the right of way when they're crossing at the proper time. Charging ahead full speed to make a right turn on a red, while honking and hoping everyone runs out the way, is not how it should be done. There are lots of other traffic safety issues that should be addressed, but I'd say that's the most critical one I've noticed so far.