MOGANSHAN, China — MARK KITTO is still here. But he is leaving soon, he swears. It will happen sometime this summer, he said, after a final road trip with his family to the outer reaches of the Chinese empire, where two decades ago as a British soldier he joined a 59-day expedition to cross the Taklamakan Desert.
中國莫干山——馬克·基多(Mark Kitto)還在這裡，但他發誓很快就離開。他說要在今年夏天走，走之前會和家人一起去中華帝國版圖最外沿做一次最後的公路旅行。 20年前，他作為英國士兵在那裡參加過一次橫穿塔克拉瑪干沙漠的為期59天的探險。
The furniture has already been removed from the home he rebuilt atop this bamboo-cloaked mountain three hours from Shanghai. And his Cantonese wife, Joanna Kitto, is handing day-to-day management of their restaurant and three atmospheric guesthouses to others.
Many foreigners in China think Mr. Kitto left the country last summer. But Mr. Kitto, 46, one of the better-known foreign entrepreneurs of his generation in China, is only now making good on the promise that he set forth in a provocative essay titled “You'll Never Be Chinese.” It was published in August in Prospect, a British literary magazine, and it was Mr. Kitto's farewell to a time when he made Shanghai and then Moganshan his adopted homes, all after being born Cornish , growing up in Wales, attending college in London and completing service in the Welsh Guards.
很多在華外國人以為基多去年夏天就已經離開了中國。但是，作為在他這代人中的比較著名的旅華外國企業家，今年46歲的基多現在才開始兌現他在《你永遠成不了中國人》(You'll Never Be Chinese)一文中做出的承諾。這篇文章是去年8月在英國文學雜誌《展望》(Prospect)上發表的，當時引發了極大的爭議。基多出生在康沃爾郡，在威爾士長大，後來到倫敦讀大學，並在威爾士衛隊(Welsh Guards)服完兵役。過去一段時間，他把上海和莫干山當成了自己的家，那篇文章也是對這段經歷的訣別書。5月份，馬克·基多從莫干山的家裡搬了出來。
Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times
In the essay, he laid out why, after 16 years in this country, he would be heading back to his homeland. He wrote about the hardships of sustaining a business here, of a government that sacrifices the well-being of its people to stay in power and finally of very personal concerns over raising his two children, ages 8 and 10, in China.
“I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life,” he wrote. “I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream.”
The dream still looks rather attractive from the perch where Mr. Kitto recently had lunch with a couple of visitors — an outdoor table at a local restaurant with panoramic views of the valley. He pointed to a half-finished Buddhist temple below. Local officials were building it to attract tourist revenue, he said, even though no monks lived in the valley.
But back to the essay: “After that article came out, there was quite a lot of reaction,” he said.
Mr. Kitto's article became widely circulated among expatriates in China, forcing some to question the basic assumptions they had made in trying to build a life here. Others asked whether Mr. Kitto had been unrealistic in what he had expected from China. And what exactly did Mr. Kitto mean by saying “You'll never be Chinese?” What foreigner expected to become Chinese anyway?
But Mr. Kitto seems to have been a harbinger. In the months afterward, other expatriates wrote essays about leaving China. The departures appear to have accelerated this year, as people who moved here around 2008, in the prelude to the Summer Olympics, cycle out. Foreigners also increasingly fear the pollution in northern China, among the worst in the world, and the shortcomings in water and food safety.
The exodus seems to be particularly pronounced among expatriates who, like Mr. Kitto, are immersed in the literary and journalistic scene. They have all prided themselves on being engaged with China in a much deeper way than your average corporate employee posted here by a multinational company. They are descendants of the kinds of foreigners that the historian Jonathan D. Spence wrote about in his first book, “To Change China”: students of the language, entrepreneurs, explorers.
這股離開中國的潮流，似乎在像基多這樣浸淫於文學和新聞圈子的外國人當中尤為明顯。他們都自詡比一般跨國公司派出的員工更了解中國。他們的前輩是歷史學家史景遷(Jonathan D. Spence)在他的第一本書《改變中國》(To Change China)中描述的那些人：學習語言的人、創業者和冒險家。
“I think Mark sees himself in the continuum of British adventurers in China,” said Harvey Thomlinson, a publisher in Hong Kong who owns the non-American rights to Mr. Kitto's memoir, “China Cuckoo.”
香港出版人哈維·托姆林森(Harvey Thomlinson)擁有基多的回憶錄《中國杜鵑》(China Cuckoo)在美國以外地區版權，他說，“我認為馬克在審視自己時，會認為自己是在延續英國冒險家在中國的脈絡。”
And Britons do have a colorful history here, whether adventurers like Sir Edmund Backhouse, who claimed to be an insider in the Qing imperial court and a lover of the Empress Dowager Cixi, or the missionaries who built stone villas atop Moganshan in the early 20th century . Each generation of foreigners has a different character, much of it dependent on the changes in China.
英國人在中國的歷史上的確有過濃墨重彩的一章。從自稱清廷的圈內人、慈禧太后情人的埃德蒙·巴恪思爵士(Sir Edmund Backhouse)這樣的冒險家，到20世紀初在莫干山頂修建別墅的傳教士，都是如此。每個年代的外國人都有不同的特點，其中大部分都取決於中國的變化。
“I think Beijing's entered a new stage in its development,” said Alex Pearson, a longtime British expatriate, bookstore owner and friend of Mr. Kitto who is also leaving China this summer. “You have a new kind of foreigner coming, and young Chinese with different goals. It's a different vibe than when I came here.”
MR. KITTO'S history here is well documented. He first embraced China while a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Then there was the crossing of the Taklamakan in 1993, in a camel caravan led by another British adventurer, Charles Blackmore. But Mr. Kitto is best known for publishing in the late 1990s and early 2000s an authorized expatriate magazine in three Chinese cities — unheard of for a foreigner. The profitable venture was seized by officials in 2004, he said, and Mr. Kitto retreated to Moganshan to start another China career.
基多在中國的經歷被很好地記錄了下來。他第一次來中國時還是倫敦大學(University of London)亞非學院(School of Oriental and African Studies)的學生。後來在1993年，他加入了另一個英國探險家查爾斯·布萊克莫爾(Charles Blackmore)率領的駝隊，穿越了塔克拉瑪干沙漠。但是基多最為人熟知的則是在20世紀90年代末和21世紀初，在中國的三座城市出版了一本得到批准的旅華外國人雜誌，這對外國人來說是聞所未聞的。他說，這樁利潤豐厚的生意在2004年被官員攫走，之後基多就隱居莫干山，開始了另一份在中國的事業。
Then Mr. Kitto wrote of leaving Moganshan in what he had intended to be his final column for Prospect. Officials in Zhejiang Province took it personally and started an inquiry. Mr. Kitto was in Shanghai en route to the United States when the police questioned his wife.
“She was exploding; she was screaming on the phone: 'What have you gone and done now? I've got the police calling me,'” he said. “She's Cantonese. She does get excited.”
By the time Mr. Kitto returned a week later, things had calmed down, but the local officials were still determined to find out why he wanted to leave, he said. In part, they were following orders from provincial officials who had apparently become concerned about the potential impact of Mr. Kitto's essay on foreign investment.
TO a degree, Mr. Kitto's disenchantment did arise from business regulations. Mr. Kitto said one of his gripes was that you could never truly build a long-term business here without the fear that officials could take it from you at any time. Mr . Kitto and his wife, for instance, can never legally own the land on which their Moganshan homes stand.
But there were more fundamental issues. “Modern day mainland Chinese society is focused on one object: money and the acquisition thereof,” Mr. Kitto wrote. In another section, he wrote, “The government is so scared of the people it prefers not to lead them,” and “the Party only steps to the fore where its power or personal wealth is under direct threat.”
The overriding reason Mr. Kitto offered for his departure was to give his children “a decent education,” away from the test-oriented curriculums of Chinese schools and their propagandistic history lessons.
Mr. Kitto said he stood by the essay, no matter the controversies, and had mapped out his re-entry to England. The family plans to live in a cottage that Mr. Kitto's father owned in a rural area of Norfolk that is now popular with vacationers.
In some ways, he said, the place is like Moganshan. “It is very beautiful. It's quiet except for weekends in the summer,” Mr. Kitto said. And from there, Mr. Kitto hopes to do marketing for local businesses and to edit English translations of Chinese books, as he recently did with “The Civil Servant's Notebook” by Wang Xiaofang, published by Penguin.
Mr. Kitto said that his wife would continue to oversee the business in Moganshan, and that the family would travel back on occasion — at least for as long as the Moganshan homes stay in their hands.
“One of my main points was: Look at the history of foreigners in China,” he said. “The only foreigners who have made a fortune in China are the traders. Buy and sell. It's what the Chinese do, too. Everything's short term.”
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