I think when you live in a place like Chongqing; you get a much better finger on the pulse than if you live in an expat community in Beijing. What’s happening in Chongqing is very typical of what’s happening throughout the rest of China.
This is an excellent point that is not made often enough. How much would you expect someone in Washington DC’s Chinatown to know about the intent of the president or the future policies to impact the nation? Yet too many of our int’l correspondents in China are not nearly local enough.
Obviously China’s opaque political system, relatively poorly educated average citizen, flexible (unpredictable?) government policy, restrictions on political speech and “state secrets” and lack of a long track record make accurate forward looking analysis difficult to produce.