The eighties and nineties were the most glorious peak era of Xiangjiang.
At that time, the total GDP of a small city like Hong Kong was equivalent to 20% of the total GDP of the entire Chinese mainland.
The richest men in Asia were still in their infancy, the Pao family, the Huo family, and the “legendary” generation of thirty years later, were still in their prime.
Most importantly, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Mertz, GlaxoSmithKline, and other top pharmaceutical companies all had offices in Hong Kong, which was much more convenient than the mainland where it took a month or two to send a letter.
It was just that in ’82, Hong Kong was still under the control of the British Empire, and it was almost impossible for a minor without a guardian to get a permit to go to Hong Kong. What was more, even if one were to go to Xiangjiang, it wasn’t easy to start all over again when one was unfamiliar with life.
”What are you a kid thinking so much about, you ah, just study hard. If you get into university, you won’t have to worry about anything in the future!” Zhou Sitian poked her brother’s head, then patted the back seat of the bike, “Come on up, no one will laugh at you now that no one is here.”
Li Zheng was dumbfounded, it turned out that she thought he didn’t sit in the back seat of the car because he was afraid of his classmates seeing it. He…he was unable to overcome the shame!
It was a good idea to sit on it, as Dongliu Town was five or six kilometers away from Qinghe Town, so they couldn’t really walk back.
Passing through an alley, the younger brother and sister saw a man standing at the door of the house with his head down and a cigarette in his mouth.
Li Zheng got off the bike and swept his gaze around the man, seven or eight cigarette butts were messily distributed on the ground, it seemed like he had been waiting for a long time.
”Uncle Zhang?” Zhou Sitian called out slightly hesitantly.
Zhang Bingkun’s head snapped up, saw Li Zheng and Zhou Sitian, and casually threw his cigarette to the ground, stomping it out.
”Sitian, little Zheng…” he opened his mouth, seemingly unsure of what to say. His eyes were a little red, his beard hadn’t been shaved for days, and his mouth was ringed with fine stubble.
”Uncle Zhang, go sit at inside.” Zhou Sitiain said as she stepped forward to open the door.
”No…no.” Zhang Bingkun shook his head, “I’m here to see Brother Li. Take me to see him.” His voice was suppressed with sadness.
Li Zheng lowered his head like an ostrich, the last thing he wanted right now was to see an acquaintance of the original owner, especially one that was not easy to fool at a glance. But Zhou Sitian clearly didn’t pick up his signal.
”Little Zheng, you should accompany Uncle Zhang, I’ll go prepare dinner.” Zhou Sitian didn’t wait for Li Zheng to object, and had already turned around and entered the house.
Li Zheng forced himself to calm down and raised his head to give Zhang Bingkun a polite smile, “Uncle Zhang, let’s go.”
Zhang Bingkun nodded and the two of them walked towards the Qinghe Town Cemetery in silence, one after the other.
Since he had just been buried, there were still flowers as well as wine glasses in front of Father Li’s grave, but the flowers had already thanked him and the wine in the glasses had evaporated and dried up.
The moment he saw the tombstone, Zhang Bingkun knelt heavily on the ground before Li Zheng could speak, his knees colliding with the stone slab, making a clear crashing sound.
”Brother Li, I’m sorry to you…”
Zhang Bingkun and Father Li’s relationship was quite deep, Zhang Bingkun had been running a black boat, walking the line of Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiangjiang, some years ago, when the crackdown, he was found by the marine police when running a black boat at night, he abandoned ship and jumped into the sea, it was father Li who saved him. In order to help him, Father Li embezzled the production team supplies, although it was only two bundles of gauze, but still because of this, he was caught by Yang Sheng, and resigned from the position of production team captain by taking the blame.
”I didn’t know, I really didn’t know that my sister-in-law was also on the boat, otherwise I wouldn’t have sailed that boat.” Ironically, Father Li saved Zhang Bingkun, but Mother Li left Qinghe town with Zhang Bingkun’s boat and went to Xiangjiang.
Knowing this, Zhang Bingkun never went near the Li family again until he heard the news of Father Li’s death.
”Uncle Zhang, I’m sorry.” It could be heard from Zhou Sitian that Mother Li was not a person who was comfortable with firewood, she had nothing in common with Father Li, and it was only a matter of time before she left.
After paying his respects to Father Li, Zhang Bingkun didn’t go to Li’s family for dinner, and he stuffed Li Zheng with a large sum of money, which Li Zheng counted to be three or four thousand.
Li Zheng shook his head and laughed bitterly, but now he had all the money for the route and road expenses. Could it be that the heavens were hinting at him as well? Pushing this ridiculous thought down. Zhou Sitian was already a senior in high school, her grades were good, he couldn’t be so selfish.
Even so, the idea of going to Hong Kong had already been planted in Li Zheng’s heart, and it would take root as soon as the time was right.
It was the weekend, and last night, Li stayed up late to write a paper on “Butanotine Drug Production Catalyst”. The annual sales of Danotin in Europe and North America alone amounted to nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars, and demand exceeded supply.
Its supply was limited by a lack of production capacity, but the main ingredient of tylenol was a crystalline compound extracted from animal liver, and often only a few dozen grams of crystals could be extracted from dozens of kilograms of animal liver, resulting in an extremely low conversion rate.
The catalyst mentioned in Li Zheng’s thesis could increase the extraction rate of crystals from animal livers by 30%-50%, that is to say, under the same raw materials and production conditions, after using the catalyst, the output of nordin could be increased by 30%-50%, which was converted into sales of nearly two billion dollars, which was enough to make any pharmaceutical predator crazy.
When Li Zheng finished writing, he carefully folded up the letter paper, put it in an envelope with a good stamp, and pressed it under his pillow, which was his original capital.
However, his dream of a day’s sleep was soon shattered.
Li Chaoyang’s gibbering voice sounded outside the door, and not long after, Li Zheng only felt a pair of cold hands reach into his blanket.
Li Zheng fiercely opened his eyes.
”Hi, Li Zheng, good morning.” Li Chaoyang smiled innocently.
Good…good your sister! Lab dogs have temperaments too!
Getting up, brushing his teeth, washing his face, Li Zheng was filled with low pressure, while Li Chaoyang seemed to be unaware of it, and was vigorously talking in Li Zheng’s ear about a big official returning to his hometown or something.
Big official, where was the big official, even if there really was a big official, who cared what he did. In his last life, when he gave up his work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to return to China, the State Academy General, Premier of the State Council even met him personally and praised him as a pillar of the nation!
By the time they were dragged to the auditorium, it was packed with people, townspeople stuck their necks out one by one to look at it upside down, many of the women still had babies in their arms, the cries of the babies echoed throughout the auditorium.
”What’s the point of carrying a baby in this environment.” Li Zheng frowned and said, “There are so many people and so many germs, it’s very dangerous for a child who is just a few months old and has a weak immune system.”
”It’s just that they want to get a taste of Xie Wenjie’s culture, that’s the one who scored the best among the first batch of university students in our Qinghe Town, he’s now in the Huaying Ministry of Health, this time he’s accompanying the big leader to talk about some kind of project, I heard that if it’s done, our entire Qinghe Town will be like Huaying Town, everyone will be able to live in big buildings!” Lee Chaoyang danced around and said.
The Ministry of Health? Project? A thought flashed through Li Zheng’s mind and his eyes flashed, was it what he guessed…he would find out soon enough.
”Knock knock knock” the big gong sounded, the county and town leaders took the stage in turn, a young man with an upright stature among a group of old men with white hair looked particularly striking, and before Li Zheng could think about who this person was, an excited Li Chaoyang had already given his answer.
”Xie Wenjie, it’s Xie Wenjie!” The frenzied look was similar to that of a young girl in later years seeing her idol.
On the auditorium stage, the county leader clapped his horn and began to speak.
”Folks, I’ve invited you here today to tell you two good news. First, our Xie Wenjie is back, Xie Wenjie is the pride of our Qinghe Town who went out and is now working at the Ministry of Health in Huaying . Second, he has brought a big project to our hometown! An investment by a large foreign corporation, Screw, it’s called Screw isn’t it, although the name of the corporation is a bit odd! But it is indeed a very big business! If this project succeeds, our economy in Qinghe Town will be even better!”
A round of applause broke out in the auditorium.
“Screw … The names of big foreign companies are so strange?” Li Chaoyang muttered softly.
Li Zheng’s mouth twitched, screw, it was Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, which had been ranked in the top ten in the global pharmaceutical companies. A few years before his sudden death in his previous life, Roche squeezed into the top three in the global pharmaceutical companies because of its advantages in cancer drugs.
Coincidentally, it was Roche who cooperated most closely with Li Zheng in his previous life, and he remembered that … David Andorio, his partner and future executive vice president of Roche Asia, seemed to be in Xiangjiang, living what he called the darkest “exile ” in his life.
“Good folks, I’m glad to be back in Qinghe town again. Roche is the largest pharmaceutical company in Switzerland, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and one of the top 500 in the world. Roche’s visit to Yantian County is to find a suitable pharmaceutical factory site, which is one of the most important projects of the Ministry of Health this year, and it is also a great opportunity for Yantian County as a whole. As a native of Qinghe Town, I certainly hope that Qinghe Town can be selected among the birds. But this is inseparable from the help of the villagers … “
Life Zheng didn’t listen to what Xie Wenjie said later. He searched in his mind. He didn’t remember that Roche had a pharmaceutical factory in Shenzhen. Either it was closed, or the project was not successful at all. Li Zheng felt that most of it might be the latter.