A US President’s half brother and Disneyland in China

President Obama’s half brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, has lived in Shenzhen, China since 2002, and he is married to a Chinese woman. Ndesandjo speaks fluent Mandarin and practices Chinese calligraphy. In a TIME interview, he said, “I’ve experienced the warmth and the graciousness of the Chinese people.” Ndesandjo is overwhelmingly positive about his life in China.

Mark runs an Internet company called WorldNexus that advises Chinese corporations how best to reach international customers.He graduated from Brown University, studied physics at Stanford University, and received an MBA from Emory University.

In 2008, TIME magazine reported that a Shanghai Disneyland was approved in China, and according to a report by the Burbank, California based Themed Entertainment Association, “Chinese consumers have a lot of love for Disney. They’re more excited about Disneyland than the EXPO 2010 Shanghai China.”

The opening ceremony for the construction of Shanghai Disneyland was held on April 8, 2011 and the park is expected to open December 2015 on 963 acres in Pudong, Shanghai.  It will be about three times the size of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

Hong Kong Disneyland opened in September 2005 and is located on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island and has hosted over 25 million guests.

To give you an idea how much Chinese love the American lifestyle, visit Zhang Yimou’s musical, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie. This musical with a cast of hundreds is staged on and alongside the Li River in Southeast China near Vietnam. The theater reminded me of similar theaters at American theme parks like Six Flags or Disneyland but the music was local and ethnic.

Discover Eating Turkey in China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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One Response to A US President’s half brother and Disneyland in China

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