A nation will prosper only when its young people thrive; a country will be full of hope and have a great tomorrow only when its younger generations have ideals, ability and a strong sense of responsibility.
Chinese President Xi Jinping
Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong Province, as well as one of the five special economic zones in China, is to become a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics, according to a document issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on August 18th, 2019.
Shenzhen (Photo: Lu Li)
After 40-year of development, Shenzhen has now become a major “window” on China’s reform and opening-up through its remarkable success.
As a city famous for its openness and inclusiveness, more than 20 million people with an average age of 33 have chosen to settle down in Shenzhen to realize their dreams, and not only Chinese youngsters, but also talent from foreign countries.
Nikita Nikandrov, a third year student from Russia, is among the first group of students of the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, and he shared his perspective on life in Shenzhen with Newsgd.com.
“Shenzhen is a quiet and peaceful city with fast development”
Due to the reform and opening-up in late 1970s, 'constructors' from all over China gathered in Shenzhen to 'build’ the city up from just a small fishing village into a modern and international metropolis.
According to the data published by Shenzhen Municipal Government, Shenzhen’s GDP is now 8 times that of 1979, amounting to 2.4 trillion RMB in 2018, with an increase of 22.4% yearly. In light of the latest Fortune Global 500, a total of seven companies in Shenzhen ranked high on the list, including Huawei, Ping’an Insurance and Tencent.
Furthermore, Shenzhen is regarded as Chinese Silicon Valley. After 40-years of development, the innovation sector has begun to take shape in Shenzhen with more than 14,000 high-tech enterprises laying claim to over 100,000 valid invention patents as of 2018, topping any other region in China.
“I have experienced the speed of development in this city,” said Nikita, “all buildings on the campus (33,0000 square meters) were completed in just two years.”
Nikita Nikandrov discussing homework with classmate. (Photo: Steven Yuen)
As one of the first intake of students at Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, Nikita has been living in Shenzhen for three years now. In his opinion, Shenzhen is a quiet and peaceful city with fast paced development.
“I like Shenzhen a lot,” Nikita told Newsgd.com. “Shenzhen is regarded as a green city, home to not only skyscrapers, but also parks where people can relax themselves after work.”
“Furthermore, crime rate is low in Shenzhen, which means, I don’t need to worry about my personal safety when I go outside in the evening, because the cctv systems which have been installed along the road will protect me.”
The Belt and Road Initiative boosts the communication between China and the rest of the world
Nikita is studying "Chemistry Physics and Mechanics of the Materials" at Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, an institute jointly established by Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Lomonosov Moscow State University and Beijing Institute of Technology.
Aiming to cultivate high-quality talent who can assist in the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, Shenzhen MSU-BIT is considered to be a large social and cultural project, as well as the first university jointly established by China and Russia.
At present, around 30% of the students at MSU-BIT are from overseas countries.
“This is a unique university,” said Nikita. “Both Chinese and Russian students can exchange ideas and provide a better solution from different angles when we deal with academic problems.”
As an expat who has been living in Shenzhen for three years, Nikita often goes to the movies or goes for a bike ride with his Chinese friends in his spare time. Because of this, he is now able to speak fluent Chinese.
“If I do not know how to say the words in Chinese, my friends will speak Russian. vice versa,” Nikita indicated. “It is easier for us to study languages in this situation.”
With the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, more joint universities are going to be established in Shenzhen. According to Southcn.com, Beijing and Cambridge Universities will cooperate in order to establish a joint university in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Free Trade Zone in the future.
Nikita stated that the Belt and Road Initiative not only provides opportunities for both Chinese and Russian students to get to know each other more deeply through a series of cultural exchanges, but also offers chances for foreign talent to more easily engage in China’s development.
“We will have no problem finding a job in Shenzhen, or anywhere in China after graduating from this university,” Nikita said. “You can find a lot of possibilities for your future career in China.”
A gift for China's 70th birthday
“China already has everything it needs,” said Nikita. “It is very difficult to choose a gift for China's 70th birthday.”
Light performance in Shenzhen (Photo: Lu Li)
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, China has become the second largest economy in the world, with more than 700 million Chinese people having thrown off the yoke of poverty.
According to statistics published by Chinese Bureau of Statistics, Chinese GDP is now 174 times what it was in 1952, amounting to 90 trillion yuan in 2018, accounting for 16% of the world economy. Furthermore, its total grain output has stabilized at 6 billion kilograms in 2017, twice as much as what it was in 1978.
China has established a complete industrial system since the reform and opening-up. From 2013 to 2018, the added value of high-tech and equipment manufacturing industries achieved an annual growth of 11.7 % and 9.5% respectively.
Moreover, China's manufacturing value add has been topped the world since 2010.
After thinking for a while, Nikita told Newsgd.com, “I will set up a company in Shenzhen which focuses on building aircrafts and spaceships. My dream will come true and this is a good present for China’s 70th birthday.”
Authors: Keane Wong, Steven Yuen
Eidotrs: Simon Haywood, Monica Liu