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Expats’ take on China’s changes over the past 70 years

2019-December-19       Source: Newsgd.com

Foreigners come to China for different reasons, all chasing their dreams under the same sky, forming a key part of China’s effort to further deepen reform and opening-up.

Over the 70 years since the People's Republic of China was established, people of different ages from all around the world have settled down in China. Foreigners come to China for different reasons, all chasing their dreams under the same sky, forming a key part of China’s effort to further deepen reform and opening-up.

China is second home

Russia-born Alyosha (Chinese name Liu Weining) is the eldest grandson of Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969) who was a veteran revolutionary leader. When growing up in Russia, Alyosha was anxious to visit China. In 2003, Alyosha first set foot on Chinese soil and settled down in Guangzhou in 2006. Now he runs the ‘Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs’ that facilitates trade between China and Russia in the city.

Alyosha [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, the 75-year-old chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, was among the 10 foreigners honored with the China Reform Friendship Medal at a grand gathering celebrating the country's 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. For 30 years, Kuhn, with his long-time partner, Adam Zhu, has been committed to China and its future — to help in their small way China's historic reform and development, and to tell the true story of China to the world.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

For Egyptian Hoda Alaaeldin Hassan Abdo, a journalist and host of China Arab TV, the love for China started with a simple character. Hoda studied Chinese at the Suez Canal University and won first place in a Chinese language competition ‘The Chinese Bridge’, which won her a scholarship to come pursue her master’s degree in China. Now Hoda has been living in China for eight years, which has been eye-opening for her.

Hoda Alaaeldin Hassan Abdo [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

Following his father Amir Gal-Or, the founder and managing partner of the Infinity Group, Raz Galor has travelled to a dozen cities across China. Taking the advantages of knowing both Chinese and foreign cultures well, Raz Galor created Ychina, the Foreigner Research Institute, a cross-border video channel network featuring Chinese culture, entertainment and technology through the eyes of foreigners living in China. The online video startup has already gathered millions of followers on Chinese social media networks. The videos covering the life of expats in China in the form of vox pops, including random interviews with foreigners in China and their study of Chinese history.

Raz Galor [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

Life in Guangdong

Guangdong, the frontier of China's reform and opening-up, is leading the country in terms of attracting foreign talent, due in large part to the Belt and Road Initiative, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and Shenzhen’s new role as a ‘pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics’.

Hoda became familiar with Guangdong through both the Cantonese language and cuisine years ago. She believes Guangdong currently leads the exchange and cooperation between China and the Arab world. She says Guangdong is at the forefront of China’s reform and opening-up as well as a key area for attracting foreign investment.

Raz Galor visited Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and several other cities to experience the vitality in the province. He said Guangdong is the starting point of China’s reform and opening up, the country’s trade center and attaches great importance to scientific and technological innovation.

Alyosha has been living in Guangzhou for 13 years and is now a real Lao Guang (Guangzhou local). He has witnessed the great changes that have happened in the city.

Alyosha and his granddaughter. [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

The dreamers

Hoda is determined to build a bridge of friendship between China and the Arab world, so that people from the Arab countries have the opportunity to get to know more about China. As for the future, she is sure that her heart will always in China.

In Kuhn’s view, China is a like a growing youth, offering his wisdom and strength for the world’s peace and development. Telling China’s stories well to the world and showcasing China’s image is very important now. “I have growing responsibility, and I will try my best,” Kuhn said.

Grey-haired Alyosha still strives to boost the friendship between China and Russia. In his opinion, the Belt and Road Initiative has brought a great many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. He will promote the partnership between Russia and Guangdong as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the fields of culture, tourism, trade, education and technology.

Kuhn (L) loves playing table tennis. [Photo: Nanfang Plus]

Author: Monica Liu

Editor: Simon Haywood

Editor: Monica Liu

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