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300 overseas Chinese gather in Shantou and call for sending Qiaopi

The Overseas Chinese Assistance for Shantou's High-Quality Development Event & 2023 International Teochew Association Annual Meeting were held in Guangdong's Shantou City on September 18.

(Photo: Nanfang Plus)

Invitations to the "Letters from the Silk Road" activities were officially issued to Teochew overseas Chinese around the world. 300 representatives of more than 150 international Teochew groups from more than 30 countries and regions attended the event and jointly signed the invitations.

(Photo: Nanfang Plus)

In addition, each of them received a "Qiaopi" from an unknown Chinese person. Qiaopi is a letter that conveys overseas Chinese's love and missing of their hometown. Children from several primary schools in Shantou prepared these letters, and invited the overseas Chinese to participate in the 22nd International Teochew Friendship Anniversary & 10th International Teochew Entrepreneur Conference, which will be held in Shantou in 2024.

Zhao Wensheng, who is the president of the Norwegian Teochew Chamber of Commerce, recalled that when he was a child, many overseas relatives sent Qiaopi to his hometown. "When I was very young, I was very happy when my grandfather sent Qiaopi from Hong Kong. I got 10 RMB, 20 RMB, and occasionally 100 RMB from my grandfather's Qiaopi. " Zhao said.

With China's reform and opening-up, Zhao went overseas to make a fortune himself. Zhao sent letters back home from Hong Kong. He believes that Qiaopi is a kind of cultural inheritance. "Although the amount of money is not significant, I feel connection with my root in hometown by sending Qiaopi attached with money." Zhao said.

Zhao is committed to building an exchange and cooperation platform for Teochew entrepreneurs in Norway and promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and Norway in the fields of economy and culture.

Chen Chengfeng, president of the Teochew Friendship Association in Japan, was born in Laos in 1942 as the third generation of overseas Chinese. " My family believe that adults can make a living overseas while children have to receive Chinese education." he said.

Chen has business in Laos and Japan. "If you go to Laos, no matter who you are, I will help you, as long as we speak the same language."

Chen Yuzhao, a Chinese Canadian, said that "Guo Pan"(go abroad) was on trend among Teochew people back in the old days. Especially for families with many children, the eldest son went overseas to make a living. When he became an adult, he sent money back to support his family.

Chen has four younger brothers and one younger sister. When he was in his second year of high school, he went to Hong Kong. "My salary was over 200 RMB each month, and I send at least half of it to my family, which was of great help to them."

Wen Ruichao, the honorary president of the French Chaozhou Association, is proud of the development of his hometown, "Both the business and infrastructure in Teochew have made significantly progress."

Xu Kui, president of the French Chaozhou Association, said that the younger generation of Chaozhou people have stepped around the world. "They are highly educated, and I also hope they can come back and relive the traditional culture. They should have never forgotten their roots.. "

According to statistics from Southern Finance, since 1978, overseas Chinese have invested in 5,923 projects in Shantou City, with a contract value of approximately 15.8 billion USD. Shantou City actually absorbed 9.46 billion USD in overseas investment.

(Photo: Nanfang Plus)

As of April this year, there were 697 overseas Chinese-funded enterprises in Shantou City, accounting for 77.7 percent of the city's foreign-funded enterprises. Since 2023, Shantou City has promoted the signing of 37 overseas Chinese-funded projects, with a total contract value exceeding 20 billion RMB, according to Shantou Government.

As this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road initiative, and the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Qiaopi and Yinxin Correspondence and Remittance Documents from Overseas Chinese (2013) on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, Nanfang Daily, Nanfang+, and GDToday launched a "Qiaopi from the Silk Road" collection activity.

Nearly 100 letters from Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, and the United States, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates have been received within two weeks.

Co-presented by Nanfang Daily, Nanfang Plus & GDToday

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