TRENDING 'We are learning China every day': expats in China


'We are learning China every day': expats in China

People's Daily app

15:11, December 16, 2018

Since the reform and opening-up, countless foreigners have come to China for all kinds of reasons. Years have passed, and many of them did not only come to but have thrived in China.

In their eyes, China represents a charming culture, infinite possibilities and also precious friendship.

“I found it very strange ”

To foreigners who came to China before the reform and opening-up, China’s poor situation was shocking. Professor Colin Mackerras, an Australian drama professor, came to China in the 1960s.  “There were very few cars then and the trains were very slow on the whole. Most people went around by bicycle,” Mackerras told People’s Daily.

As emeritus Professor at Griffith University, Australia, sinologist and Guest Professor at Renmin University and Beijing Foreign Studies University in China,Mackerras first came to China in 1964 and almost every year since 1977.

It is striking to Mackerras that China has become so modern and so quickly. In less than 20 years, China’s total operating high-speed railway mileage had reached 27,000 kilometers by 2017,  or 65 percent of the world’s tracks.

In his point of view, the policy changes, the hard-working, focused Chinese and the good leadership of the country contributed to China’s soaring development.

Open both ways

In terms of opening-up, trade would be the first to come to mind. However, the people exchanges and communication had a more significant influence on the nation’s development of soft power.

China has placed greater efforts into embracing high talent experts, and Professor Alfred O. Mueck is one of them.

As a German professor of gynecology, endocrinology and clinical pharmacology, Mueck was invited to Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital (BOGH), Capital Medical University in 2009 to optimize patients' treatment and student research.

Mueck emphasized that with more and more overseas experts coming to China, Chinese doctors can better communicate with experts and help those from other countries.

Mueck was thrilled about the long-term visa he received in 2016, which he described as an important motivation for him.

He has become an advocate of China’s overseas talent projects. He has hooked up five experts to Chinese universities.

“I want to continue as long as I feel healthy in this special life in China,” Mueck said.

China to meet the world with a new face

After taking a tour to southeast China in the early 1990s, Israeli ex-pilot Amir Gal-Or was fascinated with Chinese culture and, more importantly, he saw the “huge potential” of the country.

As the founder and managing partner of the Infinity Group, which focuses on real estate and lifestyle brands, Amir feels China’s welcome through government support, such as grants, licenses, taxes and green routes.

Amir described his experience in China as a process of continuous learning. He learned that if a company wants to thrive in China, it has to be localized not only geographically but also in the shift in legal structures, systems, decision-making and communication.

From a totally different cultural background, Amir was impressed how creative China is in dealing with obstacles. “There is a open mind from colleagues, partners and government to try to find solutions to the problem,” Amir said. Instead of a Western style “yes or no”, people in China would say, “let’s try another way or another timing.”

“The communication is more soft, because the culture is more soft,” Amir said.

China has achieved unprecedented development in almost all areas and in last forty years. To some extent, the reform and opening-up enables China to meet the world with a new face.

The reform and opening-up has welcomed foreigners and they have played a special and important role in China’s fast-paced development.

(Produced by Qiao Wai, Zhang Xiaowen, Zhao Dantong, Shan Xin, Bai Yuanqi, Bao Han, Wang Xiangyu)

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