As the ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell packs his bags to leave Beijing after nearly 10 years in the job, he looks back at the incredible changes he has witnessed. His fascination with China began as a boy reading about the mysterious country that was pretty much closed to the rest of the world. As an adult he visited on a five-week course and decided it was the place for him. He learned Mandarin and immersed himself in the culture. His recollections are fascinating. No wonder McDonell has won three Walkley Awards, including for his coverage of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.