All Eyes on Bei­jing, Ap­plause and Awe

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Re­becca Lou, Ding Hai­hua, Wang Wei, Zhou Fu­jing Edited by Justin Davis, David Ball Pho­tos by Chang Xu, Ma Wenx­iao, Pan Zhi­wang, Qu Bowei, Rao Qiang, Yuan Weizhong, Zhao Meng Pho­tos cour­tesy of Bei­jing BAIC Group, Star­times Group, In­ter­na­tion

From Au­gust 29 to Septem­ber 2, a se­ries of events on the side­lines of the 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion pre­sented a panoramic pic­ture of Bei­jing as both an an­cient cap­i­tal and a mod­ern me­trop­o­lis to do­mes­tic and over­seas jour­nal­ists.

The cen­tral axis is beau­ti­ful. Bei­jing is won­der­ful and I like China!”

“I have to come back to China with my par­ents and fu­ture other half to ex­plore more places.”

“The co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and African coun­tries has been go­ing on for decades. The fo­rum is a good ex­change plat­form that sum­marises past ex­pe­ri­ences and seeks fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion.”

“Big changes are hap­pen­ing in China, which are ad­mirable. I learned that the beauty of China lies not only in mod­ern cities but also in great ru­ral ar­eas like what we have seen to­day.”

“Tech­nol­ogy is de­vel­op­ing fast in China. As the tech­no­log­i­cal cen­tre of China, Bei­jing has made great achieve­ments in tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment and in­no­va­tion. It is al­ready in the same ranks with some ad­vanced coun­tries.”

“I saw so many prod­ucts made with cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy in Bei­jing. Other coun­tries in the world, and es­pe­cially African coun­tries, can learn a lot from Bei­jing.”

From Au­gust 29 to Septem­ber 2, the 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion (FOCAC) Me­dia Cen­tre and the In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity jointly in­vited jour­nal­ists that were reg­is­tered with the me­dia cen­tre to en­gage in the City In­ter­view se­ries of events. A range of events were avail­able, such as Bei­jing High-end Man­u­fac­tur­ing, Get­ting to Know Charm­ing Pek­ing Opera, China High-speed Rail­way Con­struc­tion, Bei­jing and Africa Hand in Hand, En­joy­ing Bei­jing Cul­ture, Bei­jing Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion, Bei­jing Cul­tural In­no­va­tion, Watch­ing Chi­nese Ac­ro­bat­ics, Beau­ti­ful Vil­lages in Bei­jing and An­cient Cap­i­tal Town­scapes.

These jour­nal­ists learned about China's high-speed rail­way in­dus­try and its lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments when they vis­ited the Dis­patch­ing and Di­rect­ing Cen­tre of China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion. In or­der to fur­ther un­der­stand tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine cul­ture and tech­niques, a visit was also made to the Tong Ren Tang mu­seum. Tong Ren Tang is a time-hon­oured phar­macy in China. A trip to the Bei­jing New Air­port con­struc­tion site re­vealed how the Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group ac­tively par­tic­i­pates in and sup­ports lo­cal de­vel­op­ment in Africa. The jour­nal­ists learned about new de­vel­op­ments in sci­ence, cul­tural in­dus­try and high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing at the demon­stra­tion cen­tre at Zhong­guan­cun Sci­ence Park, Bei­jing Star­times Group and the pro­duc­tion lines of the Bei­jing BAIC Group. A joy­ful jour­ney was taken to ex­plore beau­ti­ful vil­lages in Bei­jing as well. Cable cars brought peo­ple to an ob­ser­va­tion deck at the Mu­tianyu Great Wall sec­tion. Peo­ple mar­veled at the stun­ning, end­less moun­tains, lush forests and the beauty of the Great Wall. Beigou Vil­lage, at the foot of the Great Wall, is the first Na­tional Eco­log­i­cal Cul­ture Vil­lage in Bei­jing. It has at­tracted many over­seas in­vestors that are in­volved with

real es­tate and busi­ness op­er­a­tions. The vil­lage is part of the In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture Vil­lage of the Great Wall. Wachang, known as the Brick­yard Re­treat in English, is a ho­tel with some spe­cial fea­tures. It of­fers a view of the Great Wall from its rooms and court­yard. Re­porters watched the film City of Im­mor­tal­ity about the his­tory of Bei­jing as the cap­i­tal over the past 850 years at the Bei­jing Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall's mul­ti­me­dia hall. De­tails about the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (2016–2035) were ex­plained, as was the city's strate­gic po­si­tion­ing in­volv­ing func­tion­ing as four im­por­tant cen­tres. The jour­nal­ists as­cended Yongding­men Tower and Jing­shan Hill and got a good view of Bei­jing's Cen­tral Axis. They could feel the his­tor­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of the cap­i­tal city and wit­ness its vi­sion­ary de­vel­op­ment for the fu­ture. The jour­nal­ists had a chance to go back­stage at the Liyuan Theatre. They ex­plored it with great in­ter­est. Actors and ac­tresses were in­ter­viewed. They were asked how they pre­pare for Pek­ing Opera per­for­mances. Laoshe Tea­house was vis­ited. Bei­jing's unique big-bowl tea was served and lo­cal per­for­mances were en­joyed and an in­ter­est­ing China Na­tional Ac­ro­batic Troupe show was savoured. Mod­ern, cut­ting-edge agri­cul­tural meth­ods were ex­hib­ited at Xiaotang­shan's Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tion Base.

The 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the FOCAC is a grand oc­ca­sion help­ing a new era of China and var­i­ous African coun­tries co­op­er­ate and de­velop. FOCAC was held for the first time in 2000. It is now very ma­ture af­ter 18 years of de­vel­op­ment. China and var­i­ous African coun­tries have co­op­er­ated widely on the ba­sis of in­her­it­ing a friendly co­op­er­a­tive spirit and fol­low prin­ci­ples of equal­ity, mu­tual ben­e­fit, co­op­er­a­tion and win­win out­comes. Mu­tual po­lit­i­cal trust has been en­hanced, eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion has deep­ened, and great achieve­ments have been made in coun­tries seek­ing in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment. The fo­rum is at the fore of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion with Africa. The 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the FOCAC is a crit­i­cal meet­ing for China and a vast num­ber of African coun­tries. It al­lows them to ex­change de­vel­op­ment ideas, ex­plore ways to deepen co­op­er­a­tion, ad­dress chal­lenges, achieve com­mon de­vel­op­ment and cre­ate new meth­ods of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

The five-day se­ries of events about Bei­jing pre­sented a panoramic view of the cap­i­tal city. In-depth in­ter­views al­lowed jour­nal­ists from the African coun­tries to gain first-hand knowl­edge about China's de­vel­op­ment and the com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment of Bei­jing. The jour­nal­ists en­joyed what they saw, and they of­fered their praise. In China, and es­pe­cially in Bei­jing, changes are hap­pen­ing ev­ery day, ru­ral ar­eas are be­ing beau­ti­fied and peo­ple's lives are be­com­ing more har­mo­nious and pros­per­ous. The African jour­nal­ists were im­pressed by the changes. They saw what the Chi­nese Dream is all about and how peo­ple are achiev­ing it.

They looked for­ward to co­op­er­at­ing with China, seiz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­al­is­ing their dreams.

Im­pres­sive High-end Man­u­fac­tur­ing In­dus­tries

Three off-road ve­hi­cles roared through rugged roads, muddy wa­ters and var­i­ous ob­sta­cles. They as­cended slopes, waded through wa­ter and emerged through stormy dust. These ve­hi­cles are the same mod­els that ap­peared in the block­buster Wolf War­rior 2. When these ve­hi­cles ap­peared, they were cheered by the jour­nal­ists. “These off-road ve­hi­cles look great. I hope I can buy one in Su­dan in the near fu­ture,” jour­nal­ist Adim Ab­dalla Mo­hammed stated.

On the morn­ing of Aug 29, the 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the FOCAC Me­dia Cen­tre and the In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity jointly hosted the first City In­ter­view event. More than 60 jour­nal­ists from over 30 coun­tries and re­gions in­clud­ing the United States, Bri­tain, France, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozam­bique and Nige­ria vis­ited a fac­tory that pro­duces off-road ve­hi­cles owned by the BAIC Group in Shunyi Dis­trict. The jour­nal­ists were ex­cited on the trip from the Jian­guo Ho­tel to the plant. The plant is equipped with high-tech, high­per­for­mance and green tech­nolo­gies. The re­porters boarded elec­tric buses and vis­ited the fac­tory's two pro­duc­tion lines. They ob­served the ve­hi­cles with great in­ter­est and wit­ness weld­ing and assem­bly pro­cesses. The re­porters spoke with ex­ec­u­tives about the BAIC Group, over­seas mar­ket op­er­a­tions and the com­pany's op­er­a­tions in­volv­ing Africa.

The jour­nal­ists saw clas­sic BAIC SUV mod­els in an ex­hi­bi­tion hall, in­clud­ing some used for mil­i­tary pa­rades. They took a lot of pic­tures with their phones and cam­eras. Two new SUV mod­els were es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing. One is a lim­ited edi­tion 2018 model con­sist­ing of only 2,018 to­tal ve­hi­cles. For­eign me­dia re­porters took pho­tos in the ve­hi­cles. Later, the re­porters boarded elec­tric ve­hi­cles and saw how the ve­hi­cles are pro­duced and as­sem­bled. Around noon, the jour­nal­ists saw a demon­stra­tion of the ve­hi­cles be­ing driven and ma­noeu­vring.

Adim Ab­dalla Mo­hammed en­joys of­froad ve­hi­cles. He took a lot of pic­tures. He said that an in­creas­ing num­ber of Chi­nese auto brands can be seen in Su­dan. He said he was ea­ger to ex­plain BAIC'S man­u­fac­tur­ing process to fam­ily, friends and read­ers. He hopes to see the ve­hi­cles in Su­dan soon.

The African jour­nal­ists showed great in­ter­est in the BAIC Group's high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing abil­i­ties and its in­vest­ment in Africa. Ac­cord­ing to Jiang Zili, who is a mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) and deputy gen­eral man­ager of the BAIC Group, in 2017, the group sold 2.51 mil­lion ve­hi­cles and had an op­er­at­ing in­come of 470.3 bil­lion yuan, which achieved a rank of 124th on the For­tune Global 500 En­ter­prises list in 2018. Its elec­tric ve­hi­cles have ranked num­ber

one in China for five con­sec­u­tive years in terms of sales. The “Bei­jing” line of off-road ve­hi­cles also rank first among do­mes­tic high-end, off-road ve­hi­cles. This off-road ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion base cov­ers an area of about 540,000 square me­tres and has a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of about 100,000 ve­hi­cles per year. It uses ad­vanced au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy. Gen­eral assem­bly, weld­ing and paint­ing all oc­cur here. The pro­duc­tion base fea­tures a flex­i­ble pro­duc­tion line and en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly pro­duc­tion meth­ods. It fea­tures first-class na­tional qual­ity con­trol. The group's head­quar­ters are in Bei­jing. It has es­tab­lished nine au­ton­o­mous pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing bases, eight sel­f­re­liant com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing bases, three new en­ergy ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing bases, eight joint-ven­ture branded pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing bases and two gen­eral avi­a­tion in­dus­try bases. It has es­tab­lished re­search in­sti­tutes in seven cities in five coun­tries, built ve­hi­cle and KD (knock down) plants in more than 30 coun­tries and re­gions, and ex­ported prod­ucts to more than 80 coun­tries and re­gions.

One of the ma­jor au­to­mo­bile groups in China, the BAIC Group fea­tures a wide range of ve­hi­cles. The 2017 sum­mer block­buster Wolf War­riors 2 fea­tures of­froad ve­hi­cles driven by the pro­tag­o­nist in Africa. They as­sist in the ex­e­cu­tion of heroic deeds. Some of the African jour­nal­ists asked about the BAIC Group's in­vest­ment in Africa. Joseph Sheku Mar­gai, who works for the Con­cord Times in Sierra Leone, asked why the group chose to es­tab­lish a plant in South Africa and what their strat­egy is.

Du Rong, deputy sec­re­tary of BAIC In­ter­na­tional's Party com­mit­tee, ex­plained that the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try is cur­rently a pil­lar in­dus­try in South Africa, ac­count­ing for 64 per­cent of all of the na­tion's in­dus­try. In 2016, BAIC South Africa Co. Ltd. was es­tab­lished. It fea­tures the BAIC Group's first over­seas ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, which is lo­cated in the Coega Na­tional In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone (IDZ), and has a to­tal in­vest­ment of ap­prox­i­mately US$800 mil­lion. It is the biggest over­seas green­field in­vest­ment project in South Africa in the past 40 years. There will be an an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of ap­prox­i­mately 100,000 ve­hi­cles in the fu­ture. A strate­gic base for the BAIC Group cov­er­ing the African and Ocea­nian mar­kets, its com­pre­hen­sive in­dus­trial base in South Africa will pro­duce ve­hi­cles for coun­tries that drive on both the left and the right sides of the road. The base will fea­ture au­to­mo­tive R&D, man­u­fac­tur­ing, leas­ing, fi­nance and new en­ergy. In the mean­time, it will fully take ad­van­tage of pref­er­en­tial bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ments re­gard­ing in­ter­na­tional trade in South Africa, con­nect to the Euro­pean and Ocea­nian mar­kets, and be­come a re­gional op­er­a­tion man­age­ment cen­tre for the com­pany's prod­ucts, tech­nol­ogy, man­age­ment, tal­ents and fi­nance. Du men­tioned: “The BAIC South Africa Plant is a model of our full-scale out­reach to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and has laid a solid foun­da­tion for the high­qual­ity de­vel­op­ment of our in­ter­na­tional busi­ness. In July 2018, the first au­to­mo­bile pro­duced by our South Africa Plant rolled off the assem­bly line. Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pres­i­dent Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa wit­nessed this great event. It is our gift ded­i­cated to the 20th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and South Africa and also our prac­ti­cal con­tri­bu­tion to the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.”

There were also jour­nal­ists from nonAfrican coun­tries at the events, such as the United States, France and Brazil. Shel­ton Ban­dara from Sri Lanka very in­ter­ested in Bei­jing's high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, stat­ing: “I went to Tian­jin yes­ter­day, and I rushed back to Bei­jing to­day for this event. The off-road ve­hi­cles here look great. I will ex­plain de­tails in the news­pa­per I work for for our read­ers in my coun­try.”

Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping de­clared in the 19th CPC Na­tional Congress re­port: “We will work faster to make China a man­u­fac­turer of qual­ity and de­velop ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­mote fur­ther in­te­gra­tion of the In­ter­net, big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence with the real econ­omy.” This state­ment has clearly de­fined the ob­jec­tive and di­rec­tion of China's man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. As one of the main in­dus­tries of the na­tional econ­omy, the de­vel­op­ment of the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try has a di­rect im­pact on that of other in­dus­tries. It

strength­ens the na­tional econ­omy and im­proves peo­ple's liveli­hoods and na­tional de­fense. Many coun­tries now value im­prove­ments in man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, such as ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing.

De­vel­op­ing high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing is an in­her­ent re­quire­ment of Bei­jing's strate­gic po­si­tion­ing as the na­tional cen­tre for sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion. It is also part of Bei­jing's ac­tion plan as part of Made in China 2025. De­vel­op­ing the real econ­omy and im­prov­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing abil­ity is the “cor­rect strate­gic choice,” as pointed out by Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping. So­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics is en­ter­ing a new era, and so is Bei­jing's de­vel­op­ment. The high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try has wel­comed a pe­riod of strate­gic op­por­tu­ni­ties. In the mean­time, it shall shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­mot­ing re­forms re­lated to qual­ity, ef­fi­ciency and driv­ing forces and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nomic pro­duc­tiv­ity in Bei­jing and China. There are over­ar­ch­ing plans to de­velop and co­or­di­nate high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing.

The BAIC Group is play­ing an im­por­tant role in the high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try in Bei­jing. It has es­tab­lished a com­plete in­dus­trial chain cov­er­ing the R&D and man­u­fac­tur­ing of pas­sen­ger, com­mer­cial and new en­ergy ve­hi­cles and parts; au­to­mo­tive ser­vice and trade; com­pre­hen­sive travel ser­vice; fi­nance and in­vest­ment; and other sec­tors, grow­ing its busi­ness to cover gen­eral avi­a­tion and other in­dus­tries. It has be­come a ma­jor State-owned au­to­mo­tive group with the most com­plete range of prod­ucts and most com­plete in­dus­trial chain in China's au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try and plays a lead­ing role in the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle mar­ket. It owns many well-known en­ter­prises and R&D in­sti­tu­tions, such as Bei­jing Au­to­mo­bile, Changhe Au­to­mo­bile, BAIC New En­ergy, BAIC Fo­ton, Bei­jing Hyundai, Bei­jing Benz, Bei­jing Gen­eral Avi­a­tion and the BAIC Re­search In­sti­tute.

Faced with the re­quire­ments of the new era and con­sumers' in­creas­ing de­mands for up­graded ve­hi­cles, the BAIC Group is a leader in in­dus­trial trans­for­ma­tion. In light of the “in­no­va­tive, co­or­di­nated, green, open and shared” de­vel­op­ment con­cept, the BAIC Group been deepening its strate­gic trans­for­ma­tion. It is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing and prod­ucts and con­tribut­ing to high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. It val­ues in­no­va­tion, ac­cel­er­at­ing the full-scale use of new en­ergy and is ded­i­cated to the de­vel­op­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion of the new tech­nolo­gies of the In­ter­net of Things (IOT) and In­ter­net of Ev­ery­thing (IOE). It is also ful­fill­ing its com­mit­ment to the coun­try as the lead­ing off-road ve­hi­cle pro­ducer.

The BAIC Group will ad­here to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment fea­tur­ing scal­able pro­duc­tion, high-end prod­ucts and man­u­fac­tur­ing abil­ity, a ser­vice­ori­ented ap­proach, in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ment and low car­bon pro­duc­tion. It will work harder to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vice and be­come more in­no­va­tive and to pro­vide high-tech, high-qual­ity, safe and en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly travel so­lu­tions for so­ci­ety. It will strive to be­come a com­pet­i­tive au­to­mo­bile pro­ducer and ser­vice provider in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and be a leader in qual­ity travel and trans­porta­tion.

BAIC In­ter­na­tional is a wholly-owned sub­sidiary of the BAIC Group and is its main plat­form for the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Echo­ing the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, BAIC In­ter­na­tional is ex­e­cut­ing the global busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of the BAIC Group and ac­cel­er­at­ing re­source in­te­gra­tion and its global lay­out. It fo­cuses on re­gional in­dus­trial bases in South Africa, Mex­ico, Iran and Ruili, Yun­nan Prov­ince, which is ad­ja­cent to South­east Asia. Based on the ex­port of parts and com­plete ve­hi­cles, it en­deav­ours to re­alise an out­put cov­er­ing the whole value chain. As of the end of 2017, its cu­mu­la­tive sales vol­ume has ex­ceeded 76,000 ve­hi­cles. It has es­tab­lished 169 sales net­works in 46

coun­tries, seven over­seas com­pa­nies and 22 KD projects. It has be­come the fastest grow­ing ex­port en­ter­prise to emerge from China's self-re­liant ve­hi­cle brands.

Guided by the qual­ity de­vel­op­ment strat­egy for the BAIC Group 2.0, BAIC In­ter­na­tional is also be­gin­ning its trans­for­ma­tion to its 2.0 ver­sion this year. It will ad­here to the group's pace, em­pha­sise the de­vel­op­ment of qual­ity as a core value, pro­mote ex­port ca­pac­ity and strive for a larger share in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. It em­pha­sises the mar­ket, prod­ucts, brands and ef­fi­ciency. Through ren­o­va­tion in or­gan­i­sa­tion, process and cul­ture, it strives to re­alise growth in qual­ity, ef­fi­ciency and ca­pa­bil­ity.

China’s Amaz­ing Speed

On Au­gust 30, more than 50 Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists from more than 20 coun­tries, such as the United States, Ger­many, France, An­gola, Gam­bia and Ghana, ex­plored the secrets of China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion's Dis­patch­ing and Di­rect­ing Cen­tre and the Bei­jing Elec­tric Multi De­pot, learned about achieve­ments re­lated to the con­struc­tion of China's high-speed rail­way and its re­search and de­vel­op­ment, and ex­pe­ri­enced the pulse of China's de­vel­op­ment and ac­cel­er­ated speed of Bei­jing's evo­lu­tion in a real sense.

Ex­plor­ing China’s High-speed Rail­way

Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists watched a video called China’s Rail­way at China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion's Dis­patch­ing and Di­rect­ing Cen­tre. Deputy Di­rec­tor Zhang Caichun showed them around and ex­plained the func­tions of the dis­patch­ing hall.

China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion's Dis­patch­ing and Di­rect­ing Cen­tre is the brain of the rail­way net­work and can di­rect and sched­ule rail­way trans­porta­tion in China in a com­pre­hen­sive man­ner. It guar­an­tees safe and punc­tual trans­porta­tion. The cen­tre cov­ers an area of more than 2,500 square me­tres. It fea­tures a huge, elec­tronic dis­play cov­er­ing an en­tire wall. This rep­re­sents all of the rail­way lines and looks like a spi­der's web. The jour­nal­ists thought it was in­ter­est­ing and took a lot of pic­tures.

A staff mem­ber in­structed, “First, take a look at the real-time pas­sen­ger train dis­tri­bu­tion map on the left." Ev­ery­body's at­ten­tion fell upon this map and its dense green dots. The staff mem­ber con­tin­ued: “The green dots rep­re­sent the pas­sen­ger trains run­ning on time, and the yel­low dots in­di­cate those that are be­hind sched­ule. As you can see, al­most all of them are green at the mo­ment, which means we are ap­proach­ing 100 per­cent punc­tu­al­ity.”

The screen changed and real-time mon­i­tor­ing im­ages re­lated to 20 or 30 dif­fer­ent rail­way sec­tions were pre­sented, such as the world's first alpine high-speed rail­way, the Harbin–dalian Rail­way; the Lanzhou–urumqi High-speed Rail­way, which crosses a desert re­gion and ar­eas with heavy winds; the Is­land of Hainan Rail­way, the first is­land-loop­ing high­speed rail­way in the world. An­to­nio Pereira Tchiloia, a jour­nal­ist work­ing for An­gola Na­tional Tele­vi­sion ( TPA), men­tioned, “This place de­serves to be the brain of China's rail­way dis­patch and com­mand!”

Later, Qian Zhengyu, Deputy Di­rec­tor of the Tech­no­log­i­cal In­for­ma­tion Depart­ment of China Rail­way, in­tro­duced China's high-speed rail­way sys­tem and the de­vel­op­ment of smart high-speed rail­way. In re­cent years, China's rail­way has de­vel­oped rapidly. A se­ries of sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments have gained the at­ten­tion of the world. China now has the most mod­ern rail­way net­work and the most ad­vanced high-speed rail­way net­work in the world. Its rail­way leads the world with re­gard to pos­sess­ing the most com­plete high-speed rail­way sys­tem, sur­vey and de­sign, equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, con­struc­tion, trac­tion power sup­ply, op­er­a­tion and man­age­ment, risk

preven­tion and con­trol, and other key tech­nolo­gies, and re­mains a world leader in pack­aged tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing con­struc­tion, equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, op­er­a­tion and man­age­ment. The staff also ex­plained: “As of the end of 2017, China's high-speed rail­way net­work con­sist­ing of "four north-south and four east-west” lines has been com­pleted and put into op­er­a­tion ahead of sched­ule. The na­tional high-speed rail­way runs 25,000 kilo­me­tres (km), ac­count­ing for 66.3 per­cent of that in the world. China has be­come a coun­try with the most high-speed rail­way, the high­est speeds, the most high-speed rail­way un­der con­struc­tion, the most di­verse op­er­a­tional sce­nar­ios and the rail­way that is the most adapt­able to the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment in the world.”

Tchiloia ex­claimed, “This rail­way sys­tem is amaz­ing!” He men­tioned that rail was im­por­tant in the de­vel­op­ment of An­gola, but there is no high-speed rail­way yet and that many rail lines and train sta­tions were built by Chi­nese com­pa­nies. He was ex­cited to sign up for the event at the first op­por­tu­nity to learn more about Chi­nese high-speed rail­way.

China's high-speed rail­way is char­ac­terised by smooth­ness and com­fort, safety and re­li­a­bil­ity, pow­er­ful trans­port ca­pac­ity, en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion, con­ve­nience and ef­fi­ciency. Staff mem­bers ex­plained: “More than 3,000 China Rail­way High-speed (CRH) trains are put into op­er­a­tion ev­ery day, which is nearly 60 per­cent of rail­way pas­sen­ger vol­ume. Ev­ery day, more than 6 mil­lion pas­sen­gers en­joy high-speed rail­way. Up to 70 per­cent of the tick­ets are now sold on­line. There have been more than 8 bil­lion safe trips. Mo­bile pay­ment, smart nav­i­ga­tion, fa­cial recog­ni­tion, self­ser­vice ta­ble reser­va­tion, Wi-fi at the sta­tions and on the trains, bolt de­liv­ery ser­vices and ser­vice ini­tia­tives that con­tinue to be launched help pas­sen­gers have a sense of gain and hap­pi­ness.”

Tchiloia stated: “In just a few years, the length of China's high-speed rail­way has ex­ceeded half of that in the en­tire world. China's high-speed trains will also re­alise au­to­mated op­er­a­tion in no time.”

Ben­son Af­ful, a Ghana­ian jour­nal­ist who works for the Busi­ness and Fi­nan­cial Times, once took a high-speed train from Xi'an to Wuhan. He sum­marised his first ex­pe­ri­ence of high-speed rail­way as “swift, con­ve­nient and com­fort­able.” He stated that it makes cities feel closer to each other. Umar Hayat Khan, a jour­nal­ist work­ing with In­saf Net­work Pak­istan (INP), was ea­ger to ex­plore China's high-speed rail­way. He took pho­tos of the real-time dy­namic op­er­a­tions of the high-speed rail rep­re­sented on the screen. He won­dered, “When will the next gen­er­a­tion of high­tech, high-speed rail­way be avail­able?”

Deputy Di­rec­tor of the China Rail­way Tech­no­log­i­cal In­for­ma­tion Depart­ment Qian Zhengyu ex­plained that China Rail­way is car­ry­ing out in­te­grated tests on key smart high-speed train tech­nolo­gies for au­to­mated op­er­a­tions of rail with speeds of 350 km per hour on the Bei­jing– Shenyang High-speed Rail­way. He stated that smart high-speed rail­way will be im­ple­mented from Bei­jing to Zhangji­akou and from Bei­jing to Xiong'an New Dis­trict. These sys­tems will be ready for op­er­a­tion by 2019 and 2020, re­spec­tively.

Vis­it­ing Bei­jing Elec­tric Mul­ti­ple Units De­pot

On the same day, more than 50 Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists con­tin­ued on to the Bei­jing Elec­tric Mul­ti­ple Units (EMU) De­pot and crossed Feng­tai and Dax­ing dis­tricts. They vis­ited the High-speed Rail­way 4S re­pair shop and learned more about the main­te­nance process and stan­dard­ised cre­ation of CRH trains in de­tail.

At first, staff mem­bers in­tro­duced ba­sic in­for­ma­tion about the Bei­jing EMU de­pot. It was es­tab­lished on Novem­ber 21, 2011 and cov­ers an area of 1,800 mu (one mu is ap­prox­i­mately equal to 0.067 hectares). It mostly en­gages in main­te­nance and crew-re­lated tasks re­lated to the Bei­jing-Guangzhou, Bei­jing-shang­hai, Zhengzhou-Xi'an, Nan­jing-hangzhou-ningbo High­speed Rail­ways, which are op­er­ated by the China Rail­way Bei­jing Group Co., Ltd. There are cur­rently more than 3,000 em­ploy­ees, with the Bei­jing South, Bei­jing West, Bei­jing and Shi­ji­azhuang CRH Train Ser­vic­ing sta­tions un­der its com­mand, as well as two ad­vanced main­te­nance work­shops. One of the work­shops is for re­pairs and is where the nam­ing cer­e­mony for China's stan­dard Fux­ing Bul­let Train was held on June 26, 2017. The other is a bo­gie work­shop and is used for ad­vanced main­te­nance of CRH bo­gies. The main­te­nance work­shop seem­ingly runs as far as the eye can see. One CRH and one Fux­ing bul­let train were qui­etly wait­ing for main­te­nance. The work­shop cov­ers an area of more than 40,000 square me­tres (sq.m) and can ac­com­mo­date eight trains at the same time.

“How of­ten does a train need to be ser­viced?” Sally Jarju asked cu­ri­ously. She works with Gam­bia Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Ser­vices. The per­son in charge of the main­te­nance work­shop replied: "Level 1 main­te­nance will be con­ducted af­ter 5,000 km of op­er­a­tion, level 2 main­te­nance af­ter 100,000 km and level 3 af­ter 1,200,000 km. Pro­ce­dures are more com­plex and de­tailed at higher lev­els.”

Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists gained a clear un­der­stand­ing of the de­vel­op­ment of China's rail­way. China Rail­way has worked to­gether with do­mes­tic col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tu­tions and en­ter­prises and in­cor­po­rated years of sci­en­tific re­search, en­gi­neer­ing prac­tice and op­er­a­tion ex­pe­ri­ence to en­gage in the R&D of China's stan­dard CRH trains. Fully-in­de­pen­dent in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights are pos­sessed at the world's most ad­vanced level. In June 2017, China's stan­dard CRH train was of­fi­cially named Fux­ing. It be­gan op­er­a­tions on the Bei­jing-shang­hai High-speed Rail­way line in both di­rec­tions. Fux­ing bul­let trains reached speeds of 350 km per hour on the Bei­jing-shang­hai High-speed Rail­way on Septem­ber 21, 2017 and set a new bench­mark for the con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of high-speed rail­way in the world, which meant that China went from be­ing a fol­lower to be­ing a leader in this re­gard. On New Year's Day of 2018, Pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China Xi Jin­ping, stated dur­ing his ad­dress: “The Fux­ing train is run­ning on the vast land of our moth­er­land. I would like to ac­claim the pow­er­ful force that Chi­nese peo­ple have cre­ated!” Cur­rently, Fux­ing trains cover 23 pre­fec­tures where pro­vin­cial cap­i­tals are lo­cated.

China will es­tab­lish a highly-in­for­ma­tional is ed, au­to­mated and smart high-speed rail­way sys­tem that fea­tures smart man­u­fac­tur­ing, smart fa­cil­i­ties and smart op­er­a­tions at its core. Cloud com­put­ing, the IOT, big data, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, Bei­dou nav­i­ga­tion and po­si­tion­ing, the next gen­er­a­tion of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and other ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies will be widely-used and al­low for ubiq­ui­tous in­ter­con­nec­tion, fu­sion and pro­cess­ing; ac­tive learn­ing and sci­en­tific de­ci­sion-mak­ing for mo­bile rail­way fa­cil­i­ties; fixed in­fra­struc­ture; and re­lated in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­men­tal in­for­ma­tion.

In the fu­ture, China will im­ple­ment the eight north-south and eight east-west lines frame­work, link­ing re­gional lines. The lines will be sup­ple­mented by in­terur­ban rail­ways. By 2020, China will es­tab­lish an ef­fi­cient and con­ve­nient mod­ern high----

speed rail­way net­work with a good lay­out cov­er­ing a wide range of area and com­plete func­tions. Its to­tal length will be more than 30,000 km, cov­er­ing more than 80 per­cent of the big cities in the coun­try. By 2025, there will be about 38,000 km of high-speed rail­way in op­er­a­tion; by 2035, the mod­ern rail­way net­work will cover the en­tire coun­try. It is and will be the first of its kind to be cre­ated, de­vel­oped and im­proved. In­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal in­ter­con­nec­tion will be com­pleted, mul­ti­ple in­ter-re­gional chan­nels will be smoothened, pro­vin­cial high-speed rail­ways will be con­nected. Quick ac­cess to pre­fec­tural and mu­nic­i­pal cities will be pos­si­ble. Ad­ja­cent large and medium cities will be able to be reached within one to four hours. Nearby mega­lopolises will be reach­able be­tween half an hour to two hours.

A Win-win So­lu­tion for China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion

On the af­ter­noon of Au­gust 30, Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists vis­ited the Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang Drug­store Mu­seum. This phar­macy brand is full of tra­di­tion. They ex­pe­ri­enced tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine ( TCM) cul­ture and learned about tra­di­tional pro­duc­tion meth­ods. They also vis­ited the solemn and mag­nif­i­cent con­struc­tion site of the new air­port, which is un­der con­struc­tion. The Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group Co., Ltd. is in charge of this project. The jour­nal­ists learned about the con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies that are be­ing used as well as the de­vel­op­ment and progress of projects that Bei­jing-area groups par­tic­i­pated in in Africa.

Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Cul­ture of Chi­nese Medicine

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang is an old and well­known drug­store brand in the tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine in­dus­try. It was es­tab­lished in 1669 and has a his­tory of 349 years. In 1723, Tong Ren Tang be­gan to sup­ply medicine to the royal phar­macy of the Qing Dy­nasty (1644–1911) for 8 em­per­ors over a pe­riod of 188 years. The staff scrupu­lously ad­here to an an­cient maxim that states “never save man­power al­though it is com­pli­cated to pre­pare the medicine; never re­duce ma­te­rial re­sources al­though the medicine ma­te­ri­als are ex­pen­sive.” Their prod­ucts fea­ture “ex­clu­sive pre­scrip­tions, ma­te­ri­als that have great qual­ity, ex­quis­ite work­man­ship and sig­nif­i­cant ef­fi­ciency in treat­ment.” The com­pany has been im­por­tant for the tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine in­dus­try and has set good stan­dards.

At the Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang Mu­seum, Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists saw pre­cious cul­tural relics re­lated to tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine from dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods; an­cient books, records, re­pro­duc­tions and doc­u­ments about the his­tor­i­cal con­text of Tong Ren Tang's en­trepreneur­ship and de­vel­op­ment; learned about its spe­cial his­tory re­gard­ing sup­ply­ing medicine to royal fam­i­lies and the for­ma­tion of its unique cul­ture and style of Chi­nese medicine; ob­tained in­for­ma­tion about its care­ful ma­te­rial se­lec­tion process and pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy; and gained knowl­edge about achieve­ments the com­pany has made in the past 20 years.

The com­pany be­gan to en­ter in­ter­na­tional mar­kets in 1993. Over the past 25 years, Tong Ren Tang has fol­lowed its “main­tain­ing good health, shar­ing with the world” mis­sion and brought au­then­tic Chi­nese medicine prod­ucts and ser­vices to five con­ti­nents around the world. Mil­lions of peo­ple out­side China have learned about this com­pany and have ex­pe­ri­ence with it. Tong Ren Tang's prod­ucts are cur­rently sold in nearly 50 over­seas coun­tries and re­gions. It has es­tab­lished more than 140 re­tail out­lets, cre­ated tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine clin­ics and health cen­tres in 27 over­seas coun­tries and re­gions, and es­tab­lished a pro­duc­tion and R&D base in Hong Kong. The Tong Ren Tang trade­mark has been reg­is­tered in 100 over­seas coun­tries and re­gions, and it is the first Chi­nese en­ter­prise to ap­ply for Madrid In­ter­na­tional Trade­mark Reg­is­tra­tion. It was there­fore awarded the Spe­cial Award for Madrid In­ter­na­tional Trade­mark Reg­is­tra­tion.

In Novem­ber 2016, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang (Africa) Co., Lim­ited was es­tab­lished in South Africa. Five drug­stores opened in Pre­to­ria, Dur­ban and Johannesburg. This was the start of a new jour­ney for this old and well-known com­pany in Africa. Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang (Africa) has al­ready di­ag­nosed and cured many pa­tients.

It uses pro­ce­dures like acupunc­ture, cup­ping ther­apy, and so on. It has held a num­ber of health-re­lated events on a vol­un­teer ba­sis and helped lo­cal peo­ple de­velop a healthy life­style. Since its in­cep­tion, di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment

re­lated to Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang (Africa)'s en­deav­ours have grown rapidly. More than ten thou­sand South African peo­ple have now ex­pe­ri­enced Chi­nese medicine in this way.

Lo­cal staff make up 80 per­cent of the 28 Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang (Africa) em­ploy­ees. The com­pany has also signed a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Johannesburg Univer­sity's Depart­ment of Al­ter­na­tive Medicine. It will help train peo­ple in TCM. They will be able to be in­volved with Tong Ren Tang in the fu­ture.

The South Africa-china Sci­en­tists High-level Di­a­logue re­cently con­cluded. Tong Ren Tang was pre­sented as a ma­jor project from China that has now launched in South Africa. Var­i­ous coun­tries in the world wit­nessed this. Tong Ren Tang will con­tinue to de­velop in for­eign coun­tries and re­gions in South­ern Africa, East­ern Africa and Western Africa, and bring high­qual­ity tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine and ser­vices to African peo­ple.

De­cod­ing the New Air­port in Bei­jing

As con­firmed by an aerial view in the crisp, clear au­tumn, the Bei­jing New Air­port new ter­mi­nal that is un­der con­struc­tion is shaped like a phoenix. nes­tled here. It lies 46 km to the south of Tian'an­men Square along the Cen­tral Axis of the city. It is ex­pected to be com­pleted by June 30, 2019. This air­port ter­mi­nal will be the largest sin­gle ter­mi­nal in the world. It will be a new source of power for China's eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ra­di­at­ing to the whole na­tion and con­nect­ing to the world like a “golden phoenix high up in the air.” Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists donned safety hel­mets, walked around at the con­struc­tion site and lis­tened to staff mem­bers that pro­vided ex­pla­na­tions and in-depth in­for­ma­tion.

The Bei­jing New Air­port is po­si­tioned as a large-scale in­ter­na­tional avi­a­tion hub. Phase I of the project cov­ers 3,031.9 hectares of land. It is de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a flow of 45 mil­lion pas­sen­gers in 2019 and of 72 mil­lion by 2025. The new air­port con­sists of a ter­mi­nal, trans­fer cen­tre, in­te­grated ser­vice build­ing and park­ing com­plex. With a to­tal floor area of 1.03 mil­lion sq.m, it will be the world's largest sin­gle air­port ter­mi­nal. It has been cited as one of the “Seven Won­ders of the New World” in the Bri­tish me­dia. It will be the world's first air­port ter­mi­nal with “dou­ble entries and dou­ble ex­its.” It will also fea­ture un­der­ground high-speed rail­way con­nec­tions for the first time in the world.

The in­stal­la­tion of 1,152 large-di­am­e­ter iso­lat­ing bear­ings and a steel struc­ture cov­er­ing an area of 180,000 sq.m will also set cur­rent world records.

The Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group Co., Ltd. is in charge of the project and has been work­ing on 600,000 sq.m worth of area. The group es­tab­lished spe­cial teams to take charge of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and based on the re­quired char­ac­ter­is­tics of the new air­port. It will be large in scale, fea­tures many new tech­nolo­gies and ap­pli­ca­tions, and faces dif­fi­cul­ties in con­struc­tion. The group has had to fa­cil­i­tate the pour­ing of over­sized and su­per-wide con­crete, hor­i­zon­tal trans­porta­tion of ma­te­ri­als in an ul­tra-large area, con­struct and take charge of mea­sures for seis­mic mit­i­ga­tion and ab­sorp­tion re­gard­ing rail­way lay­ers, the in­stal­la­tion and lift­ing of su­per-large curved steel trusses, the in­stal­la­tion of ir­reg­u­lar roofing and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of many other chal­leng­ing tasks. With world-lead­ing smart con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies and tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise, the group has been get­ting the job done.

Ex­perts work­ing on the new air­port have re­searched, de­vel­oped and ap­plied more than 100 new tech­nolo­gies, new pro­cesses and new in­ven­tions; ob­tained 10 patents for util­ity mod­els and 2 soft­ware copy­rights; and the “Con­struc­tion Method for Pile Head Re­in­force­ment and Pile Body In­te­gra­tion by Static Load Test” has be­come a stan­dard con­struc­tion method in Bei­jing. The air­port be­came a demon­stra­tion project for in­no­va­tion tech­nol­ogy and ap­pli­ca­tion of the na­tional con­struc­tion in­dus­try in 2016. It has been a prac­tice project for op­ti­mal ap­pli­ca­tion of in­for­ma­tion in China's con­struc­tion in­dus­try, won first prize at the 6th Longtu Cup Build­ing In­for­ma­tion Model­ing (BIM) com­pe­ti­tion and won first prize at the 3rd China Con­struc­tion BIM com­pe­ti­tion in 2017.

Bim-based smart con­struc­tion tech­nol­ogy has been widely used in the con­struc­tion of the new air­port ter­mi­nal. 3D model­ing con­struc­tion has been used for more than 1,000 km worth of ca­bling, 300 km worth of gal­vanised steel pip­ing and 580,000 sq.m worth of air hos­ing. This has avoided com­pli­ca­tions and en­sured that 247,000 sets of equip­ment were in­stalled ac­cu­rately.

Use of the smart con­struc­tion sys­tem that was in­de­pen­dently re­searched and de­vel­oped by the Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group Co., Ltd., Li Jian­hua Team has al­lowed for the re­al­iza­tion of many suc­cesses with “China Speed” ef­fi­ciency. The main con­crete struc­ture of the ter­mi­nal build­ing was com­pleted 12 days ahead of sched­ule on Jan­uary 19, 2017; the steel struc­ture of the main ter­mi­nal build­ing was com­pleted on sched­ule on June 30, 2017; the en­clo­sure of the main ter­mi­nal build­ing was com­pleted 2 days in ad­vance on De­cem­ber 29, 2017. Cur­rently, me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal sys­tems are be­ing worked on and in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion is un­der­way. These tasks are ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of June 2019.

Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists took pho­tos of the Bei­jing New Air­port and looked for­ward to its fi­nal com­ple­tion.

China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion

Jour­nal­ists from African coun­tries vis­ited the con­struc­tion site for the New Air­port ter­mi­nal be­ing un­der­taken by BUCG. Dur­ing the visit, Li Daosong, man­ager of the In­ter­na­tional Depart­ment of BUCG, in­tro­duced the group's pre­vi­ous co­op­er­a­tion with African coun­tries. The group has con­structed many land­mark struc­tures and projects in Africa, in­clud­ing the Al­giers Opera House in the cap­i­tal of Al­ge­ria; agri­cul­tural parks in Mozam­bique; hos­pi­tals in Niger and a wa­ter treat­ment plant in the city of Bo, Sierra Leone. Chen Dai­hua, chair­man of BUCG, ex­plained, “Land­mark struc­tures are car­ri­ers of a re­gion's lo­cal cul­ture and his­tory—they pro­mote lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and re­flect the deep friend­ship be­tween China and Africa.”

From 2013–2016, BUCG built the Al­giers Opera House in the cap­i­tal of Al­ge­ria. This build­ing demon­strates the su­perb skills and high qual­ity of Chi­nese con­struc­tion. It was awarded the Lu Ban Prize in 2017, the high­est hon­our for Chi­nese-built con­struc­tion projects. Dur­ing the two years since its com­ple­tion, artists from all over the world have per­formed at the venue. It in­te­grates ar­chi­tec­ture and the art of opera and has wit­nessed the deep

friend­ship be­tween China and Al­ge­ria.

In 2014, the Ebola virus spread across West Africa. When the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment sent med­i­cal teams to Sierra Leone to help, BUCG also flew in sev­eral dozen con­struc­tion work­ers. These work­ers built a bi­o­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory in just 70 days to pre­vent and con­trol the Ebola virus, mak­ing an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to West Africa's fight against the dis­ease.

In July 2018, BUCG com­pleted con­struc­tion of the Sierra Leone Trop­i­cal Dis­eases Preven­tion and Con­trol Cen­tre. Pres­i­dent Maada Bio, praised its con­struc­tion, say­ing: “This cen­tre will greatly en­hance Sierra Leone's abil­ity to pre­vent and con­trol epi­demics and the spread of dis­eases.”

Since en­ter­ing Mozam­bique in 2010, BUCG has built rice plants, cot­ton plants, maize plants, largescale freez­ers and agri­cul­tural parks. They are cur­rently in op­er­a­tion. As such, the group has con­trib­uted to the con­struc­tion of agri­cul­tural in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment of agri­cul­ture within the coun­try.

Zhang Fenglin, project man­ager for Mozam­bique, said: “Dur­ing con­struc­tion of the agri­cul­tural pro­cess­ing plant in 2010, 31 man­age­ment per­son­nel, 80 Chi­nese work­ers and 600 lo­cals worked on the project. Two years later, the num­ber of man­age­ment per­son­nel and Chi­nese work­ers de­creased to 8 and 16, re­spec­tively, and the num­ber of lo­cal work­ers stood at 500. These projects cre­ate jobs for lo­cals, ac­cel­er­ate cul­tural in­te­gra­tion and pro­mote win-win co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Chi­nese en­ter­prises and Africa.”

To sup­port the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and make use of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the new era for China-africa co­op­er­a­tion, BUCG has launched con­struc­tion projects in over 10 African coun­tries, in fields such as wa­ter util­i­ties and man­age­ment, high­ways, air­ports and hous­ing. The group is ac­tively co­op­er­at­ing with other African coun­tries in build­ing in­fra­struc­ture and in­dus­trial parks as well as fi­nanc­ing and in­vest­ment.

In Sierra Leone, the Bin­tu­mani Ho­tel in Free­town was re­built and is be­ing run by BUCG, of­fer­ing high-qual­ity con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties; in Bu­rundi, BUCG aided the con­struc­tion of a vo­ca­tional school, which is mak­ing great con­tri­bu­tions to the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal vo­ca­tional and tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion; in Niger, the group built a com­pre­hen­sive hos­pi­tal—the largest in West Africa—in three years, along with a full set of med­i­cal equip­ment in­stal­la­tion and test­ing ser­vices. This has ad­vanced the level of lo­cal med­i­cal ser­vices for­ward 30 years; in Benin, BUCG'S con­fer­ence build­ing main­te­nance project was highly praised by the gov­ern­ment; and in Ethiopia, the group has be­gun con­struc­tion on high­way projects funded by the African De­vel­op­ment Bank and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

BUCG acts re­spon­si­bly while ex­pand­ing mar­kets and launch­ing con­struc­tion projects no mat­ter the coun­try. The group forms com­mu­ni­ties of shared in­ter­est with lo­cals and hon­ours Chi­nese en­ter­prises' com­mit­ment to peace­ful de­vel­op­ment through aid­ing lo­cal con­struc­tion, build­ing roads and mak­ing do­na­tions.

Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing In­no­va­tion

On the morn­ing of Au­gust 31, ap­prox­i­mately 40 Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists from more than 20 coun­tries in­clud­ing Ger­many, Ja­pan, An­gola, Ethiopia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tan­za­nia, Uganda and Brazil, vis­ited the Zhong­guan­cun Sci­ence Park (Z-park) Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre. A staff mem­ber from the Xiaomi Tech­nol­ogy Com­pany demon­strated how one of their vac­uum clean­ing ro­bots can be con­trolled us­ing an AI speaker. Joao Manuel Hen­riques, from An­gola Press News Agency, was amazed by what he saw.

The “Bei­jing High-tech In­no­va­tion” themed ac­tiv­ity was jointly hosted by the 2018 Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion's Me­dia Cen­ter as part of its se­ries of City In­ter­views. Jour­nal­ists ex­plored China's path in de­vel­op­ing sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy over the 40 years since China's re­form and open­ing up in 1978 and got to see Bei­jing's vi­tal­ity and po­ten­tial for high­tech in­no­va­tion first-hand.

Z-park de­vel­oped from a street sell­ing elec­tronic goods in Zhong­guan­cun dur­ing the 1980s and is a prod­uct of China's re­form and open­ing up. In 2009, China's State Coun­cil ap­proved con­struc­tion of the park, with the area ex­plor­ing a new path com­bin­ing high tech­nol­ogy and the econ­omy with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. Z-park opened a new chap­ter for China in con­struct­ing high-tech zones as well as es­tab­lish­ing high-tech parks and State­funded in­no­va­tion demon­stra­tion zones. To­day, Zhong­guan­cun has now formed a lay­out fea­tur­ing Z-park com­bined with mul­ti­ple parks, in­clud­ing Zhong­guan­cun Haid­ian Sci­ence Park and Zhong­guan­cun Chang­ping Sci­ence Park. Af­ter 40 years of de­vel­op­ment, Z-park has be­come a worl­drenowned “cra­dle of in­no­va­tion.”

To­day, Zhong­guan­cun is the source for strate­gic emerg­ing in­dus­tries in China. In 2017, en­ter­prises in the area gen­er­ated a to­tal of 5.3 tril­lion yuan in rev­enues and a to­tal of 467.08 bil­lion yuan in prof­its, with tax­able in­come and fees amount­ing to 259.39 bil­lion yuan, ac­count­ing for 34 per­cent of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity's eco­nomic growth. Zhong­guan­cun is home to over 200 high-tech en­ter­prise in­cu­ba­tors, more than 1,490 ven­ture and in­vest­ment in­sti­tu­tions and 500 as­so­ci­a­tions and al­liances, which are as­sist­ing the rapid de­vel­op­ment of high-tech en­ter­prises. At present, there are a to­tal of 20,000 high­tech en­ter­prises in Zhong­guan­cun.

In this era dom­i­nated by glob­al­i­sa­tion, open­ing up and in­no­va­tion are ir­re­versible trends, and in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment can­not be sep­a­rated from in­ter­na­tional ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion. At present, Zhong­guan­cun is home to 300 multi­na­tional com­pa­nies' re­gional head­quar­ters or re­search cen­tres and 30,000 Chi­nese per­son­nel who have stud­ied abroad, as well as ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 for­eign staff work­ing in the area. The Zhong­guan­cun Ad­min­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee has es­tab­lished 10 over­seas li­ai­son of­fices in Sil­i­con Val­ley and else­where, and en­ter­prises from Zhong­guan­cun have set up around 1,000 R&D cen­tres or branches over­seas. Zhong­guan­cun's in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence con­tin­ues to rise and it has be­come an im­por­tant hub in global in­no­va­tion net­works and an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned area for in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship.

Weng Qi­wen, deputy di­rec­tor of the Zhong­guan­cun Ad­min­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee, in­tro­duced the de­vel­op­ment of Z-park. The jour­nal­ists were amazed by Bei­jing's rapid de­vel­op­ment and achieve­ments in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. Wang ex­plained: “Zhong­guan­cun is a mi­cro­cosm of China's 40 years of re­forms. It has wit­nessed China and Bei­jing's high­tech in­no­va­tion and acts as a con­tin­u­ous source of vi­tal­ity.”

At the En­ter­prise In­no­va­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion Area, the jour­nal­ists vis­ited In­ter­net tech­nol­ogy gi­ants, such as the Megvii Tech­nol­ogy, Xiaomi and So­gou, and learned about their high-tech prod­ucts. At the Xiaomi Smart Home Ex­hi­bi­tion Area, they got to see smarte­col­ogy, nick­named “black tech” (an on­line term for “fu­tur­is­tic gad­getry”) which is op­er­ated us­ing a smart­phone and Xiaomi AI speaker, con­trolled by Xiaomi's own app. In­ter-connectivity, smart in­ter­ac­tions and per­son­al­i­sa­tion across mul­ti­ple en­vi­ron­ments and smart de­vices has now be­come a re­al­ity thanks to cloud com­put­ing, big data and AI. Many jour­nal­ists took pho­tos with So­gou 01, an in­tel­li­gent ques­tion-and-an­swer ro­bot de­vel­oped by So­gou. The ro­bot was able to an­swer many of the jour­nal­ists' ques­tions, ca­pa­ble as it is of lis­ten­ing, speak­ing, look­ing and think­ing. Af­ter fig­ur­ing out a user's ques­tion or re­quest

for in­for­ma­tion, it then utilises its mas­sive in­for­ma­tion net­work and knowl­edge data­base to pro­vide an an­swer.

Soon, the jour­nal­ists were also at­tracted by a sur­gi­cal ro­bot named Tianji that can as­sist in or­tho­pe­dics op­er­a­tions. They watched as Tianji car­ried out a “sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tion” and praised the ro­bot's ac­cu­racy. The ro­bot was de­vel­oped by Bei­jing TINAVI Med­i­cal Com­pany and is the only or­tho­pe­dics sur­gi­cal ro­botic sys­tem in the world that can carry out surg­eries on limbs, the pelvis and spine.

At the Rech­sand Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy Group Ex­hi­bi­tion Area, Ma Zhikun, as­sis­tant to the com­pany's pres­i­dent, demon­strated “black tech” for use in de­vel­op­ing desert re­gions. The group has al­ready con­ducted ex­per­i­ments plant­ing trees and grow­ing rice in the Sa­hara Desert. Af­ter the test­ing is suc­cess­ful, the Sa­hara Desert may well be turned into an oa­sis suit­able for grow­ing rice. The African jour­nal­ists gave a thumbs up to the tech­nol­ogy and ex­pressed their hope that it can be used in Africa in the near fu­ture.

The jour­nal­ists also got to see the lat­est 3D and aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) tech­nolo­gies be­ing of­fered by en­ter­prises such as Bei­jing Xiantao Tech­nol­ogy and Le­yard, and were amazed by the speed at which Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy is de­vel­op­ing.

Sally Jarju, from the Gam­bia Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Ser­vice, said that she saw many high-tech prod­ucts that she had never seen in her home coun­try and was par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by the So­gou 01 ro­bot and the Tianji sur­gi­cal ro­bot. She said, “These tech­nolo­gies are both ad­vanced and prac­ti­cal and will make peo­ple's lives and man­u­fac­tur­ing more con­ve­nient. Other coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly in Africa, can learn a lot from them.”

The event al­lowed the world's me­dia to look through a win­dow into Chi­nese high-tech in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment. The jour­nal­ists agreed that China had achieved rapid de­vel­op­ment in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, and Bei­jing had made great steps for­ward in terms of sci­en­tific progress and in­no­va­tion.

Cul­tural Blend­ing

“In­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­pends on close per­son-to-per­son in­ter­ac­tions and is the foun­da­tion for Chi­nese and African peo­ple join­ing hands to achieve co­op­er­a­tion and com­mon de­vel­op­ment.”

China's Star­times Group has been op­er­at­ing in the African ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try for a decade. It acts as a bridge be­tween the Chi­nese and African peo­ple and opens a win­dow for ex­changes be­tween the two civil­i­sa­tions.

The “Bei­jing Cul­tural In­no­va­tion” ac­tiv­ity, part of the City In­ter­view pro­gramme, took place on the af­ter­noon of Au­gust 31. Forty jour­nal­ists from around 30 me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions vis­ited the head­quar­ters of Star­times, which is the most in­flu­en­tial and fastest de­vel­op­ing dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion op­er­a­tor in Africa. The jour­nal­ists learned about Bei­jing's ef­forts to de­velop in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions and its achieve­ments in the cul­tural and me­dia in­dus­try.

Star­times is a multi­na­tional me­dia group that was founded in 1988, which spe­cialises in in­vest­ing and op­er­at­ing large ra­dio and tele­vi­sion sys­tems, and de­vel­op­ing core tech­nolo­gies for dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion and dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion net­works. It also trans­lates, pro­duces and re­leases tele­vi­sion pro­grammes. Af­ter a decade in Africa, it has grown into an im­por­tant sys­tem in­te­gra­tor, tech­nol­ogy and con­tent provider, and net­work op­er­a­tor in Africa's ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try. Its sig­nals cover the whole African con­ti­nent and it has at­tracted around 20 mil­lion users. The group has be­come a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of China's high-tech en­ter­prises and a key na­tional and cul­tural en­ter­prise.

At present, Star­times has reg­is­tered dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies in 30 African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Rwanda, Guinea, Uganda, Bu­rundi, Tan­za­nia, Nige­ria, Kenya, Mozam­bique and Sene­gal. It has es­tab­lished a huge net­work sys­tem that sup­ports tens of mil­lions of users and has over 480 tele­vi­sion chan­nels. Tele­vi­sion pro­grammes are broad­cast in over 10 lan­guages, in­clud­ing English, French, Por­tuguese, lo­cal African lan­guages, Chi­nese and Hindi.

Star­times is also a de­vel­oper of dig­i­tal ter­mi­nals par­tic­u­larly for African mar­kets. These prod­ucts cover var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions and in­clude satel­lite, ter­res­trial dig­i­tal, dual-mode, dig­i­tal and In­ter­net TV set­top boxes; dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion pro­jec­tion tele­vi­sions; and so­lar pow­ered sys­tems. To meet Africans' grow­ing de­mand for on­line video ser­vices, Star­times launched an on­line video stream­ing ser­vices in Africa

be­fore the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This al­lowed peo­ple across the con­ti­nent to watch World Cup matches live and in HD us­ing the Star­times video app, which now has around 8 mil­lion users.

Guo Ziqi, vice chair­man of the Star­times Group, told the jour­nal­ists: “Star­times brings Chi­nese films and tele­vi­sion dra­mas to African au­di­ences and has taken root across the con­ti­nent. Chi­nese actors and ac­tresses, such as Hu Ge, Zhao Liy­ing and Yang Mi are now house­hold names in Africa, which strength­ens com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween peo­ple.”

Star­times nar­rows the dis­tance be­tween China and Africa and uses tele­vi­sion to bring Africa closer to the world. China pro­posed its Ten Ma­jor China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion Plans at the Johannesburg Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion in 2015, which in­cluded an “Ac­cess to Satel­lite TV for 10,000 African Vil­lages” pro­gramme. The project is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion and pro­gress­ing smoothly. By the end of 2018, satel­lite tele­vi­sion in­stal­la­tion and long-term op­er­a­tion ser­vices will have been es­tab­lished in 10,112 vil­lages across 25 African coun­tries, en­rich­ing the lives of the lo­cals. As the de­vel­oper of the pro­gramme, Star­times is pro­mot­ing the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of Africa's ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try and help­ing make dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion more af­ford­able for African fam­i­lies.

Guo Ziqi led the jour­nal­ists around the group's core de­part­ments, such as the Broad­cast­ing Cen­tre, Trans­lat­ing and Dub­bing Cen­tre and the Live Stu­dio. He in­tro­duced the multi-lan­guage dub­bing fa­cil­i­ties for drama and films and the record­ing and broad­cast­ing fa­cil­i­ties for TV pro­grammes to the as­sem­bled jour­nal­ists. He also showed the tech­nolo­gies and prod­ucts the group has de­vel­oped.

At the Trans­lat­ing and Dub­bing Cen­tre, jour­nal­ists met with sev­eral voice artists from Africa such as Hilder, who hails from Tan­za­nia.

Af­ter win­ning first place in the First Star­times Cup Chi­nese Film and Tele­vi­sion Drama Dub­bing Con­test in Tan­za­nia in 2016, Hilder got the op­por­tu­nity to work at the Star­times head­quar­ters. She said: “I worked as a voice ac­tor in my home coun­try be­fore work­ing at Star­times. How­ever, at the group's head­quar­ters in Bei­jing, I not only get to con­tinue do­ing my favourite job but can also learn pro­duc­tion skills from train­ing by pro­fes­sional teachers.” Now, Hilder is both an ac­com­plished Swahili voice ac­tress and a qual­i­fied trans­la­tor. She is also able to op­er­ate the soft­ware and equip­ment and com­plete dub­bing tasks in­de­pen­dently.

Hilder is now more fa­mil­iar with Chi­nese cul­ture af­ter sev­eral years work­ing at the group. “Like me, many Africans are

in­ter­ested in the lives of Chi­nese. We're ea­ger to know about the fam­ily life of Chi­nese peo­ple, such as how they han­dle prob­lems be­tween a wife and a moth­erin-law. That's why Chi­nese dra­mas in this genre are pop­u­lar.” She ex­plained that Beau­ti­ful Daugh­ter-in-law was her favourite drama. “The main char­ac­ter, Mao Doudou, is well-known amongst African au­di­ences, and the drama of­fers in­sights into the life of a Chi­nese fam­ily.” More Africans have be­gun to un­der­stand China through these dra­mas broad­cast by Star­times.

Fran­cis Tchiegue (Chi­nese name Jie Gai) comes from Cameron and has been work­ing at Star­times for four and half years. This young African man is ac­tive on Chi­nese tele­vi­sion. He first came to China in 2003 to study the lan­guage and went on to ob­tain his sec­ond PHD in aero­nau­tics and com­puter sciences at the Bei­jing Univer­sity of Aero­nau­tics and Astro­nau­tics. Fas­ci­nated by Chi­nese cul­ture, he stud­ies crosstalk from renowned ac­tor Ding Guangquan and can speak Man­darin, English, French, Ger­man and Rus­sian. He is an ac­com­plished host and pro­fi­cient at crosstalk, Pek­ing Opera and singing, and even ap­peared on the Spring Festival Gala staged by Hu­nan Satel­lite Tele­vi­sion in 2012. His many ex­pe­ri­ences have en­abled him to be­come more fa­mil­iar with Chi­nese cul­ture.

One of the vis­it­ing jour­nal­ists guessed the mean­ing and spell­ing of his Chi­nese name. The jour­nal­ist said: “Does jie mean ‘out­stand­ing' and is writ­ten as 杰and gai mean ‘to cover' and is writ­ten as

盖?” Tchiegue cor­rected him, ex­plain­ing: “‘ Jie' means ‘ag­ile' and is writ­ten as捷 and ‘ gai' means un­par­al­leled in the world.” Tchiegue has sev­eral posts at Star­times, work­ing as the host for a pro­gramme he also pro­duces. He added: “My pro­gramme is mainly re­lated to cul­ture. I teach Chi­nese lan­guage to peo­ple in my home coun­try us­ing tricks I de­vel­oped and also record in­ter­views to let my au­di­ences un­der­stand the cul­tural dif­fer­ences be­tween dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Cul­tural ex­changes are an im­por­tant field for China-africa co­op­er­a­tion. I be­lieve that more African fam­i­lies will un­der­stand China through ac­cess­ing its cul­ture thanks to the in­ter­na­tional plat­form Star­times pro­vides.”

Af­ter the visit, the Chi­nese and for­eign jour­nal­ists gave a thumbs up re­gard­ing Star­times' work and in­flu­ence abroad. Jour­nal­ist Jiao Feng from China In­ter­na­tional Pub­lish­ing Group, said: “Star­times is a mi­cro­cosm which shows the Chi­nese ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try's com­mu­ni­ca­tion abil­ity in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and China's achieve­ments in de­vel­op­ing cul­tural me­dia.”

Beau­ti­ful Coun­try­side

On Septem­ber 1, jour­nal­ists from more than 50 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing China, Botswana, Mau­ri­tius and South Africa, vis­ited the In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture Vil­lage of the Great Wall at Bo­hai Town in Huairou Dis­trict and an Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tion Base of the Bei­jing Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Pro­mo­tion Sta­tion at Xiaotang­shan in Chang­ping Dis­trict. They ex­pe­ri­enced Bei­jing's ef­forts in con­struct­ing a beau­ti­ful coun­try­side and de­vel­op­ing agri­cul­tural tech­nolo­gies. In the In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture Vil­lage of the Great Wall, an aban­doned brick­yard in Beigou has been de­vel­oped into a typ­i­cally ru­ral ho­tel, trans­form­ing the re­mote moun­tain­ous vil­lage into one of the most beau­ti­ful vil­lages in Bei­jing. The Agri­cul­tural Sci­ence Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tion Base at Xiaotang­shan con­tains a wide va­ri­ety of fruit and veg­eta­bles, show­cas­ing the con­cepts of “high-qual­ity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment” in de­vel­op­ing agri­cul­ture in the city.

Mu­tianyu Great Wall

Septem­ber is con­sid­ered one of the best times of the year to go hik­ing or visit the moun­tains in Bei­jing. On the morn­ing of Septem­ber 1, jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion gath­ered at Mu­tianyu Great Wall in Huairou Dis­trict to ex­plore this im­pres­sive Chi­nese land­mark.

Mu­tianyu Great Wall was first built in 1368 by Gen­eral Xu Da (1332–1385) dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty (1368–1644) on the ba­sis of ru­ins of the wall built dur­ing the North­ern Qi Dy­nasty (AD 550–577). This sec­tion bor­ders Juy­ong­guan Pass in the west and Gubeikou Pass in the east and was a ma­jor mil­i­tary de­fen­sive point safe­guard­ing Bei­jing dur­ing an­cient times. The sec­tion con­tains sev­eral fa­mous watch­tow­ers in­clud­ing Yingfei­daoyang (“Ea­gles Flies Fac­ing Up­ward”) and Jiankou (“Ar­row Nock”).

The Mu­tianyu sec­tion is sur­rounded by moun­tains and fea­tures nu­mer­ous watch­tow­ers and crenel­la­tions on both sides. Its green cov­er­age rate is over 96 per­cent, mak­ing it a high­light of the Great

Wall con­structed dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty. It has a rep­u­ta­tion for unique beauty. Af­ter reach­ing the view­ing plat­form by cable cars, the jour­nal­ists were amazed by the mag­nif­i­cent ed­i­fice that com­bined the wis­dom and hard work of the an­cient peo­ple and the forests and moun­tains stretch­ing off into the dis­tance.

Ac­com­pa­nied by tour guides, the jour­nal­ists con­tin­ued their trip along the Great Wall. Some were cu­ri­ous to find out more and asked about the his­tory dur­ing their jour­ney. Many set off at a quick pace, ea­ger to see the mag­nif­i­cent views. Edir Dauneto Stephen Omunu, a jour­nal­ist from South Su­dan, said that this was his first time at the Mu­tianyu Great Wall. Hav­ing orig­i­nally thought the build­ings on top of the moun­tains were com­pleted by ma­chin­ery, he was shocked to dis­cover they had all been built by hand. He said: “I'm won­der­ing how much man­power and ma­te­ri­als were needed to com­plete it.”

When talk­ing about the Fo­rum, Omunu smiled and said that with aid from the Chi­nese peo­ple, African coun­tries now had rail­ways and high­ways; af­ter vis­it­ing Mu­tianyu, he had learned about China's ca­pac­ity to carry out large en­gi­neer­ing projects in an­cient times and be­lieved this ca­pac­ity would con­tinue to be ap­plied to China's projects in Africa; and decades of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Africa meant that the Fo­rum would act as an ex­change plat­form to en­able both sides to re­view past ex­pe­ri­ences and cre­ate a bet­ter fu­ture.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhou Jiushu, gen­eral man­ager of the Mu­tianyu Great Wall Travel Ser­vice Com­pany, the Mu­tianyu Great Wall Scenic Area is rated as a 5A Na­tional Tourist At­trac­tion and re­ceives 1.4 mil­lion vis­i­tors per year, 45 per­cent of which are for­eign tourists. In re­cent years, it has staged ac­tiv­i­ties for ma­jor events in­clud­ing the 2014 APEC Eco­nomic Lead­ers' Week and 2017 Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, show­cas­ing Chi­nese cul­ture and the beauty of Bei­jing.

In­ter­na­tional Vil­lage by the Great Wall

The Great Wall is of im­mense his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural value to hu­man civil­i­sa­tion. Re­vi­tal­is­ing vil­lages along it will turn them into sym­bols of the Great Wall Cul­tural Belt. Lo­cated at the foot of Mu­tianyu Great Wall, Beigou Vil­lage in Bo­hai Town is de­vel­op­ing rapidly in line with the trend of in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment, util­is­ing the cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal re­sources of the Great Wall.

Beigou Vil­lage was Bei­jing's first “Na­tional Eco­log­i­cal Cul­ture Vil­lage” and has been awarded nu­mer­ous other ti­tles in­clud­ing “China's Most Charm­ing Leisure Vil­lage” and “Bei­jing's Most Beau­ti­ful Vil­lage.” On the af­ter­noon of Septem­ber 1, the jour­nal­ists vis­ited the Vil­lage Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, Cul­tural Long Cor­ri­dor and El­derly Res­i­dents Cen­tre in Beigou. One of the high­lights in the vil­lage is the Brick­yard Re­treat founded by Jim Spear and his wife.

Ac­cord­ing to Sec­re­tary of the Beigou Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Wang Quan, “Jim Spear, the owner of the Brick­yard Re­treat, has lived in Beigou for many years and is the most fa­mous villager. He greatly in­flu­enced other vil­lagers with his work pro­tect­ing and de­vel­op­ing the tra­di­tional Chi­nese build­ings here, which has played a ma­jor role in help­ing Beigou be­come a “Beau­ti­ful Vil­lage of Bei­jing.” At the coun­try ho­tel, a colour­ful trail paved with pieces of glazed tiles, an or­ganic veg­etable patch and a fish pond at­tracted the jour­nal­ists. At noon, the restau­rant there was crowded with vis­i­tors ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its unique style. Wang Quan pointed to the ho­tel's glass walls and said: “The glass walls are a unique de­sign fea­ture. From any view­point, you can look out and see the Great Wall snaking through the moun­tains.”

Ac­cord­ing to Wang Quan, Jim Spear and his wife de­vel­oped the Brick­yard Re­treat and restau­rant and also ren­o­vated over 30 aban­doned farm­ers' dwellings, bring­ing tremen­dous changes to the vil­lage by com­bin­ing Western and Chi­nese styles. With the so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the vil­lage, lo­cal res­i­dents' aware­ness of sus­tain­abil­ity was ac­ti­vated and they looked to de­velop agri­cul­tural tourism to pro­mote the lo­cal econ­omy.

Wang Quan ex­plained: “Ten years ago, we only could earn 5,000 yuan a year rent­ing out a court­yard. Now, it's 60,000 yuan a year. The value of land in the vil­lage is 12 times higher than a decade ago. To rent the best court­yard in the vil­lage would cost 27 mil­lion yuan with the lease ex­pir­ing af­ter 30 years, af­ter which, the court­yard be­comes the vil­lage's! The land re­sources here have been re­leased, the vil­lagers are richer and the en­vi­ron­ment is more beau­ti­ful. It's ab­so­lutely worth it.” Wang's re­marks on help­ing the vil­lagers be­come bet­ter-off were well ap­pre­ci­ated by the for­eign jour­nal­ists.

In­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment meth­ods have re­vi­talised this small vil­lage. Be­sides the Brick­yard Re­treat, the vil­lage has de­vel­oped many other restau­rants and guest­houses with dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics. Walk­ing around, once can see tra­di­tional Chi­nese sto­ries painted on the walls, in­clud­ing “Sima Guang Breaks the Vat to Save a Child” and “The Mother of Yue Fei Giv­ing Him a Tat­too to En­cour­age Him.” A re­lief based on the book Dizigui (Stan­dards for be­ing a Good Pupil and Child) at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Om­phitl­hetse Vi­vian Mooki from South Africa, who asked a Chi­nese jour­nal­ist to ex­plain it to her. Af­ter hav­ing her pic­ture taken with it, she said: “You have to take pho­tos of Chi­nese char­ac­ters.”

The de­vel­op­ment of Beigou is a mi­cro­cosm for the In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture Vil­lage of the Great Wall. The com­mu­nity is com­prised of Beigou, Mu­tianyu, Xiny­ing and Tianx­i­anyu vil­lages and is an­other tourism area fea­tur­ing the cul­ture of the Great Wall. The In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture Vil­lage com­bines Western and Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics and has at­tracted over 30 fam­i­lies from abroad to in­vest and set­tle down there. In­ter­na­tional high- end clubs have also gath­ered around the com­mu­nity, form­ing a cul­tural and cre­ative in­dus­try clus­ter pro­mot­ing growth in the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try.

Grow­ing Agri­cul­tural Tech­nolo­gies

Af­ter leav­ing Beigou, the jour­nal­ists next vis­ited the Agri­cul­tural Sci­ence Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tion Base of the Bei­jing Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Pro­mo­tion Sta­tion at Xiaotang­shan, Chang­ping Dis­trict. The base, also known as the “Park of Spe­cial Veg­eta­bles,” was founded in 1984. The 320- mu park is one of the ori­gins of spe­cial veg­eta­bles in China, and con­tains a 70- mu multi-span green­house and 48 so­lar green­houses. The park has in­tro­duced more than 60 species of spe­cial fruit and veg­eta­bles, and fo­cuses on wa­ter con­ser­va­tion, bi­o­log­i­cal pest con­trol and the grow­ing of or­ganic food, which play a ma­jor role in pro­mot­ing new tech­nolo­gies and train­ing farm­ers. In re­cent years, agri­cul­ture in Bei­jing has em­pha­sised the ideas of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment cen­tred on the city's eco­nomic and so­cial needs and ex­plored agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment based on the fea­tures of the city. The demon­stra­tion base is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of this kind of think­ing.

Walk­ing into the multi-span green­house, the wall-to-wall green­ery is a re­fresh­ing sight. Op­er­ated us­ing a smart con­trol sys­tem, the multi-span green­house's tem­per­a­ture, hu­mid­ity and light­ing are main­tained at 25.1 de­grees Cel­sius, 89.6 per­cent and 2,100 lux, re­spec­tively, ideal grow­ing con­di­tions for let­tuces, lemons, pa­payas and bananas. A staff mem­ber ex­plained: “We have a team of pro­fes­sion­als that de­ter­mine the right nu­tri­ents and pest con­trol. The green­house is equipped with tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity sen­sors as well as cir­cu­lat­ing fans to help the fruit and veg­eta­bles grow bet­ter. Our agri­cul­tural prod­ucts are both green and or­ganic, with short grow­ing cy­cles and high yields.” More­over, the park pro­motes over 30 dif­fer­ent forms of agri­cul­tural wa­ter-sav­ing tech­nol­ogy for use in place of tra­di­tional ir­ri­ga­tion meth­ods for the cul­ti­va­tion and man­age­ment of crops, all of which have made re­mark­able achieve­ments.

Di­rec­tor of the park Wang Kewu ex­plained their pro­duc­tion pro­cesses for leafy veg­eta­bles and how they in­tro­duce species na­tive to south­ern China into the park. Af­ter vis­it­ing the base, Edir Dauneto Stephen Omunu said: “My coun­try is a big agri­cul­tural power in Africa, but to­day's visit made me to feel there's a huge dif­fer­ence be­tween China and African coun­tries in terms of agri­cul­tural cul­ti­va­tion. China's ad­vanced agri­cul­tural tech­nolo­gies have greatly im­pressed me. There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties and prospects for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides in agri­cul­ture.” Om­phitl­hetse Vi­vian Mooki stated: “The huge changes go­ing on in China are en­vi­able. I found China's beauty doesn't only ex­ist in the cities, it's also in the beau­ti­ful coun­try­side I saw to­day.”

An­cient Cap­i­tal

Septem­ber 2 was a cool and pleas­ant day in Bei­jing and the eve of the fo­rum it­self. This was also the day of the fi­nal

ac­tiv­ity in the City In­ter­view se­ries— An­cient Cap­i­tal Town­scape of Bei­jing— be­fore the of­fi­cial open­ing of the fo­rum. More than 70 jour­nal­ists from 30 me­dia agen­cies of 19 coun­tries, in­clud­ing An­gola, Namibia, Egypt, Ja­pan and the United Arab Emi­rates, vis­ited the Bei­jing Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall to learn more about the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (2016 –2035) and “Four Cen­tres” ur­ban strate­gic func­tional po­si­tion­ing. They also vis­ited Yongding­men Tower and Jing­shan Park over­look­ing Bei­jing's Cen­tral Axis to help them bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate Bei­jing's his­tor­i­cal con­text and long-term plan­ning.

At 9 a.m., the jour­nal­ists ar­rived at the Bei­jing Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall. In­side, they watched a short film that briefly in­tro­duced Bei­jing's 3,000-year his­tory as a city and 850-year his­tory as the cap­i­tal. The film cap­ti­vated the jour­nal­ists, trans­port­ing them back to an­cient times and help­ing them ex­plore the his­tory of Bei­jing's ur­ban plan­ning, its cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and fu­ture.

Herve Mewen­emesse from Togo recorded the film on his mo­bile phone. He ex­plained: “I'm re­ally in­ter­ested in this doc­u­men­tary. I'm im­pressed by the an­cient cap­i­tal and happy to learn about Bei­jing's mag­nif­i­cent his­tory.” Af­ter the film, the jour­nal­ists gath­ered around a cast bronze model de­pict­ing the old city of Bei­jing. Staff at the Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall in­tro­duced how the old city looked when the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China was founded, in­clud­ing the city's Cen­tral Axis. Later, the jour­nal­ists were treated to a bird's-eye view of the 1:750-scale model of Bei­jing from the third floor look­ing down to the floor be­low, then went down­stairs and walked through the huge model of the city's lay­out. The two per­spec­tives al­lowed them to feel as if they were ac­tu­ally in the city, ob­serve the an­cient city's charm and style, and fully un­der­stand the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing the city's Cen­tral Axis.

The city's 7.8-km Cen­tral Axis runs from Yongding­men Tower in the south to the Bell Tower in the north and is one of the most out­stand­ing fea­tures of ur­ban de­sign any­where in the world. Chi­nese ar­chi­tect Liang Sicheng (1901–1972) once said: “The unique and mag­nif­i­cent lay­out of Bei­jing is cre­ated by the es­tab­lish­ment of this Cen­tral Axis; the dis­tri­bu­tion of the city's shape and spa­ces to its left and right is based on the Cen­tral Axis; the north-south Cen­tral Axis show­cases the city's mag­nif­i­cence.”

In terms of the his­tory of Bei­jing's ur­ban de­sign, the Cen­tral Axis came be­fore the city. The axis is a spir­i­tual sym­bol of Chi­nese style, home to UNESCO World Her­itage Sites and de­notes the po­lit­i­cal cen­tre of Bei­jing, show­cases its po­lit­i­cal, eth­i­cal and aes­thetic val­ues, and presents the past, present and fu­ture of Chi­nese civil­i­sa­tion. In or­der to get a good look at the Cen­tral Axis, the sec­ond stop was made at its south­ern end— Yongding­men Tower.

Stand­ing atop Yongding­men Tower, the jour­nal­ists could ob­serve the lay­out of the city and the straight axis run­ning due north. Look­ing down the axis, Herve Mewen­emesse said hap­pily: “The axis is very beau­ti­ful and Bei­jing is great. I re­ally like China!” Some jour­nal­ists switched to panorama mode on their mo­bile phones in or­der to cap­ture all the green spa­ces, long and straight streets and end­less flow of pedes­tri­ans.

Li Yan, di­rec­tor of the Of­fice for the Pro­tec­tion of the Cul­tural Relics of the Yuan Chonghuan Tem­ple, showed the jour­nal­ists around a photo ex­hi­bi­tion which de­tails the story of the Cen­tral Axis, ex­plain­ing its his­tory and sig­nif­i­cance in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture. The dragon is one of the orig­i­nal totems of the Chi­nese na­tion. As such, the Cen­tral Axis of Bei­jing is con­sid­ered a “dragon vein,” Yongding­men Tower is the “dragon's head” and an­cient build­ings along the Axis are the “dragon's back­bone.” First built in 1553, Yongding­men Tower was de­mol­ished in the 1950s and re­con­structed in 2003. The re­stored struc­ture fea­tures three lay­ers of eaves, a sad­dle roof, and is seven rooms wide and three rooms deep. Its eaves and ridge are dec­o­rated with lions, horses and var­i­ous myth­i­cal crea­tures, whilst its gates, doors and win­dows are lo­cated in the same po­si­tion, size and style as in the orig­i­nal.

The jour­nal­ists were drawn in by the tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and hap­pily took pho­tos of Yongding­men Tower and self­ies when up on top of it. Gabonese jour­nal­ist Bo­labola Joelle Zita (Chi­nese name Zhou Aile) said: “I've lived in Bei­jing for ten years and passed by Yongding­men Tower many times, but I've never stood on it to look out over the city be­fore. This is the first time I'm learn­ing about the sig­nif­i­cance of the Cen­tral Axis. In terms of the de­sign of the city, the Cen­tral Axis has been the city's soul and life­line. Yongding­men Tower also has an an­cient flavour. Bei­jing has such a long his­tory and so many sto­ries!”

The last stop was Jing­shan Park, an im­pe­rial gar­den on the Cen­tral Axis. In­side the park, the top of Jing­shan Hill is a per­fect van­tage point along the Axis for look­ing out over both the For­bid­den City and the Axis it­self. Lo­cated op­po­site the For­bid­den City's Shen­wu­men (Gate of Divine Might) to its south and with Bei­hai Park to its west, Jing­shan Park served as an im­pe­rial gar­den dur­ing the Yuan (1271–1368), Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties. Ma­jor build­ings in the park in­clude Qi­wang (“Beau­ti­ful View”) Tower, Wanchun (“Ten Thou­sand Spring”) Pav­il­ion and Shouhuang (“Sov­er­eign Longevity”) Palace. The top of Jing­shan Hill also fea­tures five pavil­ions, where vis­i­tors can look out over the city's Cen­tral Axis and en­joy its views.

Jing­shan Park is an an­cient land­mark of Bei­jing and a pop­u­lar park for Bei­jingers. It con­tains nearly 1,000 an­cient trees, in­clud­ing white bark pines, cedars, ju­nipers, Chi­nese red pines, Chi­nese scholar trees and gink­gos, as well as a sea of over 20,000 peonies, which the jour­nal­ists de­lighted in tak­ing pho­tos of.

The jour­nal­ists were im­pressed by the Cen­tral Axis which re­flects Bei­jing's po­lit­i­cal, eth­i­cal and aes­thetic val­ues. They learned about the role the Axis played in an­cient Chi­nese civil­i­sa­tion and its sta­tus as a sym­bol in mod­ern times.

The fo­rum's City In­ter­views, fea­tur­ing 10 themed ac­tiv­i­ties, at­tracted jour­nal­ists from 278 me­dia agen­cies from more than 50 coun­tries and re­gions and pro­vided them the op­por­tu­nity to take a closer look at Bei­jing and learn more about this an­cient city and the beauty of its de­vel­op­ment.

Dur­ing the five-day City In­ter­views se­ries of events, jour­nal­ists learned about dif­fer­ent as­pects of Bei­jing and dis­cov­ered the beauty of the city’s de­vel­op­ment.

A BAIC Group assem­bly line for off-road ve­hi­cles

A BAIC Group weld­ing line for off-road ve­hi­cles

China’s high-speed trains have be­come a sym­bol of its rapid eco­nomic growth.

Cap­tur­ing China’s high-speed trains on film

A China Rail­way High-speed train waits for main­te­nance.

An of­fi­cial (right) in­tro­duces the China Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion Dis­patch­ing and Di­rect­ing Cen­tre.

Tong Ren Tang is a time-hon­oured tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine phar­macy. The front arch at one of its lo­ca­tions is pic­tured.

The main build­ing of the Bei­jing New Air­port un­der con­struc­tion

Doc­u­ment­ing the con­struc­tion of the Bei­jing New Air­port

In­ter­act­ing with a ro­bot

The Star­times Group Broad­cast­ing Cen­tre

Dub­bing au­dio for a pro­gramme

Mu­tianyu Great Wall

Beigou Vil­lage at the foot of the Great Wall

Vis­it­ing an Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Demon­stra­tion Base at Xiaotang­shan

A model show­ing the lay­out of Bei­jing at the Bei­jing Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall

The Cen­tral Axis of Bei­jing

Tak­ing a selfie at Wanchun Pav­il­ion on top of Jing­shan Hill

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