Doc­u­men­taries Com­mem­o­rat­ing the 40th An­niver­sary of Re­form and Open­ing-up

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Li Shasha Edited by Mary Frances Cap­piello Photo by Qu Bowei

An in­no­va­tive mi­cro- doc­u­men­tary se­ries al­lows for­eign friends to tell their sto­ries of life in Bei­jing dur­ing the pe­riod of re­form and open­ing-up.

Bei­jing has made re­mark­able achieve­ments over the past 40 years since re­form and open­ing up be­gan. It has de­vel­oped from an an­cient cap­i­tal with pro­found his­tory to an in­ter­na­tional me­trop­o­lis with ex­ten­sive in­flu­ence at home and abroad, and is march­ing to­wards the goal of de­vel­op­ing into a world-class, har­mo­nious and live­able cap­i­tal.

The story of Bei­jing's re­form and open­ing-up has been writ­ten by tens of thou­sands of “Bei­jingers,” among whom have been many for­eign ex­perts. The se­ries of short doc­u­men­taries 40 Years On—bei­jing Bloom­ing with Us fea­tures 40 for­eign ex­perts who nar­rate their ex­pe­ri­ences of liv­ing and work­ing in Bei­jing and the changes in life­style, ur­ban land­scape, in­no­va­tion abil­ity and for­eign ex­change that they have per­ceived dur­ing 40 years of re­form and open­ing-up. Through what they have done, seen, heard and thought, they have pub­li­cised a real, three­d­i­men­sional Bei­jing to the world. In this se­ries of short in­ter­views, they pay tribute to Bei­jing, its re­form and open­ing-up, and to the peo­ple who made the city what it is to­day.

Sa­lut­ing Re­form and Open­ing-up

Bei­jing is a city with a long his­tory, full of vi­tal­ity and hope. Over the past 40 years of re­form and open­ing-up, Bei­jing has gone through an ex­traor­di­nary and glo­ri­ous jour­ney to­gether with China, and achieved un­prece­dented his­tor­i­cal re­form. Be­hind the eco­nomic and so­cial progress, many for­eign ex­perts have con­sid­ered China as their se­cond home, cared for, backed and par­tic­i­pated in the con­struc­tion of China. Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence and pro­mo­tion cer­e­mony for the 40 Years On—bei­jing Bloom­ing with Us se­ries, Du Fei­jin, mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the CPC Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee and Direc­tor-gen­eral of the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of CPC Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee, de­liv­ered a speech, say­ing “They are do­ers and have given full play to their spe­cial­ties to con­trib­ute to this land; They are dream­ers, have made their life shine and writ­ten a glo­ri­ous chap­ter in a for­eign coun­try to re­alise the value of life. They are the mes­sen­gers of friend­ship, the bridge of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the bond of civil­i­sa­tion and the power of de­vel­op­ment. What they have seen and heard has taught

the world about China.”

On May 11, 1978, Guang­ming Daily is­sued a spe­cial com­men­ta­tor's ar­ti­cle “Prac­tice is the Sole Cri­te­rion for Test­ing Truth,“which trig­gered a great dis­cus­sion on the is­sue of truth stan­dards and could be called the first “ray of light” of the “new dawn” of re­form and open­ing-up. A good sum­mary of the ex­pe­ri­ence and in­spi­ra­tion of re­form and open­ing up, such as this video se­ries, is the best form for cel­e­brat­ing 40 years of ar­du­ous ex­plo­ration and hard work, and can pro­vide a pow­er­ful im­pe­tus to con­tin­u­ing the cause of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics in the new era. At the pro­mo­tion cer­e­mony for the doc­u­men­tary se­ries, Zhang Zheng, the news­pa­per's edi­torin-chief, said: “Guang­ming Daily has been a loyal chron­i­cler and a driv­ing force dur­ing 40 years of spec­tac­u­lar re­form. In the new era, Guang­ming Daily has clearer po­si­tion­ing and char­ac­ter­is­tics as an ide­o­log­i­cal and cul­tural news­pa­per. We have kept im­prov­ing our me­dia prod­ucts, and this se­ries of mi­cro videos is­the spark of col­li­sion be­tween the Guang­ming style and Bei­jing theme.” Lu Xian­gao, deputy ed­i­tor-in-chief of Guang­ming Daily, added, “This is a spe­cial gift from this news­pa­per to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and open­ing-up.”

Show­cas­ing Af­fec­tion for Bei­jing

The 40 Years On—bei­jing Bloom­ing with Us se­ries is jointly pro­duced by the In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and Guang­ming On­line (gmw.cn). A to­tal of 40 for­eign ex­perts from 22 coun­tries in Asia, Eu­rope, Africa, North Amer­ica and Latin Amer­ica were in­vited to join. The 40 for­eign ex­perts com­bined their ex­pe­ri­ences of liv­ing and work­ing in Bei­jing to ex­pose the great changes and fruit­ful achieve­ments of Bei­jing's re­form and open­ing-up in the past 40 years for view­ers at home and abroad.

Among the 40 for­eign ex­perts, there are rep­re­sen­ta­tives of United Na­tions agen­cies, other for­eign agen­cies in China, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of for­eign news me­dia in China, and some pro­fes­sion­als in eco­nom­ics, cul­ture, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, sports and other fields. In­ter­vie­wees range from about 30 to over 70 years old. Half of them can tell their sto­ries in flu­ent Chi­nese. The old­est for­eign Bei­jing res­i­dent in the doc­u­men­tary se­ries is Jaime Flor­cruz, CNN'S for­mer Bei­jing Bu­reau Chief, who has lived in Bei­jing for 47 years. He said, “I have changed with the re­forms in Bei­jing and China, and my life has changed just as much as the Chi­nese peo­ple's.” Stephon Mar­bury, an Hon­orary Bei­jing Cit­i­zen­ship holder and for­mer NBA and CBA star, stated, “Now it is evolv­ing into this city that is re­ally be­com­ing a mag­i­cal place on earth. I can never ever re­pay Bei­jing. I can never re­pay China for show­ing me the love that they showed me.” Ni­cholas Rosellini, UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor & UNDP Res­i­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, re­called the ex­pe­ri­ence of China's 40-year re­form and open­ing-up and said, “It is a re­mark­able achieve­ment and un­prece­dented for China to lift 800 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty.” Ac­cord­ing to Richard Robin­son, co­founder of ren­ren.com (for­mer xi­aonei. com), Bei­jing is “not only the sil­i­con val­ley of China, but the sil­i­con val­ley of Asia. Bei­jing and China have at­tracted global at­ten­tion and be­come a colour­ful chap­ter of my life.” “I feel I'm a Bei­jinger,” “I love Bei­jing” and other sim­i­lar words were fre­quently heard in in­ter­views with the for­eign ex­perts, who have al­ready in­te­grated them­selves into Bei­jing life.

Doc­u­ment­ing Bei­jing’s Growth

Over the past 40 years of re­form and open­ing-up, China has made re­mark­able achieve­ments in var­i­ous fields. As the cap­i­tal, Bei­jing has al­ways been at the fore­front, unswerv­ingly pro­mot­ing in­sti­tu­tional re­form and open­ing-up, har­vest­ing re­mark­able fruits in eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, and re­al­is­ing the his­toric trans­for­ma­tion of peo­ple's liveli­hood from sub­sis­tence to a moder­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety. This se­ries of short videos leaves a unique growth di­ary for the city.hu Bai­jing, ex­ec­u­tive dean at the School of Jour­nal­ism and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Ren­min Univer­sity of China, said, “They talked about en­trepreneur­ship, their ca­reers, their fam­i­lies and their chil­dren. They have linked China, Bei­jing and the world.”

Yu Yun­quan, deputy direc­tor of the Mod­ern China and World Academy (for­mer Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies) un­der the China For­eign Lan­guages Pub­lish­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion, eval­u­ated the doc­u­men­taries as a re­searcher of in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion the­ory and prac­tice. He dis­cussed them ac­cord­ing to three as­pects. Yu thought that the short doc­u­men­taries would be cred­i­ble to the pub­lic be­cause they have res­i­dent in­ter­na­tional friends telling their real sto­ries. From the point of pop­u­lar­ity, he felt that be­cause they were well-made in the pop­u­lar mi­crovideo form, the short doc­u­men­taries could go vi­ral. In terms of in­flu­ence, this type of mi­cro-video doc­u­men­tary could be­come the in­spi­ra­tion for sim­i­lar projects. He also said this pro­gramme was a fine piece of cul­tural and ide­o­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and a tribute to the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and open­ing-up.

Huang Chuxin, deputy direc­tor and sec­re­tary gen­eral of the New Me­dia Re­search Cen­tre of the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, be­lieves that this se­ries of mi­cro doc­u­men­taries re­flects new me­dia's move­ment to­ward mi­cro com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and fol­lows the cur­rent trend of video com­mu­ni­ca­tion. “The 40 videos are the si­mul­ta­ne­ous voices of for­eign ex­perts, re­flect­ing the true, ob­jec­tive, fair and three­d­i­men­sional dis­sem­i­na­tion of news com­mu­ni­ca­tion. They also show­case the great achieve­ments of China's re­form and open­ing-up through the win­dow of Bei­jing,” Huang said. “These videos have been shot with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ded­i­ca­tion. They are ex­pected to be all the rage fol­low­ing the re­lease of 5G com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy next year.”

For­eign­ers share sto­ries about liv­ing and work­ing in Bei­jing

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