The European Sting, the media partner of the China Unlimited competition, travelled to China from the 22nd July to the 2nd of August 2016 to cover the prominent European delegation to China. The trip was divided into two parts: the capital Beijing and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. A rich programme in Beijing kept the strong interest of the most demanding connoisseur of China with visits at the Dashanzi Art District, the Hutong area, the Capital Museum, the Olympic Complex, the Maizidian International Community, as well as acrobatic and drama live shows in the evenings. All participants also had the opportunity in Beijing to indulge themselves with lessons on the precious history of Chinese characters and Chinese caligraphy and paper-cutting.
At Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region participants had the privilege to visit the capital of Yinchuan together with a plurality of other diverse places in the region. This region’s exploration included a visit to the Yinchuan museum, the Najiahu Mosque, the Xixia King Yuquan International Winery, the Lingwu Dinasur Museum, the Baijitan Desertification Prevention Program, the Downtown Area of Lingwu, the iBi Incubator Center, the Ningxia International Hall, the Ningxia Exhibition Hall, the Shapotou Scenic Spot, the Western Xia Mausoleums, the Helan Mountain Rock Arts and the Zhenbeipu Western Film Studio.
Inside The European Sting’s China Unlimited current report the organisers and the participants publish their unique personal view of China shaped during the stimulating trip that took place a few days ago. The enriching plularity of voices that follow provide to all readers with a rare glimpse of the real China. Naturally, more in-depth reports about the trip in all its shades will follow in the days to come, aiming at the much needed better understanding between China and the West.
The beautiful works presented by the Special Report on “China Unlimited” are not only pieces of fine arts, but formation of vivid portraits of China and its people and embodiment of warm sentiments between the Chinese and European peoples. The insights, passion and contribution by all participants are impressive and significant in every way. Heart-felt congratulations to such a program that was beautifully organized. We sincerely hope “China Unlimited” will continue to attract wider participation across Europe and contribute further to the promotion of strong bonds of friendship between China and the EU.
On 3rd July 2016, 13 winners of Creative Competition of “China Unlimited” arrived in Beijing and received a warm welcome from Beijing International Chinese College(BICC) which organized a variety of studies and field trip activities. Approved by Beijing Municipal Education Commission, Beijing International Chinese College is a professional higher education institution devoted to the international promotion of Chinese language and culture . During the 5-day program, BICC arranged for the participants such cultural experience activities as Chinese characters, Chinese calligraphy, paper-cutting, traditional Chinese Medicine and so on, took them to watch Kung Fu performance and acrobatic show and visit 798 Art Zone, Bird Nest, Water Cube, Capital Museum, Maizidian International Community and Beijing Hutong, allowing them to get a better understanding of Beijing people’s daily life. Participants consist of former ambassadors to China, researchers, teachers, artists as well as students. Most of them have been to China before and know China quite well. This trip shows their great passion and interest in China. During the past 5 days, all participants have regarded BICC as their own home and harvested wonderful memories.
Red: Energy. Banners floating in the heat. Ribbons in trees on Helan mountain. Goji berries. Square paper with scissors. Exploring the hutongs by rickshaw.
Yellow: Power. Songs while sailing on Yellow River. Folly in Shapotou. Fire breather in Zhenbeibu movie studio. Blessings at Gaomiao Temple. Sunset around Bird’s Nest.
Green: Harmony. A new life for the people at Heshun New Village. A pavillion with musicians mirroring in the lake.
Blue: Mildness. Thick carpets in Najiahu Mosque. A shade of ink by artist Han Meilin. Our guide Miss Zhang.
Brown: Hospitality. Curtains of my luxurious bedroom. Peking Duck, roast goat and scorpions. Xiexie nimen!
I have already had the opportunity to go in China including Beijing but I had never visited other regions. On every stay in the capital, we can discover mutating neighborhoods as Sanlitun, architectural prowess through the city such as CCTV Tower or Bird’s Nest, new commercial centers, the nightlife…. The rapid evolution of Beijing is breathtaking and shows the dynamism of Chinese society! The visit of Ningxia was a pleasant surprise; it is a region under development that will reach the same economic and urbanistic level as Beijing in a few years. I would like to thank Hanban, BICC and the Mission of China to the EU for the organization of this incredible experience. The richness of Chinese culture will always surprise us.
This trip was my seventh time to China and clearly my favourite one. The programme was very impressive. I know much more about the China that you don’t find in the books. Being in a group was a bonus. All of us from different backgrounds made it magic, impossible to repeat. As an artist I truly got inspired during this jouney. Learning about their history, their writing, their future was mind-blowing. BICC opened my eyes on learning Chinese. Then and there I knew it was something I want to do. While everyone went back home, I extended my stay over here just to enjoy more of this wonderful land.
It is hard to believe that I was in China only a few days ago and having one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. The visit to Beijing and the region of Ningxia has really opened my eyes to the people and culture of China. The various places that we have visited are truly impressive and the foods were equally delightful. Above all, I was able to share this wonderful experience with a group of beautiful and talented people. This has certainly been a trip of a lifetime for me—a truly unforgettable experience!
China has always been playing a special role in our lives; we had been working there altogether fifteen years. Thanks to the reforms China successfully entered the 21-st century, we also felt rising together with her. When we arrived in Beijing for the first time, in 1979 our son was hardly more than one year old, now he has a beautiful family with two daughters and a good job with a giant Chinese company. We all hope that China will continue its breathtaking rise, believing it will be good for the whole world and for our happiness.
My trip to China completely changed my outlook on this great nation. I was impressed by the culture of the people who live there. The Chinese are honest, hardworking and happy people who are constantly learning how to become better. My expectations for economic growth in China were satisfied. I was most impressed by the poorest province in China-Ningxia, which thanks to its good local governance is about to become the Oriental Pearl Tower of the East. We visited the amazing IBI Tech Park, Goji berry and watermelon plantations. I believe that when the speed train to Ninxia is finished this province will become the second Shanghai. Last but not least, during the visit I had the pleasure to make friends with participants from around the world-Belgium, Greece, America, Holland, Hungary …EU-China relations are in development because both the EU and China are developing dynamically towards convergence!
Those 10 days have been a wonderful and unique experience for me, not only for the beautiful places we have visited but especially for the people I got to know during this trip. Locals from Beijing and Ningxia (who, as Chinese people always are, have been very friendly with us) as well as the other participants, made traveling full of unforgettable moments. Even though I had lived in China for more than a year, the people I met during the trip really inspired me, making me even more eager to go back there soon.
Eastern people know the meaning of the word hospitality. A guest is a god. Before those lavish meals, we felt like emperors. The accommodation was impeccable. The Chinese staff who was supposed to help and guide us, even the young ones, were friendly beyond words. The professors and teachers were excellent. The planning was careful and all the activities were interesting, some of them surprisingly interesting. And then there was China. My Big Dragon was changed, but it was still China. It only changed its skin. Its old charm was preserved and it is now self-confidently creating the future.
The Media Partner
Although not the first time in China for me this trip was a milestone in my understanding of this vast country. From the exquisite cultural hubs of Beijing, reflecting the infinite richness of Chinese history and culture to the uniqueness of the exceptionally diverse Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, this trip was an endless boulevard of knowledge to me. Seeing how one of the world’s most important growth engines operates day and night moments away from the traditional Hutong or the artistic wonderland quartier of Dashanzi has been a true eye-opening experience. Witnessing the exponential growth of Ningxia, once considered to be one of the poorest areas of China, with Hui people following a peaceful Islam purified from all forms of radicalisation or direspect, which the West condemns, forms another precious chapter in my understanding about China, a chapter written only during this trip. I hope the China Unlimited experience is only the beginning of a series of field trips to China, inducing European citizens together with young leaders into the real China. The European Sting will follow the China Unlimited editions yet to come closely.