The China-friendly Netizens Tour of China Review Part 1
Story by Duggy Day
Yesterday, an epic and exciting journey concluded in Beijing! On August 31st, The China-friendly Netizens Tour kicked off in Changchun the provincial capital of Jilin in northeastern China. 10 distinguished foreigners from around the world were invited to China to take part in the tour to discover the delights of north eastern part of the country including Beijing. Members of the group included former ambassadors to China, senior sinologists and experienced journalists from countries like Albania, the UK, Russia, Italy, Portugal, Pakistan, France, Bulgaria, Israel and Vietnam.
The China-friendly Netizens Tour 2017 visited everything from award winning companies and top education institutes to eco-friendly wetland park projects and some of China's most popular tourist attractions. Highlights of the tour included a visit to the famed Jilin Animation Institute where the group was introduced to the fascinating process that students learn about, on the way to becoming one of China's top animators. The Group also visited the institutes’ popular Animation Museum which displays over 3000 related works of animation and art, and the college’s award winning animation company.
On Day 2 of the tour, the group attended the launch ceremony of the 11th China North-east Asia Expo which featured products and businesses from different countries including China, Mongolia, Russia, Japan, and north & South Korea. We also visited the Changchun Beihai Science Park which aims to become a beacon of development in the area of offering quality services and facilities to advanced technology companies. Of particular note was our visit to the impressive headquarters of the Chang Guang Satellite Technology Company on the edge of the park, which aims to be a global leader in the aerospace information industry. The company designs and manufactures various models of hi tech satellites and drones.
Way back in 1953 China produced its first truck, and the company which can boast about this early engineering achievement in China is still manufacturing trucks today, its name is FAW which stands for First Automobile Works, and the China-friendly Netizens Group was invited to its Jiefang J6 production line to see how today's trucks are assembled which was really quite impressive to see! We also visited the FAW original workshop building, and exhibition hall which is located opposite the company’s impressively new modern HQ building.
Harbin is the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, and is known around the world for its highly popular International Ice & Snow Festival which happens during the winter months. We arrived in Harbin on September 3rd, and shortly after our official welcome to the city we were whisked off to a new wetlands park with amazing views.
The Qunli Stormwater Wetlands Park covers a vast area, and is located in the upper reaches of the Songhua river region. The park is expected to link up with other wetland projects which will cover a total area of 8.56 square kilometers, the project is an important corridor for the Harbin-Changchun urban area. The first phase of the park is expected to open on October 1st which is China's National Day.
There are lots of things to do and see in Harbin, and one of the most popular places to visit on a Saturday night is the cities Central Avenue which boasts a unique party atmosphere among its many classical European styled buildings. You can see many attractive shops, cafes, and old restaurants as you stroll along the avenue which eventually leads onto the famed Songhua River. In winter the avenue also has lots of impressive ice sculptures on display.
Another big attraction for both locals and tourists alike is the Harbin Wanda Theme Park, which also has an indoor Movie Park featuring various entertaining rides and games for all the family, some of them are even in 3D, 4D and 5D!
Education is a top priority for the local government in Harbin, and on the last morning of our Harbin visit our Group visited a few of the top schools and colleges in the city. Our first port of call that day was Elementary School of Harbin Normal University where we received an enthusiastic welcome from both teachers and students. We were also treated to a skipping rope demonstration by the students which was very impressive and entertaining too!
On the school’s sports field some of the younger students challenged our Group to a soccer game, but I won’t tell you who won! Later, we were welcomed to the Harbin No.3 High School where we were treated to outstanding class demonstrations of Taichi, Yoga and traditional Chop Carving. We had a good time visiting the schools, and we could tell that the pupils really enjoyed our visit too!
Later that day, on Tuesday, September 5th we flew back to Beijing concluding our non-stop 6 day trip of Changchun and Harbin with many great memories of the places we visited and people we met!
On Wednesday September 6, in Beijing, the China-friendly Netizens Group attended the official opening ceremony of The Silk Road Rediscovery Tour of Beijing Culture, what happened at that major event?
I'll reveal all in Part 2 of my review next time!
Duggy Day September 10, 2017