The China International Publishing Group (CIPG), China’s prime international news-publishing house, hosted a New Year’s reception for its foreign employees on December 27 at the Great Wall Hotel in Beijing.
The group has a tradition of extending New Year’s greetings to its foreign expert employees during the period between Christmas and China’s Spring Festival. The upcoming Spring Festival falls on February 1, 2003.
The reception gathered over 40 foreign experts and delegates from publishing houses, magazines and news agencies under the group's jurisdiction and the China Internet Information Center (china.org.cn). Guests included the group’s top experts Israel Epstein, Sidney Shapiro and Ione Kramer from the United States, Nguyen Quang from Vietnam, Yokobori from Japan and Paul White from Britain as well as fresh blood Hugh Davey from Australia, Andrei Bourouk from Russia and Dorian Liedtke from Germany. These foreign experts, from a variety of backgrounds, without exception love China and are full of curiosity about the country. They have all done, and are doing, indispensable work for the group.
Cai Mingzhao, CIPG President and deputy head of the State Council Information Office, and Chen Yangjin, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs attended the event.
“Year 2002 is a year of great significance in China’s history. We have achieved much. The company’s business has improved much and we began to make breakthroughs in distribution. From January through November, the circulation of the group’s foreign-language magazines saw an increase of 15.45 percent over the same period of last year. Foreign-language book titles increased by 18 percent and circulation enjoys a growth of 20.7 percent. The page view of the group’s china.org.cn has increased by 125 percent. It has done a great job to tell the world a real China and promote mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of other countries,” said Cai in an address to the reception.
“The CIPG would not have been able to make this progress without the support from all sides, especially the hard work and efforts of our foreign experts,” Cai continued. “Foreign experts have made outstanding contributions to and played important roles in the international communication. All our foreign experts are actively engaged in the world of book and magazine publishing, and the operation of china.org.cn. The experts have offered valuable suggestions and comments in regard to subject selected, news coverage, editing and designing. Your roles are irreplaceable.”
At the reception, Ms. Kramer, the uplifting white-haired senior American expert for the Beijing Review, talked of her great astonishment at the tremendous changes which have taken place in China over the past several decades.
“I’ve lived here for several decades, and spent many Spring Festivals here. The great changes taken place in China each year is really surprising.” Kramer plans to meet friends during the Spring Festival this year. They will go to Beijing’s streets for sightseeing, have dinner together, and talk about China and Beijing.
“I’m lucky enough to experience two Spring Festivals in China, that’s really unforgettable,” the young English expert Michelle Lara from China Pictorial expressed her unique favor for Spring Festival. She thinks that it was quite good to travel in China during Spring Festival, for people can see different landscapes and experience different customs in China. Over the past three years, Michelle has been to Yunnan, Gansu and Xinjiang, but Beijing is still her favorite. She stresses that Beijing is typically metropolitan, perfectly combining ancient Chinese culture and modernization.
The Russian expert Andrei Bourouk from china.org.cn feels very satisfied by his work in China. For many years Andrei has been searching for a job that really interests him. He didn’t expect he would find it here in China, with china.org.cn. Andrei, who has studied in the United States and traveled through many places around the world, said that working in China is much better than he imagined. He is very much looking forward to the Spring Festival in 2003 and considers it a very significant occasion as friends from Russia will be coming to China to spend time with him for the occasion.
There are always some new faces which appear at the annual New Year Reception for foreign experts. Every year, a group of foreign experts come to work for the CIPG and enjoy their lives in China. When they leave, a new group of foreign experts will come to replace them. All will take with them a piece of China which they can then introduce to other parts of the world. They find themselves becoming “Chinese experts,” speaking Chinese and eating Chinese dishes, before they even realize it. During the past 50 years, every page recorded during the history of the CIPG bears the footprints of foreign experts. No matter how long ago they returned to their countries, they will never forget the time they spent here in the building located in west Beijing: A place where they receive a warm welcome the first time they arrive from their faraway hometowns and which will forever be their home in Beijing.
(china.org.cn December 30, 2002)