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CRI聽力:Communication helps people know the real China: Australian foundation chair

Source: CRI    2019-09-20  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

An Australian scholar has reaffirmed the role of reform and opening-up in China's development, on the eve of the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Kevin Hobgood-Brown also says people-to-people exchanges have a unique role to play for better China-Australia ties.

CRI's Fei Fei reports.

Kevin's story with China started in 1983 when he moved to Beijing with his wife. As one of the first foreigners working in the capital city at that time, Kevin commuted by car every day along the Zhongguancun Street, from Youyi Hotel to Peking University.

He also ran a law firm in the downtown area. He said because the public transport system was still underdeveloped in Beijing during that time, he had to get around the city by car or bicycle.

"Sometimes I would ride my bicycle. Sometimes I would ride my car. But the car was necessary because after my classes at Peking University, I would drive downtown to work in my law firm. At that time, there was just one subway line there. So subway wasn't really an option. You have many more options today."

 

Kevin Hobgood-Brown [Photo: China Plus]

After spending four years in Beijing, Kevin went on to live in a number of cities across the world including San Francisco and Sydney. While he lived in other parts of the world, he still visited Zhongguancun Street a number of times and witnessed its transformation over those years. The street later developed into a technology hub of China and became notorious for traffic jams.

Now looking back at all these experiences in different societies, he says he realizes that it required a lot of vision and courage for the Chinese people to undertake the massive process of reform and opening-up.

He says people often neglected that when the Opening-up was first rolled out, there was no guarantee that the policy would be successful.

"And if you look at the opportunities for the Chinese people have increased over the years, the prosperity, the quality of health care, education, and the standard of living across the board. None of that was guaranteed 40 years ago when they open door. So it's a real tribute, I think, to the determination, the flexibility and the vision of the Chinese people that they've been able to accomplish that in a reasonably short period of time."

He said to achieve this, stability and strong leadership had to play a significant role.

"I think that strong leadership and stability are critical elements. There's no doubt about that. I think that china has demonstrated. And if you look around the world and see countries where there is no stability, you can see that people struggle. If you have stability that is a building block for building prosperity and improving people's lifestyle. But I would say this is that the leadership has been strong, but it all has also been creative and flexible."

After he retired, Kevin put his focus on promoting people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia, which he said is one of the most fundamental ways to enhance relationships between the two sides.

He called for critical thinking and fairness when presenting China-related conversations in Australia, especially in the media.

"There's overwhelming interest in people to go from Australia to China to learn more about the real China. The reality is the more we know each other, the less influenced we're going to be by incorrect or false information. Because you read something in the media, you see something on TV and you think, well, that just doesn't seem correct and that's what we want people to have. We want people to have a balanced, more comprehensive understanding of each country."


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