“I used to watch them on TV, but this year it’s so great to be there, instead of watching the reports edited by the media. It’s my horner. Oh, sorry, it’s my honor.”
A small slip of the tongue in the interview made Peter Tichauer feel a little embarrassed. He chuckled, and the seriousness of German rigor disappeared quickly.
Peter Tichauer, from Berlin, Germany, is one of the foreign experts introduced by the Qingdao Sino-German Ecopark. He is now the media director of the Sino-German Ecopark and the editor of China Insight, a German-language economic magazine. He was invited to the third session of the 13th People’s Congress of Shandong. By the time he met the reporter, he had already returned to Qingdao, but his WeChat Moments still stayed in the time of the two sessions. On the opening day alone, he published 10 posts on WeChat Moments, including a photo at the venue and a screenshot of the electronic government work report.
(Selfie of Peter Tichauer at the venue)
It is curious that a foreigner has attached so much importance to the two sessions of Shandong.
Page-by-page markup to seek business opportunities from the government work report
Different from the deputies, guests are not the leading roles of the two sessions, but Peter Tichauer took the two sessions serious. The reporter saw that he densely marked every page of the provincial government’s 32-page work report. The key points he marked, including “unswervingly accelerating replacement of old growth drivers with new ones,” “China’s first 5G high and new-tech video pilot park set up in Qingdao,” and “more than 2,000 newly established foreign-invested enterprises,” coincided with the annual key tasks in Shandong province and Qingdao city.
(A hard copy of the government work report brought back by Peter Tichauer from the venue)
Why can a foreigner understand and even accurately explain the provincial government’s work report? One won’t be too surprised if knowing Peter Tichauer’s experiences. He has been studying sinology since 1980, and has been living in China for 35 years. He was the editor-in-chief of China Contact, a German economic magazine. He has been honored as the media ambassador of Goethe-Institut China and the ambassador of friendship of Shandong. As a China expert, he knows the importance of the two sessions very well and is a “loyal fan” of them.
He said that the provincial two sessions are an important part of the political life of Shandong people, providing valuable first-hand information for the comprehensive study of Shandong and the prediction of the development trend. “The government work report is a high-level blueprint that shows the focus of policy makers on Shandong’s future development. I’m refining the information, which will serve as a reference for German investors to invest in Shandong.”
Amazing! 5,700 kilometers of high-speed railways will be in operation in the province by 2035
Many of the figures in the government work report impressed Peter Tichauer. “The most impressive figure is that the length of high-speed railways to be in operation in the province will reach 5,700 kilometers by 2035, which doubles on the current basis,” he marveled. “In Europe, infrastructure like railways and airports are built early and relatively well, but when it comes to repairs or upgrades, it’s too slow. For example, there is an airport in my hometown, which has been under construction for more than ten years and has not been completed yet. The Stuttgart station project has been under discussion for several years and is just beginning to be built, taking much longer time than originally planned. I’m very surprised and amazed by the construction speed of Shandong and even China.”
This Shandong speed is an important reason for him to come to Qingdao and settle in the Sino-German Ecopark. In an earlier interview with Science and Technology Daily, he said, “the first time I came here, I didn’t see any buildings. Now there are many beautiful office buildings and many major companies like Continental AG and Siemens. Such a development speed can only be achieved in China.” Witnessing all this, he chose to stay and became part of the Sino-German Ecopark, participating in the work of the Park.
Stay in China and apply for Chinese “green card” after the Spring Festival
Speaking of the provincial two sessions, Peter Tichauer still had a little regret. He was “a little disappointed” that the government work report did not highlight China-Germany cooperation alone.
By the time the reporter left, he had finished an article interpreting the government work report. He focused on the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones and the construction of pilot free trade zone in Shandong, and listed these as the best outlets for foreign investors to invest in Shandong. He will also share the article on the park’s English-language website and translate it into English and other languages, hoping to use his foreign perspective to attract more overseas investors to the enabling place—Shandong, and the vast platform—Qingdao, he said.
“I hope to have another chance to attend the two sessions. I hope to see more German elements in the government work report with the help of foreigners like us.”
After the two sessions, he began to prepare the materials for applying for a Chinese “green card” after the Spring Festival.