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By Leret Bonnie | | Updated: Jan 19, 2022

[France] Leret Bonnie, Wuhan University

Leret Bonnie [Photo provided to]

You will most probably fall in love with her when you step onto this land, China.

A spontaneous idea from my parents many years ago enabled me to depart from my home country — France, and step onto this land — China, where I found vigor and vitality was everywhere in the air.

Seeing is believing. Only with personal experience can we fully understand China. My experience in China for more than 10 years has enabled me to witness its vigor and vitality. The economic development and scientific achievement of China is more than simple data in various reports. It is the product of an authentic quality of human beings, that is, solidarity, self-reliance, continuous improvement and innovation. This authentic quality of human beings brings about social development.

A decade ago, I visited a village in the countryside of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. They drank water from wells, had no internet connection and their transportation was very limited with narrow roads to the village.

People there lived quite a simple life. However, after only 10 years, solid cement houses were built, with tap water, highway connection and internet. People there live an easy and happy life now with no worries about food and clothing. The life there has been changed greatly due to people’s hard work.

What’s more amazing is that people maintain their traditional customs and culture while applying technologies into daily life. For example, senior farmers enjoy growing vegetables and raising cattle in their leisure time, families prepare traditional food for festivals and people often get together enjoying their family life. They live a life combining traditions with modern ease. I really admire this warm lifestyle.

The warmth can be seen not only in Chinese family life, but also in Chinese society. Anyone who has witnessed and experienced the mutual help and support of Chinese during the COVID-19 pandemic period will have no doubt over the warmth of Chinese society. I stayed in China during the epidemic period. When the pandemic was first reported in 2019, I was in Wuhan. I happened to have left Wuhan before its lockdown.

I did not expect that it soon spread to every corner of the world. The rampant spread of the virus disturbed our routine life. Fortunately, I was not seized by fear because of all the anti-virus efforts of the Chinese government.

Since Wuhan entered lockdown, the Chinese government had been doing its utmost to help its people, from the supply of facial masks to the development of anti-virus vaccines. When Wuhan lifted its lockdown, China had sufficient supplies of facial masks and its self-developed vaccines had been put into use among its people, which displayed self-evidently the first priority the Chinese government had put on its people. In this special fight against the virus, I have witnessed the outbreak of the pandemic as well as the miracle the Chinese people had made.

“Because of all those martyrs who have sacrificed themselves for our lofty mission, I dare say that I can change the world into a new one.” Now as a witness to what the Chinese have done in the fight against the pandemic virus, I fully understand the poem and come to realize that the revitalized China after the virus outbreak was attributed to the lofty mission and sacrifice of Chinese soldiers. Chinese have a quality that enables them to always be prepared for danger even in peace time.

China has contributed greatly to the development of anti-virus vaccines in the world. A great number of mounds make a mountain; drops of water make an ocean. No pains, no gains. I have been injected with Chinese vaccines and I believe China will bring more hopes to the world.

Spring scenery of Wuhan University [Photo provided to]

Innovation changes the world and technology leads the trend. After witnessing the radical changes science and technology has brought to the world, I now look forward to the hope it may bring us. After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, network and information technologies accelerate their penetration into industries, sharing economy is blooming and Internet technologies are penetrating all industries with unstoppable pace. Newly emerging industries are competing and merging with each other.

Internet plus is blending with retail, catering, medical and education industries, and a brand new lifestyle is opening before us. In China, new technologies are in every aspect of my daily life.

For example, I use a transportation APP when taking subways in the morning; I use a food delivery APP to order lunch at noon; I use Alipay to pay for everything I buy; and shared bikes are my best partner when I hang about in the city. Institutional advantages, development advantages and opportunity advantages facilitate the development of Chinese society and economy. Science and technology makes us live better.

Living in China, I witness how China is developing itself at the same pace with the rest of the world and how it expects to be truly understood by the rest of the world. It is not easy to understand today’s China. The real China can only be understood through personal experience. Basing on the understanding, we can tell truth about China and witness the beautiful development of China.

The vice president of the university encouraged the international students to act as bridges between China and the rest of the world, spread Chinese culture around the world and jointly build the world into a community with a shared future for mankind.

He also encouraged us to actively study Chinese history and the history of the CPC, which will be very helpful for us to understand the past, the present and the future of China. I wish I could join hands with others to make a contribution towards building the world into a community with a shared future for mankind.

Fall scenery of Wuhan University [Photo provided to]

Walking into China is like an adventure. I have learned new things and experienced a different culture here. Every step in China is real and enjoyable. Walking into China is a kind of consolation for me. In my eyes, China is making perfect progress every day. However, the Chinese people are still looking beyond into the far future.

Their continuous efforts make me believe that walking into China is a real God’s bless. I can't help pinning my hopes on this land. Since I set my feet upon this land, every minute has been shining. The Chinese beauty created by the Chinese people enables me to believe that the journey I am having now is meaningful and valuable.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).