Foreigners in ancient Chinese royal dresses take selfies at Jingshan Park in Beijing. (People's Daily Overseas Editon/Gao Bing)
Foreigners in ancient Chinese royal dresses take selfies at Jingshan Park in Beijing. (People's Daily Overseas Editon/Gao Bing)

More and more foreigners find China a charming country full of opportunities. Lots of travelers and international students, who are enchanted by its beautiful scenery, luring delicacies, safe environment, convenient transportation, prosperous economy, and friendly people, would rather stay and work in China than return home.
Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration show that the number of inbound tourists has exceeded outbound tourists in the first half of 2017, reaching 65.1 million, a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent, and the number of foreigners with permanent resident status is up too, a year-on-year increase of 163 percent in 2016.

Encounter friendly people


Dahai, a Pakistani man studying for a doctor’s degree in Beijing, still remembers the first day he arrived in Beijing. At that time, he even had no idea what “nihao” (hello) meant. Having no phone and unable to find the address that was written in English, he felt totally lost. But a friendly Chinese helped him out. “A young Chinese who spoke good English led me to the address. From that moment, I was determined to learn Chinese well,” he said. “I gradually fell in love with China and Chinese people.”

Eighty Italian workers have unforgettable memories near West Lake. Two years ago, they flew 15 hours from Rome to Hangzhou to complete a construction project. Frank is one of the eighty workers. In his eyes, Chinese workers have clear lines of division between life and work. “We magically communicate with Chinese workers through gestures and facial expressions and have built a good relationship,” he said. They often watch games, play basketball, and have barbeques together.

Dina Elhadi is a beautiful Egyptian girl who has just received her doctoral degree from the School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University. She fell in love with China because of the kindness, charm, and hospitality of the people in Beijing. “There are many elderly people at my university. At first, I could not express myself properly, but they always listened to me carefully and sometimes even joked with me,” she said. In her eyes, Chinese people are warmhearted, optimistic, and always positive.

Indulged in traditional Chinese culture

Natural beauty, history, and culture are top attractions for foreign travelers in China. For most people, the latter is more favorable.
Wang Shaocong is from Cuba. His Chinese name was given to him by a teacher at a Confucius Institute in his home country. “I love Chinese culture, especially the unparalleled artistic beauty of calligraphy and water-ink paintings. They always relieve pressure and help me feel calm and relaxed,” said Wang. He considers Beijing a paradise for “exhibitions” and has left footprints in many art places, including the National Art Museum of China and the National Museum of China.
“I love reading the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (one of the four iconic classical Chinese novels) very much, it’s fascinating,” he said. To better experience the country’s profound history, Wang has also visited many ancient places in Beijing, such as the Palace Museum, the Summer Palace, and the Drum Tower.

Obsessed with Chinese food

Chinese food is famous for its taste and diversity. Lee Hye Ran, a Korean girl who graduated from Peking University, now has more than 200,000 followers on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo. She is an active beauty blogger.

Lee could not understand a single Chinese word when she first arrived in China. She studied Chinese hard from the very beginning and for a long time has had to taste the bitterness of being alone in a foreign country. “I had many troubles at that time. Although I have many international classmates, it was my Chinese friends who helped me the most. We are still in touch,” she said.
The beautiful Korean girl loves Chinese delicacies. “I often eat Chinese dishes with friends and always put on weight in China. I love eating Chinese food.”
Lee has set up her own skin care and beauty company. She feels happy living in Beijing. “I love this place, it is like my second home, and everything here is comfortable,” she said.

Amazed by China’s rapid development

China’s rapid development has amazed many foreigners, and they really enjoy the vibrant and convenient life here: mobile payment, high-speed trains, buses, and bicycle-sharing services. Foreigners are free to go out in the evening with no fear for safety thanks to China’s good social order. A foreigner posted this comment online: “China [has] 1.357 billion people, yet it manages to keep its stability among its citizens. That’s a pure work of Art.”
Stefan, a German citizen who teaches at a university in Beijing, studied at the Beijing Language and Culture University in the 1980s. He has seen China’s great changes during his two visits to the country ten and twenty years later. Having known China for more than 20 years, he is now able to speak Chinese very well.
“I often have discussions about football with my students after class. They care about Bayern and Dortmund, and I sometimes talk about Beijing Guoan,” he said with a smile. He admired Chinese students’ intelligence and diligence, and always encourages them to do what they want. “I can see China’s hope and future from these young people”.

Enjoy the numerous opportunities

Vietnamese girl Lam Thiên and Indonesian girl Sandra are two postgraduate students in China.
“I thought Beijing was a traditional city like Hanoi until I came to China. However, I found it much internationalized when I arrived here,” said Lam Thiên. Sandra has similar feelings. “CBD and Sanlitun in Beijing are modern and beautiful places with wonderful international metropolis style. The city always gives novel feelings.”
They stressed that many Chinese people speak English well, making communication easier. “Many Chinese friends have overseas study experience, and we can learn a lot from them.”

China’s economic growth has also provided many opportunities for foreigners. A netizen once proposed a question on Quora: “Why do so many foreigners go to China and think China is good?” A popular response read: “The country was illiterate, poor and backward compared to the rest of the world up until a few decades ago, but that changed and it’s changing so fast. It’s simply fascinating.” “If you’re professional expat, life in China can be rewarding. The economy is booming and they are a lot of opportunities available.”
Most international students in China share a common view that China offers more opportunities. “Many new things are emerging here, with their own characteristics,” said Julia, who is from Germany. Julia will graduate next year. She plans to work as an intern at a Chinese bike-sharing company. “I really want to figure out how this service spread everywhere in China in only one year.”
Li Chenyang contributed to this story.

By Du Mingming (People’s Daily Online/