John Speakman: British gentleman in Chinese Academy of Sciences

John Speakman, Research Fellow of Institute of the Genetics and Developmental Biology CAS

But there are a lot of advantages here to doing research. The funding level is much higher than it is in the UK. The success rate to get grants is much higher than it is in the UK.

Then you have this very nice time of the year in spring and autumn, when the city is just beautiful and it’s full of flowers in the spring. So we enjoy going out in Beijing, wandering around in the town, going to small cafes, and doing all these sort of things. And that’s very different than the life we had back in the UK.

"I think actually the way that the Chinese government and the local Beijing government is handling this is really good, because they’re really bringing in forward schemes to encourage the best people to do what they do."

Nelly: Born in China and going global

Nelly,Community Manager of Xiaomi

The attractiveness is that we are more than just smart phones or a tech company. So yeah it was basically a whole lifestyle and that’s why I really got into the brand.

We make friends with our fans. Actually very recently we were just in Spain, actually that was a really really amazing experience. we got people like from Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand, India, UK, Spain, like really everywhere. We are working really hard like we are expanding, we are growing.

"Also my friends, like some of them have come to China, maybe they have not heard of Xiaomi yet, but I definitely transformed them and they are really fans."

Farman Ali Najim: U.S. teacher’s life in Beijing

Farman Ali Najim, Foreign expert of Beijing No. 35 High School International Department

I have a lot of friends in my neighborhood. Despite of the language barrier, we can talk sometimes in Chinese or in English. But I can call them friends, because they are always there. They are friendly people, very respectful, very genuine.

When I came to Beijing, I didn’t know Beijing and China looks like this. And I was very surprised for modern life in Beijing, and the number of high rises and beautiful buildings in Beijing. And those buildings in Beijing, they show the creativity of Chinese people.

"I really wish to stay here forever, but nothing is permanent in life. One day I have to go back. But I really am gonna miss Beijing very much, and people of Beijing."

Jennifer Hyde Sachs: My romance in Beijing

Jennifer Hyde Sachs, Administrative Principal of Hyde Academy

So I believe eating together means love in China. So since I came to Beijing, I actually have felt that eating with someone or family, drinking a little bit, and chatting together is my greatest impression of Beijing.

So now I believe all the international and bilingual schools are in a state of harmony between China and the West, which means we must understand foreign cultures, and at the same time ensure that children have a deep understanding of their own country and their language.

"I didn’t speak Chinese when I first arrived in Beijing,then I felt like I was home, feeling very warm, safe and cared about. So in my 27 years, there has been no such thing as wanting to leave Beijing."

Mirzoi Behruz: Chinese characters make me love Beijing

Mirzoi Behruz, Young Sinologist

I mistook those characters for some kind of decorative patterns.He explained that they were actually Chinese characters, called “Hanzi”. I found they were very cool and charming.

When I came to study in Beijing, I learned the phrase "Ri Xin Yue Yi" (change with each passing day). Many people use this idiom to describe today’s life in Beijing and the speed at which Beijing develops.

"The accent of Beijing people, and the passion of Beijing people are the best things in my heart. Especially the views of hutongs in Beijing, where many local people really enjoy their lives."

Dan Sandoval: Beijing, my home

Dan Sandoval, Photographer

I’m not the person that came to China only spoke to other foreigners.I leant it mostly by talking to people, taxi drivers on my way into the city or back home.

One of the main reasons that I’m in Beijing and staying here actually, a big part of it is its international community. It makes it, first of all, for my career, much more viable.Like you get very good Chinese clients.

"Now I’m here in Beijing. And I’ve started to put down roots here in Beijing. but when I think of home,I think of here in Beijing."

Richard Robinson: My entrepreneurship in Beijing

Richard Robinson, Investor, Entrepreneur

It’s intoxicating just to be part of that entire dynamism and pace of possible change. I love China and I’m so lucky to be a guest here.

Such extreme competition and innovation happening here across business models, across consumer tech and also enterprise tech is quite world-class and fascinating.

"I love Beijing. You really have to be in love with the city, because it’s changing so much and so many people here."

Piyanat Arunwuttipong: Thai girl’s dream in Beijing

Piyanat Arunwuttipong, Operation Manger of Thai Contents at Tik Tok’s Internationalization Department

To me the biggest change in Beijing is in technology.For example, when I came to Beijing in 2012, people generally used cash when shopping.But now it’s totally different. I think Beijing is totally a cashless society now. Everyone makes payments using Alipay or WeChat.

I believe our growth would not have been possible without China’s fast developing high-tech industries and Internet technologies. The most important reasons are on one hand Beijing municipal government supports Internet development; on the other hand, there are lots of talents in Beijing.

"Comparing Beijing to a person, I think Beijing is one that has very high standards for herself, keeping challenging herself all the time.I also believe that high-tech and Internet industries will help Beijing develop faster, and bring better lives to Beijing people."

Dennis Oldfield: A city on the wheels

Dennis Oldfield, General Manager of Grand Mecure Beijing Central
And then one of my most favorite things to do was at the night time riding from my hotel. We will take our bicycles with friends, who were visiting,go to somewhere like Houhai and have dinner and then come back, and ride around Tiananmen Square at night time.

We have so many people coming from overseas now, from all parts of the world that are coming to visit China and really experience the magic of the middle kingdom themselves. So there is a great balance between modernity and also the old cultural sites.

"You can walk anywhere in the city, anytime another day. Be completely completely safe and enjoy your time here."

Colin Siyuan Chinnery: A city of melody

Artist Colin Siyuan Chinnery

Only Beijingers will put a whistle on the back of pigeons and set them flying.The pedlary in Beijing is the most colorful, and has the strongest sense of rhythm.You know what he sells from a long distance, so you are ready to go out and buy.

After the 1980s, the changes in Beijing have been very rapid.Cars have gradually replaced bicycles.A large number of wheels, chains and bells of bicycles used to form a huge theater of sounds. Beijingers are particularly obsessed with sounds, which is characteristic of the traditional culture of Beijing.

"I have a very special emotional attachment to Beijing.I think Beijing is a very energetic city of boundless possibilities. I wish this city continues to be sonsy and continues to be blessed."

Andrea Mella: Link

Andrea Mella, Beijing Cervantes Institute media coordinator

China, especially Beijing, I think is really safe for everyone, especially for a woman. In other countries, women are not that much free to walk by themselves.

Beijing is like a really really big city With internet, it’s really easy, because you know the brand, you already know the product, you just find the official seller and it just arrive to your home in 48 hours or even less.

"I live in Beijing for 9 years. Sometimes I feel like a Beijing Ren, like old Beijing People. Because it's my city, I think it’s my city,"

Martin Douglas: Blue Notes’ Hug to the Imperial City

Martin Douglas, Guitarist

I like old Beijing’s culture very much.Before I came to Beijing, I had never listened to Chinese folk music.Such as live music played with traditional Chinese musical instruments like Erhu, Guqin, Zheng and Ruan.

China develops very fast, especially in Beijing.Now more and more young Chinese like foreign culture.The audience of our jazz performances were mostly foreigners in Beijing before.But now only half are foreigners.We have a growing Chinese audience.

"Beijing was especially interesting to me at that time.Because Beijing is an ancient city,you can see both traditional Chinese culture and history in Beijin."

Shuhei Aoyama: My pen, my city

Shuhei Aoyama, Architect

And then in the face of the current pace of social development in China.Some observations of social issues, some changes in technologies. The Chinese people's desire for a new life.In this environment, I find an opportunity to explore new spaces.

Looking around from Jingshan Park, within the second ring road of Beijing,actually we can hardly see any building, what we see are mostly trees.Since the buildings are generally shorter than trees, what we can see is mostly a piece of green.

"To me, the most interesting aspect of Beijing is that tradition and the future are not opposite, or separate things."

Arnaud Pambou: Half "Beijinger's" subway story

Arnaud Pambou, Cultural Counsellor of Gabonese Embassy to China

I would say the biggest event I have participated in was the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I’m very grateful for China providing me the opportunity to serve as an Olympic volunteer.

I often joke with my friends that I’m a half-Beijinger.Once I went back to Gabon for a two-month vacation,upon returning to Beijing, I told my father,“I’m going home.” He was shocked, “Where is your home?” I said, “China.”

"Beijing has well-developed transportation. Many countries, including Gabon, should learn from Beijing."

Geoff Raby: Beijing welcomes me

Geoff Raby: Former Australian Ambassador to China

But I said that now with the change in the world, the weight of economic power that's moved decisively to East Asia, particularly China, an Australian living abroad should live in either Beijing or Shanghai, I was very comfortable in Beijing.

So the art has built a very strong connection between Australia and China, and of course it's not just Australia and China, similar stories can be told now between China and the United States,China and Europe.I think there are extremely important for helping peoples in different countries understand each other.

"Beijing is the best example of how much China has changed, and it's one of the things I want to say to people, you have to come to Beijing to experience China in its contemporary reality."

Nagy Gabor, Beijing takes off

Nagy Gabor, Former Deputy Head of Hungarian Embassy in Beijing

I think the biggest change in Beijing is in infrastructure, including transportation. As I said, it used to take six days (to travel from Hungary to China). Now if there were a high-speed train, it might take one day to get to Beijing.

We have a saying in Hungary: If you build a small lake, sooner or later there will be frogs in the lake, and maybe fish in the future.That means as conditions improve, with high-speed rail, highways, tunnels of all kinds, things will develop faster in the future.

"I started learning Chinese around 1988. I'm very interested in Chinese culture. When I had a chance to come to Beijing, I gladly came, by train."

Levent Uluçer, Turkish tea story in Beijing

Levent Uluçer, Correspondent of Aydınlık Daily Newspaper in China

798 is a very important place for to promote itself to the abroad,not just the inner culture,even the abroad.I can see more foreigners are coming here and ask the tea. Because they know mostly coffee culture. But coffee culture is not healthy.

Tea culture is one of the first cultures I can say that I guess that culture has been running here for until now 4700 years. And I have been here 15 years, and I thought that really this culture has to be exported to the out(side) world, to everywhere, because it is a very very nice culture.

"So for the moment maybe less tea houses, but already tea culture is going to abroad."

Andrey Kirillov: Russian journalist’s happy life in Beijing

Andrey Kirillov, Head of ITAR-TASS’s Beijing Bureau

Beijing has made great progress, so do Beijing people. Beijingers have already got used to foreigners speaking Chinese. It no longer seems like a big deal.

The most important thing is that Beijing is now an inclusive city. More Beijing people are very friendly to foreigners, and this shows the inclusiveness of the city. I love Beijing. I have lived in Beijing so long. I feel happy.

"Beijing is my second hometown. I hope that I can work longer in China, in Beijing."

Bharat Singh and Gurjinder:Indian siblings’ Beijing story

Bharat Singh and Gurjinder, sculpture artists

When I first came to Beijing, we generally used cash when shopping, but now we can just use our phone, because we can pay with WeChat everywhere. It’s very convenient and it has lots of benefits.

When I came to Beijing, we usually rode bicycle when we went out, but now we usually go out by car, which is a change in the economic aspect. What changed in art is Beijing, as a city of culture, had few galleries in the past, and now there are much more. We now live in Songzhuang, where many artists concentrate.

"Beijing is a beautiful city to which you never want to say goodbye. Beijing is the most beautiful city, and it’s our second hometown."

Leandro Rolon: 3D food printing in Beijing

Leandro Rolon, CEO of the 3D Food Company

I think the main change that I’ve seen occur here is you have this very healthy mixture of culture. But you have this very interesting sort of aspect which is technology and technological skill mix with financial, and so all of these combined really kind of support a very, I think, great base for entrepreneurs.

I think one of the things that I realize as I’ve been here is I’ve learned to understand sort of the new generations. Here in Beijing and China in general. You begin to see sort of respect for the old, but also this very sort of enthusiastic view of the future. So you have this kind of layer of time, which I think is very unique to any contemporary city, very special, and very uniquely special to Beijing.

"You can see this in things like transportation and finance, especially in the new kind of 4.0 industry and 3.0 industry."

Bolabola Joelle Zita: An African girl's adventure in Beijing

Bolabola Joelle Zita, Hostess of French Channel of Star Times

My father watched the Spring Festival Gala in Gabon. He sent me a text message, saying he had never seen me speak so much Chinese. I felt really happy.

When I first came here, I was shocked to see so many people. I think Beijing develops very fast. I feel that I have changed a lot. The biggest change is in my thinking. I become more open and confident.

"I came to Beijing because my father thought that China had been developing robustly and I should be here to learn Chinese."

Lewis Aschalew: Learn Beijing culture through Erguotou

Lewis Aschalew, Chief Representative of Ethiopian Shipping Lines

Beijing is changing very fast now. Beijing as a city is the biggest cultural center in the world.

We share our true feelings with people. Someone would not drink with you unless he likes you. That's the culture I learnt in Beijing.

"I really love Beijing very very much. I want to live all my life in Beijing. I wish to live my whole life here."

Claudia Masueger: Beijing reflects in a glass of wine

Claudia Masueger, CEO and Founder of CHEERS Wines

The people are excited to experiment, excited to try new wines. And then they order online. And the delivery in China today is so fast that within twenty minutes we have to deliver.

In the last couple of years, the interest of the young people became more and more to learn about new lifestyles. The targeted group has a different consumption habit. So shopping malls is not only for shopping, but rather for entertainment.

"They have discovered wine as a lifestyle and they love it, and they drink it on the daily basis."

Edgar O. Crossman III (Terry): Foreign community volunteer in Beijing

Edgar O. Crossman III (Terry), Community Volunteer in Beijing Xicheng District

I think Beijing is a very safe place in China. Why? When I walk in the alley with them, they constantly greet others. I did the same later, greeting my neighbors. How are you today, Lao Meng? Eaten? This creates a very warm neighborhood atmosphere.

In fact, when I wear this red jacket, my thinking will change, I will pay attention to litters on the ground, and if a bike is parked in a wrong place and obstruct traffic, if I do not wear this jacket, I may not have this awareness, but once I wear it, I think I have a responsibility.

"They always have a lot of these activities, I also participated in some, like singing. It’s real fun"

George Doupas: When the traditional meets the modern

George Doupas, Greek photographer

The changes in Beijing are huge and numerous. And the biggest change I consider fantastic is the improvement of the air quality.

Beijing has its unique blend of the old and the new. It’s really wonderful match and mix how the past of Beijing is blending with the new modern architecture. For example, if you ever visited Zhihua Temple, which is one of the oldest temples in Beijing.

"I like traditional culture, traditional art. I can go by myself and visit hutong street life, the original Beijing life which I can see only in hutong."

Jade Gray: Beijing, this is my home

Jade Gray, Founder of Restaurant Chain Gung Ho

The hot water we use. The government gave us a subsidy for switching to natural gas as an environmentally friendly way.

In 2003, when we started some of these projects people were hardly impressed. But things have changed a lot in the past couple of years, now when we tell people why we use recycled materials, they really appreciate it, and are very supportive.

"I really love China. I love Beijing. I really hope Beijing becomes a more and more environmentally friendly place, because this is my hometown."

Abdinasir Ahmed: Beijing Guoan, I love you

Abdinasir Ahmed, Co-founder of Hikicker Football Club And Manager of International Football Friendship Club(IFFC)

I would say the Chinese league is now the best in Asia. So in the near future. I think Chinese football will get better and better. Go Guoan! Go!

I really like Beijing very much. Because Beijing has given me my career. Beijing has given me a lot of friends. So no matter where I go. Beijing is my home, Beijing is my favorite city.

"If someone asks me "Where is your hometown?" I would say Beijing"

Ella Kidron: Innovation drives the future

Ella Kidron, International Communications Manager at

Two years ago, when I moved to Beijing.I found people are all using smart phones.Even roadside stall keepers accept mobile payment.

No matter large firms or very small creative startups. Beijing’s business environment is suitable for innovation, which can make creative companies develop very fast.

"They mostly bought daily necessities.But now it has changed. They tend to buy more products they are interested in."

Elisabeth A. Jung Lu: Marriage comes by Chinese calligraphy

Elisabeth A. Jung Lu, Professor of China Academy of Art
I like going for a walk in parks like Zizhuyuan. I can watch people in the park, playing cucurbit flute, dancing, especially the elderly people. I enjoy staying there.

If we want to describe Beijing in terms of chirography of calligraphy, Beijing is just like the regular script in Chinese calligraphy. Because Beijing, as the national political center, is more rigorous than other cities, which is also reflected in daily life.

"Beijing has become a very international city. And it is even more modern than Europe in some aspects of everyday life, which is appealing."

Andreas Laimböck: A Beijinger from Austria

Andreas Laimböck, Owner and Director of LTL Mandarin School
I lived in Beijing when I first came to China. Maybe the character of northerners suits me better. I like the atmosphere in Beijing.

Beijing is more international than before. But my favorite thing about Beijing is that it is working hard to protect Chinese culture. So in Beijing you can still feel,you are in China.

"As for me the best part of Beijing is Beijingers, it’s a buddy feeling. Making me feel at home.I really like Beijing."

Jeff Frey: A dream comes true

Jeff Frey, Co-founder of

Beijing has a really good environment for start-ups I would say there's a lot of people here, a lot of people doing their own start-ups,so you can learn a lot from different people.

China is developing very fast as I said, and many people want to be part of this. I would say like Beijing changed a lot. I arrived here in 2013 to live here, so all these changes also made a real huge difference for Beijing as a city.

“Ilicon Valley was the main place for tech-companies, and now it is it's ZHONGGUANCUN I would say,or Shenzhen or Hangzhou.”

Benjamin Lim: Cosmopolitan Beijing

Benjamin Lim, Former Chief of Reuters’ Beijing Bureau

When I came here in 1994, the Reuters office was in the diplomatic compound in Sanlitun,many bungalows and the horizon can be seen from the window.But now tall buildings are everywhere. Water Cube, The Place, CCTV new building. Lots of nice buildings.

Because our Philippine Spring Festival was not very lively, I stayed in Beijing at that time, but my friends in Beijing were very warm-hearted, and I always had a full schedule every day.

"I think it's not just Beijing,the Chinese are probably one of the most generous and kind-hearted peoples in the world."

Andreas Pierotic: Beijing, more open to the world

Andreas Pierotic, Minister Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs of the Chilean Embassy to China

We really believe that Chinese companies will bring more competition to Chile’s economy in some fields. I believe that Chile and China will both develop better and better through trade.

Chinese automobiles are very popular in Chile. Because those products are imported with zero tariff. So with the free trade agreement, can make people feel their consumption, their incomes have actually increased.

"We had a free trade agreement with China come into effect in 2006. Chile is the first country to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with China."

Jaime FlorCruz: As time goes by

Jaime FlorCruz, Former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief: As time goes by

I’ve changed with the reforms in Beijing and China. My life has also changed as much as those of the Chinese people’s. If I sum it up, I think can do it with one word, which is “choice”. The 40 years of reform have given people a choice.

There are more foreign movies, too. I think these changes should have started at the end of 1978 . That was when Deng Xiaoping began to reform and open up

"In Beijing I found a place to build a career, a place to live. I also found a place where I’ve achieved something that can be considered a success. I wish Beijing well."

Harvey Dzodin:Beijing, my destiny

Harvey Dzodin, Senior Research Fellow of Center for China and Globalization

It was less developed Reform and opening-up was just beginning at that time so Beijing is one of the most modern cities in the world. It was a completely different city from it today, it’s not different by a matter of a few years but seems like a few centuries.

What’s Beijing going to be like then? I see a very livable city with great public transportation. I see a greener city because the government is working very hard to solve the very difficult problems of the pollution and air quality and I see a city of more museums, of more culture and more visits by foreign friends.

"I could choose to live any where in the world but I’ve chosen to live in Beijing because it’s such a dynamic city and there are so many opportunities not only for Chinese but for foreign people like me."

Jean-Jacques de Dardel: Understanding China from understanding Beijing

Jean-Jacques de Dardel,Swiss Ambassador to China

Beijing is a throbbing hub that moves and constantly reinvents itself. It’s also historical and has the whole substance of China. So more and more companies are attracted by the human resources. There will be more and more such opportunities for start-ups for high-tech enterprises.

There is history, there is power, there is a lot of economy and a lot of developing high-tech, cutting edge sectors of human activity around Beijing. You can not understand China if you don’t know Beijing.

"If you ask me to describe Beijing in one word. I may go to the word Beijing is a “central” ."

Nicholas Rosellini:Beijing, a livable city

Nicholas Rosellini, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in China

China has successfully lifted 800 million people out of poverty and I think that's really outstanding.I don't think it's something with any sort of precedent in history.

In addition, it's also contributing its own forms of engagements. For example the “Belt and Road” initiative which brings countries together along the old trade routes and it s intended to encourage investments and trade in many countries around the world

"I think what is also important is it's not just about the economic gains during the 40 years. It is also about the social gains and human development gains."

Stephon Marbury: Love is Love

Stephon Marbury, Beijing Honorary Citizenship holder, Former NBA and CBA Star

China has given me an opportunity to play basketball again.Beijing, you let me become someone that I never dare to think that I could become,and let me relive the deep love that I never dare to think I deserve.

You gave my life a chapter that it’s a dream. In this chapter, I achieved my dream and my promise. I can never ever repay Beijing, I can never repay China for showing me the love that they showed me for embracing me the way how they have embraced me.

"I had the image of Beijing being this huge big city based upon what people say, a lot of lights, a lot of flash, it was exactly that"

Dominic Johnson-Hill: Foreign shopkeeper in Beijing’s Hutong

Dominic Johnson-Hill, CEO and Creative Director of Plastered T-shirts

I've been in this creative industry for 12 years For me, Beijing is a city that keeps changing From 1993 to now, every day is different. In fact, I like this kind of environment. It is very challenging for me as an entrepreneur.

The country now attaches much greater importance to intellectual property rights,so they dare not sell plagiarisms. Not like before, intellectual property is much better protected in China now.It makes me feedynamic. So I like to start a business in Beijing. Every day is new.

"My first trip to Beijing was in 1993, as a backpacker.At that time, because of the reform and opening up, the economy was developing very fast, and there were all kinds of job opportunities. So I stayed, and then started my own business."

Bert Hofman: Open Beijing keeps moving ahead

Bert Hofman, Country Director, China, Korea and Mongolia of the World Bank

So to all people of Beijing. I'd like to thank you for hosting me over the past four and a half years. You have been a great home for me and my family and I really enjoyed living here.

China is now a nine thousand dollars per capita economy which of course is a huge jump from when China started reforms back in 1978 when it was barely two hundred dollars per capita. A lot has already been achieved, and the numbers as they show are about twenty-five to thirty percent reduction in pollution compared to three, four years ago.

"I think Beijing is one of the great cities of the world"