Jaime FlorCruz, Former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief: As time goes by
Song: Great Beijing we sing for you, you’re the strength of people of all nationalities. Each time we think of Beijing, joyous sounds of singing become particularly resonant; each time we think of Beijing, we are full of strength.
I’m Jaime FlorCruz.I'm from the Philippines
I first came to Beijing in August 1971.Which means I have been here for 47 years
I'm a journalist. I first worked for TIME magazine
And later joined CNN as a reporter and Beijing bureau chief
I retired three years ago, and now teach a media course at Peking University
My first impression of Beijing was that it was very mysterious. I thought Beijing was a unique place
In the autumn of 1977, I was admitted to Peking University
So I was one of the first students to enroll at Peking University after the “cultural revolution” when the college entrance examination was restored
We had a lot of learning and debating in and out of class
What exactly does China's reform and opening-up mean? Where is China headed?
At that time, life was relatively monotonous, especially in entertainment
We would be lucky if we could watch one or two movies a month
On the campus, there would be a mobile projection team
Who would hang up a large piece of white cloth at sunset
So we would watch movie in the open
I still like watching movies now.
Sometimes I go to the movie theaters in Sanlitun where big screens are available
Now film titles are much more diverse
I like Jiang Wen's movies and those of Jia Zhangke’s
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
And shift the focus onto economic development
I also went to see the 1985 WHAM band performance in Beijing
Now such performances are very common, at that time it was a "revolution".
Then came Coca Cola, and I interviewed many people for that
They were quite happy about it
But some of them felt they were like drinking traditional Chinese medicine
That bittersweet taste
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
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