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Old Meets New in Beijing

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By Philippe Muff, Insight China PR Team 

The pivotal capital of China was the first destination of this year’s Insight China program. On the day of our arrival, after battling our jet lag and satisfying our hunger, we soon visited the Embassy of Switzerland.

There we were cordially welcomed by Ms. Chenchen Liu, Project Officer Science, Tech and Education, and presented valuable facts about the economy, development and technology of the People’s Republic of China in relation to Switzerland. We then reconvened with a relaxed Apéro, where we were able to exchange words with our hosts, including the junior officers and the interns. The visit already made us reminisce about Switzerland, smoothing our transition into the life in China.

The next day was packed with cultural activities. In the morning we visited the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden Palace, marveling at the old structures and the surprising waves of tourists. The afternoon was dedicated to the Great Wall section at Mutanyu. The colossal wall was a incredible sight to behold. In spite of cold weather and steep climbs, the trip truly left us in high spirits. In the evening, we ended our joint activities with an extensive dinner, including the famous Beijing Duck. We walked out the restaurant with smiling faces, full bellies and some sore legs from the afternoon.

On the next day, Sunday, everyone was able to enjoy some time off. The members had an abundance of choices for activities. The city offered numerous temples to explore – from charming Tibetan shrines to the huge Heaven Temple. Furthermore, the beautiful 798 Art District, the modern Business District or the futuristic Galaxy Soho center were equally viable attractions.

Monday morning was dedicated to free time as well, allowing party goers to recuperate or early birds to explore more of the city. Afterwards, at ChemChina we were warmly greeted by host Mr. Bai Wei. We spent the afternoon learning about the subsidiary China National Agrochemical, which includes the newly acquired Swiss company Syngenta. We were shown facts and figures, vision and mission as well as structure and strategy. The delegation was then offered the chance, to summarize the various faculties and study programs of the FHNW, which they uniquely represent. The event then came to an end with an honest and open exchange of questions and impressions between the ChemChina employees and the Insight China members.

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