Chinese man builds career, finds love through construction of BRI

(People's Daily Online) 13:25, September 21, 2023

Xing Liang and his family are interviewed by People's Daily Online. (People's Daily Online/Huangfu Wanli)

Lychee Chinese Restaurant is located in the most bustling area in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The restaurant is owned by a Belarusian woman named Anastasia Yurievna, whose husband Xing Liang has been doing business in Minsk for a decade.

In 2013, Xing, a man born in the 1980s in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, came to Minsk for the first time as a purchaser of a foreign trade company in China. He found that the local infrastructure was relatively underdeveloped and the variety of goods and supplies was very limited. However, the demand was very high.

"So I decided to stay and engage in trade and engineering projects, while also building my own supply chain to ensure a stable supply of goods," he said.

"At that time, there were very few Chinese people in Minsk. I didn't speak the language, and I was not accustomed to the local culture and customs. In addition, I often encountered difficulties dealing with various laws and regulations in Belarus. Sometimes, I felt very helpless," Xing recalled.

In his most difficult times, Xing met Yurievna. Yurievna had studied in China and worked as a translator in a company in Minsk after graduating. "I was very lucky to meet Yurievna. She provided me with great support in my work. With her by my side, I felt that I could overcome any difficulty."

Xing often traveled out of town for business, and his Chinese stomach was not accustomed to the local food, which led him often to being unable to eat enough. When Yurievna noticed this, she started learning to cook Chinese food and packed it in a thermos for Xing to take to work.

With the continuous advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), cooperation between China and Belarus in various fields has been increasing. The Great Stone Industrial Park is an important project of cooperation between the two countries. Xing's company undertook the installation of fire-fighting facilities in the park.

Xing explained that the design and construction of the factory buildings in the industrial park fully embody the concept of green development. By utilizing natural light, ventilation, and energy-saving technologies, resource utilization has been improved, with reduced impact on the environment.

Furthermore, the speed and quality of the construction of the factory buildings have left a deep impression on Belarusian counterparts. Within a few years, the industrial park had completed a large number of high-quality factory buildings, fully showcasing the strength of Chinese companies in infrastructure construction.

This year, Xing has been particularly busy as the size and scope of his company's business are continuously expanding, extending beyond Minsk to neighboring countries. In order to improve operational efficiency, he has started investing in warehouse construction and logistics facilities.

Xing and his wife have two lovely children, a 6-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Due to his busy work schedule and frequent business trips, the children spend more time with their mother and grandmother, making them more fluent in Russian than in Chinese.

Xing still holds onto the hope that after graduating from high school, their children can have the opportunity to study at a university in China. He believes that through systematic learning, their children will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Xing also hopes that their children can achieve better personal development within the context of improving China-Belarus relations as they grow up.

Family photos of Xing Liang. (People's Daily Online/Huangfu Wanli)

The changes in people-to-people exchanges between the two countries in recent years are not only reflected in economic and trade cooperation, but also in the increasing number of Chinese restaurants in Minsk.

Yurievna said that the number of local customers dining at her restaurant is roughly the same as the number of Chinese customers, with many locals willing to try Chinese cuisine and gradually accepting Chinese dietary culture.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI and also Xing's 10th year in Minsk. He said he can personally feel the positive impact of the improvement in China-Belarus relations on himself.

"As global economic integration speeds up, international competition is becoming increasingly fierce. We need to constantly improve our comprehensive qualities to cope with the intense competition. For example, the laws, regulations, and business environments of countries participating in the construction of the BRI are different from those of China. This requires us to continuously learn and adapt so that we can better engage in international exchanges and cooperation in the future," said Xing.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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