On September 26, Beijing Foreign Affairs Office, together with Xicheng District, invited foreign journalists to visit Shichahai Scenic Area and hutongs to get a glimpse of the history of the ancient capital, and the living environment of people in Beijing, and to experience the vitality of the old downtown area. Foreign journalists from 16 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay, who were in Beijing for the 2022 training program hosted by the China International Press Communication Centre, participated in this event.
A Beijing Hutong Tour on Pedicabs
The day was tranquil and beautiful with blue sky and birds passing by. The foreign journalists boarded pedicabs to rove the hutongs, feeling the vibes of history and the change of times. With tinkling pedicab bells, the vitality of hutongs could be felt right away. Our foreign journalists, perhaps touched by the warm smiling faces of residents and tourists passing by, burst with laughter now and then.
A Sculling Boat Ride in Shichahai
The journalists boarded a sculling boat and roamed the waters of Shichahai. The classical Chinese architecture was in perfect harmony with the modern time, the natural landscape blended with cultural relics. The willows undulated in the gentle breeze. The boatman's improvised song caused rounds of applause.
Beauty Captured in Pictures
The life in hutongs was tranquil, while new vitality was brought to the old town. The walkway around the quiet Shichahai leads to the surrounding public greens, cultural relics and leisure facilities. A coffee house with an exotic touch of style under the century-old locust trees gave this place a tint of international flavour.
Ana, a journalist from the Nicaraguan newspaper Diario Barricada, said: "I enjoyed the day and the whole trip was very peaceful. And I'm impressed with the environmental protection here."
According to István Ojeda, a journalist from the Cuban newspaper Periódico 26, "Today's experience with the pedicabs reminded me of my motherland Cuba. In the 1990s, such pedicabs were prevalent in Cuba and have continued to be so until now. I am happy to see such a traditional thing to be preserved against China's rapid modernisation, which I think is a very good thing."
Gustavo, editor-in-chief of Argentina's DANGDAI magazine, said that during this event, he experienced the daily life of the people in Beijing and it was wonderful that they had such a beautiful park in the middle of Beijing for recreation. Today's event showed him the results of the city's effective urban greening and environmental protection practice.
A Glimpse of Chinese Tea Culture
The Foreign Journalists in Beijing events are co-organized by Beijing Foreign Affairs Office and China Public Diplomacy Association. This event focused on the development of Beijing in the new era, on the Five Key Initiatives incorporated into the new development dynamics, and on the highlights of development of districts in Beijing. Both visits and first-hand experience activities were provided for the foreign journalists. They will visit enterprises in industrial parks, communities, townships, as well as streets and hutongs in Beijing, to learn more about Beijing and to present a real and multi-dimensional Beijing in all areas to the world. The trip to Shichahai Scenic Area is the first stop of the Foreign Journalists in Beijing events.
 The "Five Key Initiatives" refers to building Beijing into an international center for innovation; making progress in building the "two zones"; developing the digital economy; stimulating and creating new demand through supply-side structural reform; and making greater headway with Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development through relocation of functions non-essential to the role of the capital.