Belt & Road Initiative: Teenage reporters conclude journey to explore new Silk Road
More than sixty young Chinese reporters -- known as the Little Panda Reporters -- have wrapped up an overseas trip exploring the Belt and Road Initiative. The reporters aged between seven and sixteen come from Southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. They were divided into three groups and set out in mid-August to explore seven Asian and European countries. CGTN's Meng Qingsheng shares highlights from their adventures.
In downtown Milan, Italy, a group of 22 Chinese children stunned locals and tourists with a flash mob show. Their performance featured classical elements and music from Sichuan, known as the Land of Abundance, or hometown of pandas. It's their third stop in Europe after France and Switzerland.
SHUI KEZHEN LITTLE PANDA REPORTER "We are all very proud. We sang songs in our mother tongue to the people of Italy. The audience was filled with applause. It felt really good."
In the town hall of Vado Ligure in Northern Italy, the young reporters talked with the city mayor about a joint project with Chinese companies. The project aims to shore up the handling capacity of a local port.
After its launch in December, it will become one of the most capable shipping terminals in Europe.
MONICA GIULIANO MAYOR OF VADO LIGURE "The Belt and Road Initiative has brought in diversified sources of investment to boost local growth. Before that, investment was limited, done only by Italian companies."
A similar event took place in Sheffield, Britain, where 27 reporters visited the town hall. The mayor briefed them on the city's connections with Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, which signed a sister city agreement with Sheffield in 2010.
TONY DOWNING LORD MAYOR OF SHEFFIELD "We are now diversified now more in hospitality and business, technology and I think that's similar with Chengdu and China."
The third group of 14 children visited Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. There they had a trip to a local elephant sanctuary to learn about wildlife protection. Outside the sanctuary, a hometown melody was heard that resonates with a different culture.
Now in its 3rd year, the annual Little Panda Reporters event was launched by China's National Radio and Television Administration and Chengdu TV Station in 2017. The trips are part of a national program for cultural exchange allowing Chinese youth to learn more about the world around them. Meng Qingsheng, CGTN.