A Real and Charming China in the Eyes of Taiwan Youths

As the yearning for more cross-Straits communications between the Chinese mainland and China’s Taiwan region has been increasing in recent years, CGTN proudly presents a  three-episode documentary series, “Incredible Odyssey,” which tells three unique and exciting stories from the perspective of three young people from Taiwan. The series explores and presents a real and charming China to the world. 

The first episode highlights the relationship between man and nature. In 2021, a remarkable event captured global attention when a herd of Asian elephants ventured northward, placing Xishuangbanna, a prefecture nestled in China’s southwest Yunnan Province, in the international spotlight. How did these majestic animals interact with local people and why did they start this magnificent journey? 

Tung Yu-lin, a singer and actor from Taiwan, joined forces with Dong Rui, a ranger in the region, to find the answers. Dong holds the belief that maintaining distance exemplifies true respect and affection for these beings, a classic philosophical idea from ancient China that emphasizes the unity of man and nature. Dong’s story is just one of many who have devoted their entire lives to animal protection. Through Dong’s experience, “a greener China” is no longer an abstract idea but a touching story that has inspired not only local people but also an audience of millions in front of the screen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTIDdjgwlwU&t=51s

Rural revitalization and the morale of ordinary Chinese people are the themes of the second episode. As a large country with 1.4 billion people, China has no lack of football fans. We have read many stories about football stars, but how do ordinary people in China enjoy “the beautiful game?” Or, let’s be bolder, how does a remote village develop its own localized championship? Taiwan singer Liu Kuan-yu ventured to Guizhou, and he found the answer at the Village Super League.

By the close of 2020, Rongjiang County, situated in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, had successfully overcome extreme poverty. The emergence of the Village Super League has rejuvenated Rongjiang, stimulating economic development and reversing the trend of migrant workers leaving. The joyful expressions on the faces of the locals reflect their newfound vitality and enthusiasm for life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgx6rBrd8RA&t=128s

The final episode shows a Xizang that we may have never seen before. Some Western media never stop smearing China’s Xizang, depicting it as a place where “people are oppressed and their freedom of religion is deprived.” They are good at making up sensational headlines, just as they do in their coverage of China’s Taiwan. Seeing is believing. Cai Xuanxuan, a student from the Taiwan region, comes to Lhasa, the capital city of Xizang, in search of reality. 

In Lhasa, she encounters Yibang, who lives a double life as both a government official and a rapper. According to him, “Understanding Xizang is essential for governing Xizang.” He acknowledges the region’s history of diverse ethnic groups that coexist and believes that a true believer, regardless of religion, recognizes that people of various backgrounds can peacefully live together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0YWX0YD2hM

Yibang’s remarks echo with the theme of the “Incredible Odyssey” series: it’s about showing a China where people from different backgrounds can all fulfill themselves in this magical land. Joined by the three Taiwan youths, we see a real and vibrant China full of hope. And this hope shines on people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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