“China has realised the dream of gradually lifting its population out of poverty, and that’s an incredible achievement,” Sonia Bressler, a French writer, and sinologist told, his Opinion.
“It was my childhood dream to visit China, especially Tibet and the mountains there,” Bressler said, who has already made six trips to China.
“As a Westerner, the information we’ve received about China is not always positive… However, I am willing to discover and understand the Chinese civilisation, to fulfil my dream,” she said.
Bressler’s first trip to China in 2005 left a deep impression on her. During that trip, she travelled from France across Russia to China by train.
“It was just being in China and being close to the Chinese people that changed my perspective on China,” she said.
Bressler’s long train journey took her through Harbin, a northeastern Chinese city. She still remembers the two Chinese women that she met there.
“Having noticed I wasn’t eating enough, they handed me a tomato. I couldn’t express my gratitude to them because of the language barrier, but at that moment, I determined to discover, to understand, and to meet these lovely Chinese people,” said Bressler.
After finally arriving in Beijing, she was surprised to find out that modernised China was “completely different” from what she had been told to expect. She decided to introduce a developing China to the French readers in an objective way.
She has travelled to Tibet three times since 2007, extensively interviewed local lamas, teachers, doctors, police officers, and artists and published books demonstrating a new look at Tibet from the aspects of economy and politics, society, culture and ecological environment, for example in
“Journey to the Heart of Tibet.”
In 2015, Bressler travelled about 8,000 km in one month to Xinjiang and other places along the ancient Silk Road. In early 2017, Bressler established the Silk Road Press to introduce the history of the ancient trade routes to French readers. In her works, China’s development is not just about statistics, but about vivid stories.
Thanks to her trips to the different parts of China, Bressler has witnessed the great changes brought about by the Chinese dream.
China is realising its dream at its own pace, and through its own vision to shape a brighter future, she said.
China cannot develop without the world and vise versa, Bressler said, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connects the Chinese dream to the worlds. “The Belt and Road Initiative accorded with the trend of the times,” she said.
“As a French citizen, I was delighted to see my country is positive about the BRI and willing to cooperate with China in various fields,” said Bressler. “The two countries should take the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to enhance mutual trust and strengthen exchanges and cooperation.”
“The China-Europe Railway Express has already transported goods between China and Europe. I believe I can continue my train trips to China again in the near future,” said Bressler.