This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. In order to find out more about the Chinese people's impressions of the relationship between the two countries, Beijing Review recently interviewed five Chinese citizens.
Q1. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. What benefits do you believe you have had from this relationship? What benefits have there been for China?
Wang Mila (24, female, General Manager's Committee Secretary, Luso International Banking Ltd.): Up to now I personally haven't seen any benefit from this relationship. But people will surely benefit from such opportunities as travel and cultural exchange.
Feng Chunyang (23, male, post-graduate student at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications): I think it'll be easier for us to tour and study in Germany. The sound relations between the two countries will help bilateral economic, cultural and sports exchanges. I'm very fond of sports. A short while ago, the Chinese and German male basketball teams had a match in Germany. Because of the participation of Yao Ming, tens of thousands of Germans went to watch the competition. I think it is a demonstration that the two peoples are getting to know each other more.
Wu Xiangyang (35, male, architect): Of course it will benefit us. We can go to study in Germany, because German architecture is well-known for their precision of design. Advanced German technology will also help promote the development of China's hi-tech industry.
Liu Longsheng (43, male, a self-employed activity planner): I don't see any benefit for myself. But I think our country will absolutely benefit from this good relationship. At least we can live in harmony with this country.
Gu Yanfeng (30, female, a civil servant): There will be more contacts and exchanges between the two countries and the two peoples, through which the two peoples can learn a lot more from each other. The introduction of Germany's advanced technologies will surely benefit China and the Chinese people.
Q2. Were you aware that Germany is the largest trading partner of China in the European Union?
Wang: Not until now.
Feng: Is it? I didn't know. Maybe it is.
Wu: No, I have no idea.
Liu: I didn't know. I don't have any trade with the German people.
Gu: Not yet.
Q3. Can you name any German brands? If so, what are your favorite German brands?
Wang: Yes, Volkswagen, Siemens, BMW, Mercedes-Benz.
Feng: I know little about German products. But Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher is well-known in China. Volkswagen is also a household name, very good quality. The boys in our dormitory use Nivea face products, also a German brand.
Wu: Siemens, Volkswagen, BMW. I like German cars. I think I like Siemens best, because it has a wide range of products, like medical equipment and home appliances. Most of its products are quite good in quality.
Liu: Siemens maybe? I don't have any specific favorite German brands.
Gu: Siemens, Philips.
Q4: What is your impression of German businesses and products in China?
Wang: Many German companies have settled in China. Volkswagen has established production centers in Shanghai and Changchun. Siemens undertakes about 60 joint ventures with diversified products ranging from mobile phones to medical equipment, power plants and transportation technology. There are also many other remarkable investments in the hi-tech and household appliance sectors. Normally, German businesses are known as serious and careful, while their products are well accepted for their good quality and user-friendly operation.
Feng: I like BMW cars the most. It's my favorite car brand. Most of the German products are very strong in quality, and Germans are good at making sophisticated machines.
Wu: Germans are very good. They are patient and careful in doing everything. I think their products are much better than those of the United States.
Liu: I think Germans are considered stubborn and very strict with themselves. Their products are of course very high-end and expensive. We ordinary people don't usually buy them.
Gu: I think Germans are very serious with their business and their products are trustworthy.
Q5. What type of German investment would you like to see come to China?
Wang: Investment in the educational field to promote cultural and educational exchange.
Feng: They can invest more in the information technology and pollution-free companies.
Wu: I have no idea. But anything good for the Chinese people is welcome.
Liu: Hi-tech industry maybe. China is weak in advanced technology. If we want to catch up with the world trend, we must have good technology. Germany can teach us.
Gu: Joint ventures.
Q6. Have you ever traveled to Germany? If so, where did you go? If not, where would you like to go?
Wang: Not yet, I would like to visit its scenic and historical spots, especially the Neuschwanstein.
Feng: Not yet. If I had the chance, I would like to visit Munich. There is a famous football field called Allianz-Arena, very fascinating.
Wu: Yes, I have been to many places in Germany like Frankfurt and Berlin. I was there to attend an international book fair in Frankfurt and traveled across the country. I was fascinated by its old city architecture like the AlteBrucke.
Liu: No, I haven't. If I had the chance, I would like to see its museums. I'm very interested in German history. Germany started two world wars but Germans are very honest with themselves and are willing to take the responsibility. It is a great nation.
Gu: I had a stop over just for transit. I'd like to go to Heidelburg and Neuschwanstein.