In November 2020, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, also the President of the People's Republic of China stressed in his inspection in Jiangsu that ecological environmental protection should be given the top priority. The construction of ecological progress is the key content and feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee has strengthened the ecological progress construction, with a batch of fundamental, innovative and long-term work and had unprecedented achievements. To help foreign students have a better understanding of our country and the practice and outstanding achievements of ecological progress in China, the International School of Hohai University organized 30 foreign students from over ten countries who won a scholarship from the Chinese government to visit Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province on December 8. They participated in the social practice activity under the theme of 2021 Perceiving China: Experience Ecological Progress, Jiangsu's Water Charm and Exploration of Environmental Protection during the visit.
Jiangdu Key Water Conservancy Project was the first stop for the social practice. It was sunny that day and golden Ginko leaves were reflected in the clear running water. The Water Conservancy Project was operated in an orderly manner. The social practice team followed the route of General Secretary Xi Jinping's inspection, paid a visit to the pumping station and Pearl in Jianghuai exhibition hall and took photos together in front of the National Water Education Base and the Source stone tablet. Some foreign students from the College of Hydrology and Water Resources, College of Water Conservancy & Hydropower Engineering and College of Environment were amazed by the construction and development of China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project and spoke highly of the largest power irrigation and drainage station in China and the largest pump station in Asia. All of them took photos here to record the grand project and their meaningful visit. Victor Edem Setordjie, a doctoral student from the class of 2021, who majors in harbour, coastal and offshore engineering at the College of Harbour, Coastal and Offshore Engineering and comes from Ghana said, China has made great achievements in recent years. I believe anyone who sees such a grand project and a good environment nearby will recognize the right development direction of China.
Then, the social practice team came to visit the Yangzhou section of the ancient Grand Canal and had close contact with charming Yangzhou, the World Capital of Canals. At the ecological and cultural park in the Sanwan area of Yangzhou, students listened to the staff to know the history, environmental protection and modern shipping operation in this area. Students got a chance to learn more about the achievements in the protection of Grand Canal cultural heritage together with ecological and environmental protection. Aynur Amanova, an undergraduate student from the class of 2018, who majors in Geographic Information Science at the College of Hydrology and Water Resources and comes from Turkmenistan said, Ecological environment is so vital that we depend for survival and production. China has focused on the construction of ecological progress and environmental protection for a long time. It has also achieved good results and made big progress in environmental protection. Seeing is believing. Today, I have the opportunity to witness what I have learned about environmental protection in China.
Located in the Sanwan area of the ancient Grand Canal, the China Grand Canal Museum is specially established to give a comprehensive demonstration of the whole basin of the Grand Canal's cultural heritage at all times. The social practice team mainly visited the permanent exhibition hall named The Grand Canal of China—A World Cultural Heritage Site and Boats on the Canal, the digital immersive experience exhibition hall in the museum. During the visit, students were impressed by the exhibition hall of Epitome of Streets near the Grand Canal. Based on the concept of reconstructing urban life in history, the exhibition hall restores the ancient street scenery that allows visitors to interact with the environment. Students seemed to pass through time and were involved in the ancient streets and forgot to leave. Dereje Haile Hirgeto, a postgraduate student from the class of 2019, who majors in Civil Engineering at the College of Civil and Transportation Engineering and comes from Ethiopia, told us, I was just like walking in the street of ancient China. In the hall, I see local people taking a boat, walking on the bridge and some are using different manual tools. It is amazing and I want to follow their way of living. Visiting museums is a good way to help me learn better about Chinese culture and history and the culture of the Grand Canal.
In June 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping wrote back to foreign students at Peking University and hoped that foreign students could have an in-depth understanding of the real situation in China and play an active role in the communication and friendship between China and their own countries. The social practice activity under the theme of 2021 Perceiving China: Experience Ecological Progress, Jiangsu's Water Charm and Exploration of Environmental Protection is an important measure the Hohai University took to respond to and implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's messages in the letter reply. Perceiving China is a brand activity launched by China Scholarship Council to organize social practice and cultural experience activities for foreign students in China. Perceiving China, History of the Grand Canal, the themed activity at the university has been awarded a brand project and brand activity base for consecutive years. The year 2022 marks the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the starting point of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the great journey toward all-around modernization. The social practice activity launched by the university aims to provide a clearer and deeper view of the economic and social development situation of China in the new stage and help them to build a good relationship with China. After the activity, foreign students can have a profound understanding of the importance and excellent achievements of the ecological progress construction in the overall development of the new era. Jhandre Ronald Intriago Gordillo, a postgraduate student from the class of 2019, who majors in Hydropower Engineering at the College of Water Conservancy & Hydropower Engineering and comes from Ecuador, also told us, I appreciate the precious chance from the Chinese government and Hohai University which helps me broaden my horizon. I will continue my study in China and apply for a PhD program in the future. I really hope that one day I can apply what I have learned and experienced in China to the construction of my motherland. I also hope to become a promoter of the friendly relationship between China and Ecuador.(黎环)