What did Soviet scholars see when they visited Beijing in 1978?40 years later, I’ve never seen a city that shabby

2022-09-23 0 By

In 1978, foreigners came out to take photos of the snow in the Embassy District, Beijing. Hello, everyone, I’m LAN Tai.LAN Tai will talk to you about what Beijing was like in the eyes of foreigners before the reform and opening-up.In fact, Beijing before the reform and opening up was not a good place in the eyes of foreigners. On the contrary, almost all foreigners who visited Beijing at that time had the biggest impression of dilapidation and drab.Dilapidated refers to the fact that there were hardly any tall buildings in Beijing at that time. Foreigners said they could see beautiful buildings anywhere in Beijing: Beijing Hotel.At night, due to the shortage of electricity, the streets of Beijing are not well lit, and the vitality of the city is not felt at all.We should not assume that these impressions are the stereotyped prejudices of Americans and Britons from western countries. In fact, visiting officials and scholars of the former Soviet Union also saw it this way.Alexander Isayev, an expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far East Institute and deputy director of the Center for Prediction and Analysis of China-Russia Relations;At the same time, he is also the brains of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has been to China many times for research and is 100% “China expert”.What is more important is that Director Isayev has always advocated a closer partnership between China and Russia, and advocated that China and Russia jointly fight against THE HEGEMONY of the United States.In other words, Isayev is pro-China in Russia.Alexander Isayev, an expert at the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was asked by Russian media to share his views on China’s reform and opening up in 2018, the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.Isayev said the biggest achievements of China’s reform and opening up are lifting 800 million people out of poverty and achieving economic achievements that dazzle the world, while the admirable thing is that China’s rise is completely from scratch.In order to show that he was not overly complimentary about China, Isaev also told Russian reporters what he saw in Beijing during his first visit in 1978, which he summed up by saying, “I have never seen such a dilapidated city” :When I flew to Beijing in August 1978, the “four modernizations” had not yet been announced, but there was already an air of change.At that time, total poverty and backwardness were visible even in the capital.A ticketing system still exists, monthly rations are meagric and even diplomats need tickets to buy rice and cloth.Friendship, the only decent shop for foreigners, has disappeared from today’s high-rise Beijing.On Jianguomen Street, where the All-China Women’s Federation is now based, dilapidated single-storey houses are crammed together.The tallest and most beautiful single building visible from any Angle in Beijing is the Beijing Hotel at the junction of Chang ‘an avenue and Wangfujing Avenue.Bicycles are everywhere in Beijing in the early morning and evening, but cars are rare.Volga, a Soviet-made sedan, is a luxury car like maybach.Old buses are the only form of public transport, but even they are woefully inadequate.So, there are people at the station who are responsible for order and pushing passengers into overloaded cars.Life in the capital was almost dead at 8pm because of the lack of street lighting.The image of the residents is similar to that of the street scene. Beijingers, both male and female, wear dark grey and dark green clothes.When he visited Beijing again in 1984, he immediately felt the changes brought to China by the reform and opening up. At least the girls in Beijing were no longer the uniform “dark gray and dark green dress”. Most girls had replaced cotton-padded jackets and trousers with skirts: in 1984, I came to Beijing for the second time.By this time, it had been almost six years since the reform and opening policy was announced.Street trade is rife in the capital, and big markets are up and running, frequented by foreigners who buy cheap estate jeans.In western Beijing, the white Shangri-La Hotel rises.Most of the girls have swapped their cotton-padded jackets and trousers for skirts.Even those women who still wore dungarees could see a pretty blouse at the collar of their uniform.You can see that China is changing.Isayev, as a well-known “pro-China” in Russia, would not deliberately belittle China, not to mention praising China’s great achievements in reform and opening-up in front of Russian journalists.This means that Beijing before the reform and opening up was very backward even in the eyes of foreign friends who were very friendly with China.END Reference: China’s 40 Years of Reform and Opening up: What do Russians think, Sputnik News Agency reported on December 22, 2018