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Turkish college student’s Chongming day trip
By:Wang Jiaye  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2019-07-24 16:03

A dozen Turkish college students had a joyful day out at the ecologically superior Chongming Island in May 2019. It was the third time that the “Shanghai Tour” for the Turkish students studying in Shanghai had been hosted by the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC) and the Turkish-Chinese Business Development and Friendship Association.

The trip impressed the students deeply, many of whom recorded and shared the event in written, picture and video form.  Elif Nisa Sencan from Shanghai University wrote a review and submitted it to Turkey’s daily newspaper “Aydinlik Gazetesi”.

The considerate girl translated the article into English and shared with us. Let’s have a look at what she saw and felt.

By Elif Nisa Sencan

With the contribution of the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC) and Turkish-Chinese Business Development and Friendship Association, a trip to Chongming island, which is the third largest island in China, was organized on May 14, 2019, for Turkish students studying in Shanghai.

Chongming Island is located in the mouth of the Yangtze River in the East of China. The theme of the trip, which started early in the day and ended in the evening, was determined as an ecology trip. The reason for this is that Chongming Island was planned as an Ecological Island by the Shanghai Government. By keeping the natural features and beauty of the island in accordance with the plan set up until 2035, Chongming Island is both protected and will be developed in a planned and controlled manner.

Another feature of the island is that it is a pilot area of Shanghai's ecological construction. The use of clean energy is the most important indicator of harmony between man and nature.

The island not only charmed the participants with its unique nature, but also managed to surprise everyone with its natural beauty in such proximity to the nearby megacity of Shanghai. Agriculture and animal husbandry activities in the island, which has a population of approximately 700,000, also reflect the Chinese dream.

Early in the morning, students gathered in Shanghai University and traveled to Chongming Island by passing over the Chongming Yangtze River Bridge, which was built to the east of Shanghai.

The first stop on our trip, which was accompanied by two guides, was the facility where fish conservation activities were designed. The sturgeon fishes, which are over 5 meters in length, attracted the particular attention of the participants.

Hunting of sturgeon fish is strictly prohibited and those that have been injured or are weak due to various reasons, are collected from the river and healed in this facility. In addition, the facility contributes significantly to the conservation of natural habitats by maintaining other species of the ecosystem of the region.

Our second stop was the village's history exhibition hall. The guide in the hall mentioned about the 1300-year history of the island, its production activities and state planning on the island.

The soil reclamation made since 1980 was mentioned. This land reclamation was carried out in cooperation with the small-scale farmers of the region and the Chinese Communist Party leaders of the island.

In addition, thanks to the improvement of the cooperative cultivation of agricultural land, today the income of agricultural products produced through this cooperative is distributed equally to the villagers.

This charming touristic village has a fixed limit of around 200 inhabitants.

Following our second stop, students had lunch at the lake-view restaurant near the village, and then enjoyed the Dongping National Forest Park. While traveling in electric semi-outdoor buses through the park,  several attractions caught the students’ eyes, and beautiful views were recorded on their mobile phones.

Another noteworthy feature of the island was that the maintenance of forests and parks was very regular and investment had continued non-stop. There are a lot of attractive spots in this forest park. From tea-coffee gardens to horse farms, and from scenic fields to rose gardens, there are dozens of hidden scenes in the forest.

As the last stop, Chongming Island Planning Museum was visited. In the museum, the planning of the development of the island until 2035 was explained in detail. Future investments as well as population planning are also very impressive.

It is very clear that there is a lot of effort to keep the island as a habitable natural environment and to develop it in this direction. These plans, centered on people and nature, were presented to students with an impressive visual display in the technology-supported museum. The organic agriculture, fishing and village structures in the island were also shown on huge maps.

At the end of the exciting trip, the students boarded the bus and went on their way back. On their journey, they discussed the structures that should be on the island with the participation of the guides. In addition, the students also agreed that such human and nature-centered projects should be done in our own country, too.