Blog/Diary | Photos

-- September 10, 2008
-- September 10, 2008

Through a 10-day orientation program for new staff members provided by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) -- the owner of China Development Gateway (CnDG), I had the opportunity to get to know many new faces and we have become good friends. Now I am back at work, but I will never forget this experience.

At the start of the training program on August 27, every new member was assigned to one of four teams with about 20 teammates. The first task was to memorise the names of all team members; the winner would be the team who completed the task quickest. Unfortunately my team had two members more than other teams, and we failed to win first place. We were then asked to design a unique name card with colorful paper and pencils. One of my teammates, an artist with a doctorate, even drew a self-portrait on the card. Through activities like this we could get to know each other better.

For me, the most unforgettable moments came when we took part in the outdoor training program. Through two days of physical "suffering", everyone faced challenges to their physical and mental limits, and succeeded in bringing our team to a new level.

For example, in a module in which teammates try to jump over a 'broken bridge', each team member must climb a 7-meter high ladder, then jump about 1-meter from one side of the "bridge" to the other. On the ground it would have been a piece of cake, but if you had to do it in reality, like I did, you would realize how difficult it is. Fortunately, with my teammates' encouragement, I finally managed to make the jump. This was a point where I really had to summon up all my courage.

Over the course of the 10 days, all the members contributed their ideas and strengths to the team. Now we know much more about each other and we cherish our friendship. It really was a precious opportunity for us to share, appreciate, and communicate with each other.

(China Development Gateway by Jiao Meng)

-- July 23, 2008
-- July 23, 2008

Busy but joyful, that is what my last few weeks have been like. I interviewed five Chinese ambassadors to Pacific Island Countries in the live webcast program, China Talks, before attending the China-Pacific Island Countries Trade & Investment Seminar on July 17-18.

The seminar was co-hosted by: China Foundation for International Studies, China Internet Information Center, China Development Gateway, the Pacific Islands Forum Trade Office, and the embassies of south Pacific Island Countries in China. To promote the seminar, Chinese ambassadors to Pacific Island Countries and the ambassadors of those countries to China were invited to have interviews in China Talks, and I became one of the anchorpersons.

Although I had an interview in English with Michael Pereira, the former director of the Global Online Communities with the Development Gateway Foundation last year, I still felt a little nervous before the interview began. In this series of "Ambassador Time", the first person I interviewed was Wang Yongqiu, special envoy for China Dialogue Between China and Pacific Islands Forum. Before I saw him, I thought that he must be very serious because he was such a high official. However, his smiles relieved me. All of the ambassadors I interviewed were very nice, gentle, humorous, and easy-going. Their names are: Bao Shusheng, former ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Vanuatu, Zhao Zhenyu, former ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Papua New Guinea, Gu Sicong, former ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Independent State of Samoa, and Gao Shanhai, former ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Tonga.

In each interview, lasting just over an hour, the ambassadors introduced the political relations between China and the Pacific Island Countries and their cooperation in economy, trade and culture. I was especially interested in the experiences and stories they told during the interviews. We were chatting like old friends, so absorbed that I even forgot that we were sitting in front of the camera.

When they talked about the abundant tourism resources of the Pacific Islands I was trying to picture a beautiful scene in my mind: golden sunshine, blue sky, groups of fish swimming in the clear sea water, coconut trees beside a golden beach, and local people performing traditional songs and dances in the forest. It was a wonderful daydream. It was as I was in paradise.

I believe that many people and investors will be interested in what we talked about in the interviews. I think they may want to know more about the economy, culture, tourism and business opportunities of these countries. Then you can look at the following website address:

The seminar held on July 17-18 came to be very successful and fruitful. I believe this even though it was not a large-scale conference; there were only around 100 people in attendance. At the seminar, the ambassadors and officials introduced the participants to information on the economic environment and trade policies of the Pacific Islands Countries. The Chinese entrepreneurs all showed their enthusiasm. They raised many questions and discussed the possibility of investment there with some of the officials presented. Agriculture, fisheries, mining, tourism were all the potential topics for cooperation. It is expected that China and Pacific Island Countries will expand their cooperation in broader areas in the near future.

To see more pictures, please visit:

(China Development Gateway by Xu Lin)

--July 11, 2008
-- July 11, 2008

Today is my day, because it's the first day for me to begin a work career in China Development Gateway.

Before I entered the office, I felt excited and a little bit nervous. However, when I finally met my colleagues, a sense of happiness covered me, for they all treated me as a family member. One of my colleagues was so considerate that he or she placed a bottle of water at my desk. That was a very sweet thing to do because I had forgotten my water cup at home.

All of my colleagues have been working late the past month to cover the tragic earthquake in SW Chine before I arrived. I wish I could have been there to share in the work. The best I can do now is to familiarize myself with the CnDG website because I have little experience translating and editing English news stories.

Everything is new and fresh, my lamp, telephone, E-Mail address; just everything. It is a new challenge to switch my mindset from being a student to being an employee. However, with the help of my colleagues I believe I can quickly adapt myself to the new environment and catch up to their pace. I am positive that I will become a good English editor some day in future.

(China Development Gateway by Jiao Meng)

March 25, 2008
-- March 25, 2008

It was midnight on March 24, 2008. A few stars sparkled in the dark sky, the moon shone softly, a gentle breeze caressed my face -- all these things suggested another comfortable spring night.

Sitting on the taxi, I couldn't help thinking about the dgCommunity's Typo3 training online meeting held two hours ago. DgCommunities will migrate to a new open source Content Management System called Typo 3 in May 2008. However, the Typo 3 backed for site administration was quite different. This training was designed to walk dgCommunity Content Coordinators (CC) step-by-step through site administration for basic functions needed to manage each of the dgCommunities.

I and three other colleagues, Yuming Liu, Lin Xu and Xiaochong Zhang, attended this cyberspace meeting. Since the United States and China are in different time zones, the training was slated to start at 10:00 PM Beijing time.

It was the first time I had attended such an extraordinary meeting at such a late time, so I was very excited and curious about the whole process. In order to avoid any possible sleepiness, I drank several cups of strong tea.

By 9:30 PM, we could login. We successfully entered dgCommunities back-end. Everyone put on headphones and microphones so that we could directly communicate with dgCommunity. "Your China team is the first to get in. We are waiting for others to come," I heard a female voice via the headphone. It was Charlotte Moser, Manager of Global Online Communities, Development Gateway Foundation.

At 10:00 PM, the training started right on time. I listened carefully and wrote down all the important points. The training consisted of four parts: Accessing Typo3 admin; approving, rejecting and adding resources; creating and posting a highlight; adding cooperating organizations and advisors.

Before the meeting, we all got a 4-page script describing the steps to manage content on Typo3. The training strictly followed the script sequence. Steve Markham, a staff member from the Development Gateway Foundation, led the training and demonstrated the process of how the new back-end operates. The whole process was very clear and concise, so that we could follow every step and understand the operation sequence.

Two hour training was over soon and the meeting was a great success. Through this web channel, many countries' dgCommunities can communicate and coordinate together, greatly accelerating work efficiency.

In a few days, the second part of the Typo 3 training will start. I am looking forward to it and hope that meeting will help familiarize me with the system.

(China Development Gateway by Sun Wan)

November 23, 2007
-- November 23, 2007

In recent years, great progress has been made in the world in lifting rural populations out of poverty and in providing modern services such as access to electricity in remote rural villages and households. However, some areas, especially in developing countries, still remain un-electrified and many still live below the poverty line. The energy problem has become a major global issue.

To share experiences on energy development and exchange ideas regarding energy solutions, several energy specialists from India, Brazil, Bolivia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as experts from international organizations attended a Conference on China Rural Energy Development held in Beijing on November 23, 2007.

After the conference's kick-off meeting in the UNDP Beijing Office yesterday morning, we escorted the six foreign experts to our office building for interviews and discussions. My interviewee was Mr. Maxwell Canaan Mapako, a senior energy specialist at the CSIR in Pretoria, South Africa. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the Energy Research Center in the University of Cape Town.

Mr. Mapako is from Zimbabwe but is now working in South Africa. After a short tour of our office, he told me that he was very impressed by our working environment and what attracted him the most was the live webcasting studio.

Mr. Mapako and I sat down to begin the interview. Our topic was the rural energy development of Zimbabwe. Mr. Mapako told me that Zimbabwe has two major natural resources: coal and hydro-power. His country has rich reserves of coal and two big lakes Lake Kariba and Cabora Bassa.

In Zimbabwe, biomass energy, especially firewood, is still the most popularly used fuel in the country. Electricity coverage in rural areas is very limited. Although the government subsidizes electricity infrastructure, electric charges are still too expensive and a large proportion of people cannot afford it. Zimbabwe has begun to realize the importance of renewable energy. Several projects have been implemented to promote solar energy, but the majority of solar energy systems using electricity in the country are commercially oriented. It is still too luxurious for household use in rural areas.

Zimbabwe has made great efforts to reduce poverty through rural electrification, with distinct achievements. I was particularly interested in this topic and wrote a story about this after the interview. It is now available online:

A photo of the interview can also be found at:

(China Development Gateway by Xu Lin)

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