Expatriates talk with primary school students after the meeting. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The "beautiful countryside" draft was passed during the 16th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 8th Huzhou Municipal People's Congress in December 2018. The regulation aims to build an ecological rural environment, improve the quality of life of farmers, promote sustainable rural development and drive comprehensive vitalization of the countryside.
It includes measures such as strengthening rural household waste management, developing public service facilities such as cultural halls, sports and fitness facilities and establishing education, medical and express delivery services. It also includes measures addressing rural wastewater treatment, landscaping and courtyard beautification.
"I think that the congress is taking care of the people of China, and the deputies are interested in improving lives. So I think they are doing good work," said participant Darina Muradian from Russia.
She and her husband, Sarkis Muradian, have lived in China for six years. The couple brought their daughter with them to the meeting, thinking it would be a good educational experience for her.
"By joining the meeting, we realized more about China and its policies," said Sarkis Muradian, a materials expert working in Huzhou. "That's great."
Nadia Meintjes Liu, from South Africa, took part in the event for the second time. She feels the meetings have given her a deeper, more intuitive understanding of schools and villages in China.
"I wrote an article called 'Walk into the people's congress' last year, and I will definitely write another one about the campaign this year and share it with more foreign friends to let them know more about Huzhou," she said.
Sohail Muhammad from Pakistan is eager to do his part in aiding the development of Huzhou.
"All foreigners and Chinese working here are a family, and we will try our best to make Huzhou a prosperous city," said Muhammad, who teaches at the China Yangtze River Delta Research Institute of the University of Electronic Science and Technology.
Shen Xiaorong, director of the Overseas Chinese and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Huzhou Municipal People's Congress, stressed the significant role such meetings play in fostering ties with people from other countries.
"As an innovative measure of the Huzhou Municipal People's Congress to continuously deepen international exchanges, the meeting has become an important channel for more foreign friends to learn about China, the People's Congress and Huzhou," Shen said. "We will continue to hold such meetings, better connect Huzhou with the world and make positive contributions to the high-level development of a model city of ecological civilization."