John Paul Grima is a senior policy analyst in the Office of International Affairs of Tsinghua University since 2016. Originating from Melbourne, Australia, he is passionate about contributing to greater levels of global cooperation and understanding through academic exchanges.
Having lived and worked across various regions of China, John Paul appreciates the strong sense of community and opportunities for social connectivity and inclusiveness in Chinese society.
Assisting community efforts to protect trees from snowstorms.
As the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrates its 100th anniversary, John Paul shares his experience of living and working in China and his thoughts on China’s development:
My first visit to China was in 2007; I was on a short-term study program facilitated by the China University of Political Science and Law. That was a wonderful opportunity to experience China’s rapid development and urbanization. I recall studying with incredibly aspirational local students who were so internationally-minded and ambitious in their academic and professional pursuits.
I also recall amazing scenes of major construction projects: the CCTV tower in Beijing; the Hangzhou Bay Bridge connecting Jiaxing and Ningbo; rural infrastructure; and venues for the 2008 Olympic games, to name a few. As I have spent more time experiencing and understanding the process of development here, my appreciation for China’s global connectivity and social inclusiveness has only become stronger. I am thrilled to be working at Tsinghua, to support efforts towards greater levels of global collaboration and academic exchange, and to convey to the world Tsinghua’s own development story, as well.
China has a long-term approach to its development, and this is reflected by the scale of national and international development and infrastructure projects. It is also reflected in the level of confidence Chinese people have about the future. China has experienced a long-term period of stability and economic prosperity, led by the CPC. Some key achievements include poverty alleviation, improvements in environmental protection, educational outcomes, and greater connectivity between people.
Greater physical and digital connectivity has bridged the urban and rural divide and facilitates greater access to services and participation in the global economy. Mountainous and rural regions are now connected by high-speed rail and expressways. I have witnessed how remote areas benefit from greater access to health services, for example, and the intangible social and cultural benefits of connectivity with the surrounding region and the world.
China’s development story, in particular, its success in poverty alleviation, global connectivity and social inclusiveness is one that resonates with the world.
Editors： Li Han, Guo Lili, Sangeet