Guardian Fine Art Asia


On 2 November 2023 I visited the Guardian Art Center in Beijing for the GFAA (Guardian Fine Art Asia). The exhibition was held from 1 to 5 November to show Eastern and Western antiques, classic fine arts and more. One of the booths was done by Jan Hagemann, a German antique dealer coming to China for over a decade. We had a long chat and Jan joined our Old China Hands the next day.
See his website here.

In his booth some exceptional old letters, such as from Albert Einstein (my hero!), Richard Wagner and more. Also a unique and beautiful silverware collection with a rich history that only Jan can explain in vivid detail.

An impressive exhibition

I went around to visit other booths, many beautiful pieces, see the pics after the Einstein letter. As a collector myself, what a show to admire.

Sadly the present Chinese generation has mostly lost interest in collecting, be it antiques, stamps, name it. It is sad to notice how little they value their own Chinese culture and heritage. Seems they are more into expansive Swiss watches and lady bags, the LV, Dior, Delvaux, Rolex and other luxury brands. Interesting to note: Delvaux is a Belgian manufacturer of fine leather luxury goods founded in 1829 by Charles Delvaux. The company is the oldest fine leather luxury goods house in the world.
For unknown reasons the Delvaus shop in Beijing Taikooli is gone as for now.

Impressive industries in Yantai

A day tour

On 19 April 2023 the Foreign Affairs Bureau of Yantai organized a bus to visit some impressive industries in Yantai area. Visits in the morning and in the afternoon the day after the Conference.
I was impressed by the scale and quality of the offices and factories we visited. The bio-medical facilities and other were spread over a huge campus with the most modern buildings and most advanced equipment.
One can wonder what Europe can still do to compete with those.
We did not visit any company with foreign investment. All were pure Chinese, private companies but clearly with very strong government support.

An eye-opener. Yes one can ask if China is still a “developing country”…
In some of the bio-medical facilities a few foreign doctors are employed.
My good friend Michel Humbert was sadly not around, he is the adviser of Yantai but was in Paris that day. About him:
2 June 2022 – Michel Humbert nommé Ambassadeur de l‘amitié du Shandong
18 July 2003 – Frenchman Chez Lui in Yantai

Six companies.

See a more detailed overview of the six companies we visited.

The pictures are in the order of the companies we visited:

  1. Shandong Dongyi Photoelectric Instrument Co., Ltd.
  2. CIMC Raffles
  3. Lu Ye Pharma – BIOasis
  4. Tayho Advanced Materials Group
  5. ZH-BIO
  6. Exhibition Center of Yantai International Bio-medicine Valley

One pharmaceutical company invested in research for over ten years without any income. Now their cancer medicine is mostly sold to the USA with big profit…
In the afternoon visits we traveled far away from the city and crossed immense petrochemical industries with kilometers of pipeline racks along the roads, to reach Tayho company.
The pictures show the very large industrial zones with the most modern buildings.

Yantai City in Shandong

Big conference

We were invited to Yantai City in Shandong by the Foreign Affairs Department to take part in the 2023 Conference on International Exchange of Professionals and International Experts’ Tour. I was there as rotating chairman of the Foreign Experts Group of the Belt & Road International Talent Fund, under the State Administration of Foreign Experts.
The Conference originally planned to have 300 attendants but I understand they finally had over 500. Location was the Crowne Plaza Yantai Sea View in Laishan District.

On 17 April we traveled by train from Beijing South Railway Station (after a coffee and snack) to Yantai, always comfortable.
Near every day we could hardly see anything from our hotel room as there was always fog coming from the sea. Only the last day we could finally see the sea!

Yantai has a population of around 7 million, located south of the junction of Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea. It is the largest fishing seaport in Shandong. Yantai is currently the second largest industrial city in Shandong, next to Qingdao. However, the region’s largest industry is agriculture. It is famous throughout China for a particular variety of apple and Laiyang pear, and is home to the country’s largest and oldest grape winery, Changyu.
Major industries are agriculture, wine and brandy, petrochemical, gold mining, biomedicine and many other.
This is the first post about Yantai, more to come about the Conference, factory visits and more.

Seafood and seafood!

On the evening of 17 April a first seafood dinner with friends in Xiao Hong Jing (Little Red Whale), supposed to be one of the best in Yantai. The choice is impressive: abalone, cockle, mussels, shrimps, prawns, oysters, scallops, crab, screw shells, octopus, fish, snails, razor shells, ostrich eggs, silk worm cocoon, worms, bugs, … The mussels were rally soso as I am usd to the top quality in Morel’s restaurant…
The next day we went back again to the same restaurant, along with other foreign guests who brought vodka of I think 65%.

See the short video! (VPN needed)

I later discovered I had some seafood allergy, I blame the screw shells because it all started already in Beijing where I ate those for the first time. A bit annoying but found the right medicine cream (Eloson).

Zibo City in Shandong

A warm welcome

On 13 May 2023 we were invited by the city government to visit Zibo City in Shandong. We stayed in Qisheng International Hotel, a large complex surrounded by a nice park and some interesting buildings.

I was asked to congratulate the Shandong University Medical Alumni Association during its conference, as Rotating Chairman of the China Belt and Road International Talent Fund under the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs.
They organized the BBQ outing in the evening; on Sunday 14 May a visit to pharmaceutical R&D and a visit to Zhoucun Old Shopping Street, see details in next posts.

Industry in Zibo

Zibo City is the old capital of Qi State, famous city of ceramics. As one of China’s earliest pottery production areas as well as one of China’s five largest porcelain capitals, it boasts a ceramic culture of more than 8,000 years.
In the first quarter of this year, Zibo achieved GDP of 105.77 billion yuan ($15.07 billion), a rise of 4.7 percent year-on-year, in part due to the BBQ success.

Industrial projects have been developed in Zibo for more than 100 years since iron ore and coal were discovered in the early 20th century.
The city was once an industrial hub for the chemical industry, with coal, iron, bauxite, silk, ceramics, glass, electricity and machinery the pillars of its economy. The city has faced a drop in demand in its chemical industry, the former mainstay of its economy.
About a decade ago, Zibo faced a series of problems, including resource depletion and environmental pollution, which forced the authorities to transform the local industrial structure.
Since 2018, the city has shut down heavy industrial projects, while introducing sustainable and high-tech ventures. High-tech and innovation enterprises have been introduced.
Zibo has attracted 65 national-level enterprises specializing in innovation and developing competitive products.
A digital economy, smart manufacturing and medical industries have been developed in recent years, which will provide more jobs for young people.

The city has also started a massive cleanup of old buildings.

Pharmaceutical industry base

On 14 May we visited a major pharmaceutical research center, huge and with the most advanced laboratory equipment.

Zibo is the largest pharmaceutical industry base in Shandong Province continually ranking the first in the Province. A complete industrial system including chemical raw materials and preparations, Chinese patent medicines, medical devices and consumables, pharmaceutical equipment, pharmaceutical excipients and pharmaceutical intermediates has been formed. It is focused on the cultivation and development of major industrial clusters including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and pharmaceutical equipment, pharmaceutical packaging materials and pharmaceutical excipients. The industry chain of superior medicine such as cephalosporin, antipyretic and analgesic is strengthened, the Chinese Medicine prevention and treatment, new medicine development as well as the secondary development of Chinese Medicine are reinforced and an RMB 80 billion-level pharmaceutical industry cluster is created. In the medical equipment and pharmaceutical equipment field, the research and development of high-end imaging medical equipment is accelerated, new products such as radiotherapy, in vitro diagnostics, dialysis equipment, biological materials are developed and a RMB 30 billion-level medical equipment and pharmaceutical equipment industrial cluster is created.

More details here.

It is said that the bulk of Aspirin, Caffeine and Ibuprofen production for the world is coming from Zibo, e.g. through Shandong Xinhua Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Beijing Workers Stadium story2

A look into the future

In Beijing Workers Stadium story2 focus on a CGTN video by French guy Olivier who shows us the Workers Stadium under construction and what it will look like.
The French video, French only, is best here.
also here on YouTube.
With English subtitles (not that complete), see here.

Some screenshots of the video.
The main underground parking entrance would be on gongti dong lu, see the last pic.

The subways

Lines 3 and 17 will have major stations on the corner of gongti bei and gongti dong lu.
It is planned to have an underground connection with Taikooli shopping center

A good insight on the today situation and future subway lines in the area, see here and here.

Beijing Subway Line 3 (first phase)
open by the end of 2023
Dongsi Shitiao to Dongfeng – Length: 15.6 km  – Stops:10
Future Transfer with Other Lines: Dongsi Shitiao: transfer with Line 2 and Gongren Tiyuchang (Worker’s Stadium): transfer with future Line 17.

Extension Plan of Beijing Subway Line 17
The northern section of the first phase of Beijing subway line 17 is under construction. The whole project of the first phase of line 17 will cover 49.7 km with 21 stations. After completion, it will start from the Weilai Kejichengbei in the north, pass through Changping District, Dongcheng District, Chaoyang District, and finally reach the Jiahuihu Station in Tongzhou District in the south.
Future Transfer with other lines: Gongren Tiyuchang (Workers’ Stadium): Transfer with Line 3

Tuanjiehu Station at the East side of gongti bei lu is serving Line 10.

Dongdaqiao station further down South from gongti dong lu is currently serving Line 6.
M28 (planned name) – before called CBD
Dongdaqiao to Guangqudonglu with 9 Stations line length   of 8.877 km.
Planned opening: 2025.