Journalists witness mix of tradition, modernity

China Daily| 2019-04-28 14:23:22|Editor: An Xueqing
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Beijing's renovated historic streets and traditional culture wowed 450 journalists from 96 countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative during a recent media tour.

The three-day event started on Tuesday, when the journalists visited the Dashilan area.

Home to Beijing Fun, a commercial and cultural complex, and Yangmeizhu Xiejie, a traditional Beijing hutong alley lined by single-story residences, Dashilan is located near Tian'anmen Square and has been a cultural and commercial landmark since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Beijing Fun, standing on the century-old Dashilan Business Culture Street, is a shining example of cultural tourism, combining its business atmosphere with a sense of history.

One of major buildings in Beijing Fun, Quanyechang has been transformed from the city's first large-scale comprehensive commercial building founded in 1905 to a modern arts center, where young artists meet and quality arts salons and lectures are held. It is also an ideal venue for news conferences. For example, it has hosted the breakout session of the International Design Week for seven consecutive years.

Less than two years since its opening, Beijing Fun has seen influential corporations bring their unique brand images, marketing styles and activities to this lifestyle destination.

The big names include PageOne Bookstore, the brand's first flagship branch in the world that is open 24 hours a day, both on workdays and weekends, Beijing Fun Starbucks flagship store, the Muji Hotel Beijing and the shared workspace WeWork.

Yangmeizhu Xiejie is another key project in Beijing's Dashilan Renewal Plan. To better preserve the hutong architecture and the city's history, 792 out of 1,700 households were relocated, but the old hutong preserving Beijing's traditional lifestyle remains protected.

For centuries, the 496-meter-long street has been known for its good-natured atmosphere, where writers and artists can collaborate and perfect their crafts. It was once home to many of China's publishing companies and now it houses Beijing's popular literary and arts shops.

The journalists from overseas were attracted by the old Beijing mascot, rabbits, or tuye, at a small shop in the west exit, and porcelain souvenirs sold in Colored Porcelain Workshop.

Some of them said that in Yangmeizhu Xiejie, an open market atmosphere and a sensational ambience of literature coexist.