Bilingual book about Chinese legislation and democracy launched
An English and Chinese book about residents in Hongqiao engaging in the city's and country's legislation was released on Thursday.
The book, "The Hongqiao Story: A Record of the Whole-Process of People's Democracy Practices in Local Communities," includes 26 stories written by 26 authors, including government officials, lawyers, community workers, legal experts and foreign residents. It outlines their feelings and experiences participating in legislative consultations.
Among the 26 stories, there is one written by Noyan Rona from Turkey, who is a self-professed Gubeinese. He's been living in the Gubei international community in Hongqiao for over 20 years.
In his story, he shared his experience being a social worker in Gubei, and gives opinions and suggestions on legislative work. Some of his opinions were adopted when amending China's Individual Income Tax Law.
He was also nicknamed the "Foreign Woodpecker" by Shanghai's media.
"The book faces the world, and uses a vivid narrative to tell the world about the ordinary and extraordinary development process of Chinese democracy," said Xie Jiangang, secretary general of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress.
China has established four primary-level legislative contact points since 2015. The Hongqiao point is one of them, and represents the eastern region of China.
"It was written as a summary of experiences on the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the first batch of primary-level legislative contact points," the book cited at its preface.
Hongqiao is home to four kinds of social groups, native residents, immigrated residents, foreign residents and white-collar workers.
At Thursday's book launch, some expats were invited to the ceremony. Some of them have lived in Shanghai for decades.
Marat Nusrat, vice chairman of the Overseas Project Cooperation Committee of World Chinese Business Advancement Association, told Shanghai Daily, that he's really looking forward to reading the book, especially its English version.
"I hope more people can learn about Shanghai because this is a legendary city," Nusrat said.
"Some Western countries believe that Western democracy is 'democracy,' while Chinese democracy is not democracy," said another expat, Simon Lichtenberg, from Denmark, founder and CEO of Trayton Group. He was honored with the Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award in 2006.
"I disagree," he stressed. "I think each country has its own system, and no one can say that democracy in China isn't real."
He hoped that more people can learn about China's democracy through the book.
He has lived in Gubei for over 30 years, and witnessed great changes in the city and the subdistrict. During the years, he was engaged in the country's legislation many times, and some of his opinions actually led to revisions of the law, in particular China's Company Law.
"As a foreigner, I think that being able to take part in China's legislation is a remarkable thing," Lichtenberg said. "So, I would like to say that China's enitre-process of the people's democracy is facing the whole world, it is international democracy,"