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Argentine teacher espouses benefits of BRI

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-09 08:48
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Esteban Zottele, a 51-year-old Argentine, has always been fond of China. As a child, he created a picture of China in his mind through reading books. When he grew up, he traveled to the ancient Asian country and settled down. He is now an ambassador for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Zottele has been in China for more than 20 years. His first acquaintance with China was at the age of 5 at an acrobatic show performed by a Chinese troupe in Argentina. Reading more about the country "sparked his curiosity and fascination with everything about it", he says.

In 1999, Zottele made his first trip to China. During his monthlong stay, he toured Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, among other cities.

The trip changed his life. After returning to Argentina, he began learning Chinese, eating Chinese food and even practicing kung fu.

In 2010, he came to study at Renmin University of China in Beijing and obtained a doctoral degree. In his spare time, Zottele spent most of his time traveling around, leaving his footsteps in the cities of Baoding in Hebei province, Chongqing and Shenzhen in Guangdong.

"My study experience has made me more closely connected with China," he says.

He was stunned at the vast and rich culture, as well as the rapid development and transformation of China over the years.

"Most cities are now connected by high-speed railway, unlike when I first visited here," Zottele says.

"My father is in Mexico, my mother is in Argentina, and I'm in China. We can video chat simultaneously through WeChat, which is very convenient," he says.

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