Located in northwestern South America, the Republic of Colombia has world-famous ancient buildings and a great “Latin Spirit”. Its colorfulness is also an interpretation of modern magical realism. On the morning of August 10th, "Witness Friendship" 2018 Summer Home & Abroad News Press Junior Journalist Delegation interviewed with the Colombian Ambassador to China, H.E. Mr. Oscar Rueda García.
After entering the embassy, the junior journalists and the Colombian embassy diplomats sang the national anthems of China and Colombia together before the official interview. Immediately, the entire embassy conference hall was full of dignified and solemn atmosphere. The press officer played a video for the delegation, which shows the natural features of the scenic spots in Colombia. The film made the junior journalists very interested in this beautiful country.
During the interview period, a junior journalist asked first: “Hello, Ambassador! Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón on November 19th 2016 to promote China and Colombia’s relations to a higher level. As the Colombian Ambassador to China, in your opinions: as the children and youth in both countries, how should we carry on the traditional friendship between China and Colombia?”
“Thank you very much for coming to the Colombian embassy today. I want to ask everyone a question: How do you understand the work of the 'ambassador'? I can tell you that the work of the ambassador is like a friendship bridge connecting two countries. All junior journalists here today are also the friendship bridge between China and Colombia. Since China and Colombia established diplomatic relations 38 years ago, the two sides have continued to deepen pragmatic cooperation in many fields, and the people have established a profound friendship through various civil exchanges.” The ambassador pointed out that it is necessary to focus on the most convenient communication method of cultural exchanges through youth exchanges, and we must start with our children. Making the young people of the two countries become diplomatic talents so they can make great contributions to enhance the friendly and sustainable development of China and Colombia. ”
“You have served as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, please share with us about Colombia's culture and tourism. If we choose to travel to Colombia, what season is the best time to go? Thank you!” we asked.
The ambassador said that there is no change in the four seasons in Colombia. If we have to differentiate the seasons, that could be a rainy season and a non-rainy season. The rain volume is small, it does not affect tourism. When it comes to tourist attractions, some natural landscapes, such as beaches, ancient towns, small white houses and many scenic spots. Thousands of kinds of birds live in Colombia. Therefore, it is very interesting to see those wild birds.
“Hello Ambassador! As a football fan, Since the Colombian national football team became one of the top eight players in Brazil World Cup in 2014, I have paid great attention to the Colombian national football team. This year in Russia World Cup, the Colombian national football team lost the game before entering the top eight competition; however, I still have confidence in the Colombian national football team. Could you share your views on the football sports in Colombia? Many thanks!”
“I personally like football very much. Now there are many excellent Colombian football players playing for China. The Shanghai Shenhua team also bought a Colombian player. "Mr. Ambassador did not hide the pride of Colombian football and sincerely wished that Chinese football is getting better and better. At the same time, he introduced that many Latin American football players have played in the Chinese teams. The friendly exchanges between the two countries even is not only for “football diplomacy”. In order to further enhance the friendship between the two peoples, there have also been activities such as “cycling diplomacy" and "skating diplomacy" in recent years.
“Dear Ambassador, you have three outstanding children. They are economist, lawyer and psychologist. As an experienced diplomat, how are you educating and guiding your children? How do you inspire them to pursue their life goals?” a junior journalist asked about his children.
The ambassador proudly replied: “I have three children. The eldest son is a lawyer, the second son is an economics student, who has seven years of study and work experience in China, and the third daughter lives in Colombia. My teaching to children is very strict. It is strictly forbidden to watch TV from Monday to Friday, and only a little time to watch TV during weekends. When they are in the schools, they have to study very hard and only get one day off from their campuses. In their daily life, I ask them to clean up their rooms. If they don’t do it, there will be a little punishment. Now they are very grateful to their parents for making those strict rules for them. They have succeeded their goals, and they are benefited from their 30-year strict family education.”
The ambassador finally introduced “Colombian Four Treasures”: flowers, gold, emeralds and coffee. he said that coffee in Colombia is similar to tea in China. Everyone has its own living habits. Drinking coffee is very good. I am used to it, drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, and another one cup in the afternoon, or maybe a cup of Chinese green tea. I could give you a suggestion, if you feel coffee is too strong or bitter, you can add some milk to balance the taste. Colombia is a young, unrestrained and happy country, and all people in the country feel very happy for their lives.
After the interview, Ambassador Oscar Rueda García personally presented the “Outstanding Junior Journalist Certificate” to each student to recognize their efforts and learning spirits. The junior journalists expressed that in order to become the friendship messengers between China and other countries, they will study English every hard and become an excellent diplomat in the future.