How Chinese President Xi Jinping Inspired an American Expat to Write a Book on “Mystic Quanzhou”
PR Newswire, November 19, 2015, Quanzhou
Though Quanzhou was once the greatest port in the world, it is now relatively unknown to the international traveler. Perhaps that was one reason Bill Brown, MBA Professor at Xiamen University, was advised to write a book on the city, and not just by anyone.
Brown and his family moved to Fujian, southern China in the 1980s and, finding China very different from how he expected, he started writing about the fascinating region.
Then there was a meeting with Xi Jinping, then governor of the province.
“My wife and I went to Fuzhou and had a dinner with him,” Brown says. “He said “You should write about Quanzhou, your third hometown.’”
That book would be “Mystic Quanzhou”, one of Brown’s many books on Fujian’s culture and history that has bolstered his reputation as one of the region’s most knowledgeable foreign experts.
“I've written a lot about Fujian,” he says. “I find even Fujian people don't really know how rich their heritage really is, especially the young people ... Sometimes I go to Chinese high schools and I speak to Chinese children about Fujian’s history and they love it.”
Brown even helped the city out when they were vying for the Livcom international award for most livable city. “I spent weeks up there exploring all of Quanzhou, every corner. Driving around. Taking notes, taking pictures, interviewing people.”
And his beloved city of Quanzhou went on to take the gold and even got an extra gold for heritage preservation.
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