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Staying in Chongqing was the best decision I've made | Remarkable China

By DU MINYILING WANGXINGCHEN YUEICHONGQING|Oct 22,2022

Chongqing – “I came as a single person to China. Now, I have a family here, and we just had our daughter. Life here is fascinating and full of opportunities,” said Raphael Zumsteg-Yuan from Switzerland.

Raphael originally came to China as a student at Peking University, majoring in law, and has been in China for four years now. In 2019, he moved to Chongqing with his wife, a Chinese lady from Henan province. Now, Raphael works as the legal manager of Fenshare Holding’s Sino-Swiss Technopark. Not only due to the love but also the potential development of China, he decided to settle down in Chongqing city.

Raphael with his wife.(Photo provided to iChongqing)

Regarding the specific reason he picked Chongqing as his occupational base, he showed his optimistic attitude toward the development in southwest China. “In general, the southwest of China is very dynamic now, especially with the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.” He talked about the advantages of the southwest, especially its close connection with the ASEAN region.

China’s legal system keeps pace with the social development

As an ex-pat with a law background, he specially mentioned the progress of China’s legal system. What impressed him most was the promulgation of China’s Civil Code. Moreover, he expressed his delight with the visible commonalities of the legal system between China and his home country, Switzerland.

This July, he had a baby, after which he spoke highly of the evolution of China’s policy on having children and labor protections. “Maternity leaves now in China are pretty long. Based on the new rule from last year, women in Chongqing get up to half a year of maternity leave, which was not the case before, and then men get maternity leave of 20 days.” He thought it was decisive proof that China’s legal system and protection kept pace with the changing society.

The miracle of public transportation is ongoing.

China’s public transportation is another thing that excited him. It is known that people in Switzerland are fond of public transport and they always use trams or trains to move around. This lifestyle can be continued in China, especially in Chongqing. “It is possible to use the monorail and buses to take me around now, including the highspeed connections,” Raphael said. 

Blessed are he and his wife for the entire operation of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed rail. “Before this year, when we returned to my wife’s hometown in Henan, we had to take a train that took more than 10 hours to reach. And now it takes us about five hours for a distance of 1200 kilometers.” He added that this kind of change has been ongoing with the opening of new lines and new projects.

A firm determination to promote cooperation between China and Switzerland

Raphael highlighted the close relationship between Switzerland and China from different perspectives. The two countries have a free trade agreement, which is a significant advantage for both sides for deep cooperation. There are currently more than 1000 Swiss companies in China, among which more than 14 are in the southwest. Also, there are rich cultural exchanges. He took the famous jazz festival as an example. “There was a famous jazz festival from Switzerland called the Montreux Jazz Festival, which has started organizing concerts in China.”

Raphael with his colleagues. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Based on these vantages, he was full of hope and expectation for the future of Switzerland and China. “I really think there’s huge potential on both sides,” he added. As a Swiss, he shows a strong will to be the bridge of communication and cooperation between China and Switzerland. “That’s actually really what I wanted to do: act as a bridge between the two cultures and bring the two cultures closer together. If it’s in the arts, music, work, or business, that’s my wish,” said Raphael.

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