Yanqing Chang is passionate about modern environmental protection technologies – preferably those made in Germany. He works for one of China’s largest waste disposal companies and enjoys coming to Germany. On behalf of three provinces in China and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, GIZ has already brought around 1,000 Chinese experts together with companies in North Rhine-Westphalia – and everyone is benefitting.
North Rhine-Westphalia and the Chinese provinces in which I work have a lot in common: they’re densely populated and generate large quantities of waste. In China, we’ve always had – and continue to have – massive problems disposing of our waste, but Germany was technologically ahead of the field even back in the 1990s.
There are major differences in mind-set. Here in Germany, everyone is extremely punctual, whereas we take a more relaxed view of the timing of meetings in China. And in negotiations, the Germans make very quick decisions – a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – while for the Chinese, it’s more a question of ‘perhaps’ or ‘we can think about that’. I’ve learned to cope with that now.
I see my role as bringing what I’ve learned in Germany to China. I’d love us in China to be able to solve our waste problems using modern technology. When people in China are able to breathe clean air and drink clean water, I’ll have fulfilled my dream.
I was fascinated by music and then by sport, especially table tennis and basketball. But really, I always wanted to be a scientist, to tinker around with electronics and technology. In fact, technology’s always been my hobby and my passion.
I’ll take holidays with my family, since right now I’m working on many projects and I work very long hours. But I’ll never turn my back on environmental protection altogether: I have a son and I always hoped he would study environmental technologies too. He now has a job in the environmental sector in Beijing – I’m very proud. And if my grandchildren also take an interest in environmental protection – well, what more could I ask?