The central axis, backbone of Beijing

China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-14 10:10
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China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing Olympic Park, Oct 2, 2020. It's the first international offline trade event after the COVID-19 outbreak. [Photo by Zhang Jie/For China Daily]

Although decades have passed, when friends of my generation recall the past, a common topic is the smiling Doctor Shen. In 1976, when the Tangshan earthquake caused such devastation, one of the "copper balls" used to decorate the vents on the roof fell off. The ball was covered with a copper skin on the outside, but is in fact wood inside. It looks small on the roof, but was actually quite big. The ball was picked up by Song Guihua, father of my childhood friend Song Baosheng. He peeled off the copper skin and made a large washing tub. What's more, the Youth Cooperative of the PLA General Political Department were based in Empress Dowager Cixi's theater tower. In 1981, I joined the "Photography Group" of the cooperative and I started my nearly 40-year career. Fate really does work in mysterious ways.

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