An old photo shows William Brown and his family in Xiamen back in 1988.Provided To China Daily
Brown came to Xiamen University in 1988. He fell in love with the beauty of Xiamen at the first sight, and the friendly people and international vision of Xiamen University all drove him to settle in the area.
In 30 years, he has written more than 10 books about Xiamen. In his eyes, the city's rapid growth is due to two factors: visionary leadership and open-minded, entrepreneurial residents.
"For centuries, Xiamen was a key port along the ancient maritime Silk Road, so Xiamen people are entrepreneurial and used to both Chinese and foreigners coming and going," Brown said.
Xiamen people eventually gained a reputation throughout China for being hospitable and open-minded, entrepreneurial and honest.
"Thirty years ago, we escaped here on vacations. In our wildest dreams we'd not have imagined that within a couple decades, life here would be like being on holiday 365 days a year," Brown said. "No wonder so many foreigners are now determined to settle down long term."
As for his plans after retirement, he couldn't restrain his feelings. His oldest son married a Xiamen native.
"Why would I ever want to go anywhere else? I plan to stay here the rest of my life. Here is my home, and its people are my family," he said.
A delegation headed by the chairman of the Hong Kong Promotion Association of International Cooperation visited Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co, a leading public vehicle manufacturer in China, on June 4.
Zsolt Pava, mayor of Pecs in Hungary, visited Xiamen and a local private company on May 27.