Conversations with chief correspondents in Beijing: Antonio Fatiguso

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 12, 2017
Adjust font size:

Chinese people should be well aware of the legendary story that some 700 years ago, the Italian merchant Marco Polo traveled all the way through the ancient Silk Road to China and returned to introduce the mysterious oriental giant to the Western world. However, maybe not many Chinese know that Italy, or Ancient Rome to be exact, marked the Western end of the old Silk Road.

Antonio Fatiguso, Beijing Bureau Chief of the ANSA news agency of Italy. [Photo provided to] 

"China's Belt and Road initiative means great opportunities for Italy," said Antonio Fatiguso, Beijing Bureau Chief of Italy's ANSA news agency. "I'm very positive on the further cooperation between the two countries and I think it's something now in process."

"I think the bilateral ties will be improved, not just in the economic fields, but also from (the) cultural perspective, like film co-production," he added, while participating in the interview program "Beijing in My Eyes---Conversations with Chief Correspondents" presented by Radio Beijing International.

Launched on September 2nd, the series of interviews features Beijing-based chief correspondents and heads of foreign media who have been working and living in Beijing long-term, enabling them to share their observations on the changes and development of the city in the past five years.

Fatiguso is a native of Puglia, a region in southern Italy. He has worked as a journalist for almost 20 years, starting in Milan and then moving on to New York. After that, he held a position as ANSA's Tokyo Bureau chief for around eight years. In January 2016, he assumed charge of the Beijing Bureau. He sees his assignment as a kind of destiny rekindling old links between the two important countries.

However, he admits that, before he moved to the city, he used to have some worries about air pollution Beijing was struggling especially during winter days. Now, after two winters in Beijing, he has changed his mind.

"I think the situation is getting much better now," he said. "If we think about the history of some Western countries, there are great similarities. When a country is growing fast, there are some phenomena related to the growth."

"In general, the first step is to earn money. And then, step by step, it's possible to improve the living quality, including air quality. Beijing is now making great efforts in air cleaning and blue sky, it's just a question of time," the veteran journalist added.

Italy has hosted two winter games so far, one in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1956 and the other in Turin in 2006. Given that Beijing and its neighbor Zhangjiakou are to host the winter Olympics in 2022, Fatiguso believes Italy has its unique advantages when embracing the chances offered by the Games.

"There is an Italian way to deal with everything. It's kind of unique passion, something you can feel. Italian food and fashion both stand out on the world stage, also because of this passion."

The correspondent's first visit to Beijing occurred in 2010 when he was working in the DPRK. He took time to visit the Forbidden City, where he was overwhelmed by the magnificent ancient architecture and its abundant culture and history. Nowadays, the historical part of the city is still his favorite. For him, the hutongs, the Bell and Drum Tower, the 798 parks are places worthy of endless exploration.

"It takes time to preserve the ancient buildings. However, it's important to think about it in a strategic way - that they are part of our history and culture. It's also important from a tourist's point of view, a way to improve the tourism economy.

"Italy is also blessed with a lot of amazing buildings and tour sites. We should share our experience in preservation," he suggested.

In the coming weeks, more guests will join the special series of interviews, "Beijing in My Eyes-Conversations with Chief Correspondents" presented by Radio Beijing International. The seven-episode series will be aired on Radio Beijing International through 92.3FM and 774AM in late September. People can also find more videos, words and pictures on CRI online, China Daily,,, Beijing This Month, Beijing Times as well as the official website, weibo and wechat accounts of Radio Beijing International.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from