Chinese 'workaholic' project manager bringing Vietnam's urban elevated railway to life

GMT 12:41 2016 Saturday ,07 May

Arab Today, arab today Chinese 'workaholic' project manager bringing Vietnam's urban elevated railway to life

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Hanoi - XINHUA

Known as "workaholic", 39-year-old Yu Jiang from China has been dedicated to the construction of the first urban elevated railway in Vietnam's capital Hanoi for the past five years.

Since the construction of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway project in Hanoi started in 2011, Yu had often gone on business trips to Vietnam.

From January 2015, Yu then moved to work in Vietnam as project manager of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway project, taking charge of the project's quality, progress, external relations, among other responsibilities.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban elevated railway route has a total length of 13.5 km and runs through 12 stations. The sixth bureau of China Railway Engineering Corporation is the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contractor of the elevated railway project.

As project manager, Yu, the hardworking engineer, hardly ever goes on holiday.

"My leisure activities include exercise and learning Vietnamese and English," he said.

In other people's eyes, Yu is a "workaholic." He almost takes no rest at the weekends either. Though the company allows him to have 10 days off for holidays every three months, Yu has rarely returned to China, except for the traditional Lunar New Year festival and business meetings.

Working just in the day seems not to be enough for Yu.

"After dinner, I often come back to the office to finish documents, which have not been completed during daytime," Yu told Xinhua.

Besides office work, Yu spends a lot of time on inspecting the construction site.

"Only field inspections can help us find out potential problems and figure out measures to solve them during construction," Yu said.

"In Vietnam, land use right is permanent, therefore it is difficult to relocate private houses along the rail route. We had to conduct many inspections so as to bring out the final adjustment of the design," he added.

During his stay in Vietnam, Yu has spent time on studying languages.

"I have no problem reading documents written in Vietnamese and communicating with my Vietnamese business partners in their language," Yu said, adding that he now always makes phone calls to some minister-level Vietnamese officials, in Vietnamese.

"While studying Vietnamese, I also learn about Vietnamese politics, economy, culture and history," he said.

"I know almost everything, including the number of Vietnamese provinces and cities, even the number of banks in the country. When I talk to my Vietnamese

business partners, they are all surprised about my understanding of Vietnam."

"For me, working and learning are kind of fun, not a burden. How to perfectly balance life and work is also a kind of art," Yu said.

"Yu's professional life has seen him work far away from home for nine years.

"My daughter often asks me 'When will you come home?' I can only say 'I don't know'."

"After each project, I will move to another one. When choosing this job, I knew that I wouldn't be able to go back home regularly. This is the job's requirement and my responsibility," Yu said.

"Accomplishing this project will not only improve my skills and experiences but also reflect the industrious image of my country and its people. This is a pressure and also my responsibility," Yu said.

The project is also expected to help in accumulating experience for similar projects in the future in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, he added.

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