Chinese chef in Colombia awaits Li's visit

Updated: 2015-05-21 13:47

By DONG LESHUO in Bogota(China Daily Latin America)

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In Casa China, a Chinese restaurant in downtown Bogota, Tang Susu is cooking wonton soup for customers who are having lunch in the restaurant.

Tang Susu, who came from Zhejiang, China, has been living in Colombia for more than 20 years and is the chef at Casa China.

Tang said he has been very excited about Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit to Colombia on Thursday and Friday. The visit will mark 35 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.

In 2009,when President Xi Jinping visited Bogota, Tang cooked breakfast for him.

"I got up at 1 in the morning to prepare. I cooked soya-bean milk. clay oven rolls and scallion pancakes. What I heard him say was that the rolls I made were even better than what he had in China," Tang said.

During the time he has been living in Colombia, Tang said he has seen ties between China and Colombia become closer. "It's no doubt that Colombia is very close to the US. But it's getting closer and closer with China as China's is getting more and more powerful," Tang said.

As for China, he said he went back two years ago and was "astounded" by the changes that he saw.

"Now I'm rooted here. My wife, my son and daughter-in-law, as well as my granddaughter are all here," Tang said.

Tang's father, graduated from Zhejiang University and spoke Russian, was a commander of the People's Liberation Army in the 1940s under General Chen Yun, who was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China.

Tang's wife is in the crafts business, and many of her customers are wealthy people in Colombia. "When they travel to China, they all come back with surprise and admiration," Tang said.

Tang's son was born and brought up in China, went to college in Colombia and is a team leader at an American petroleum company in Houston, Texas.

About 25,000 Chinese are in Colombia now, and most are involved in small businesses.

"There are more and more Chinese coming here now as the visa policy has been loosened," Tang said. "Chinese are respected here. As Chinese have a strong will to survive and work hard."