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Close Encounters: Inside Chinese UFO Hunters’ Search for Extraterrestrial Life

As interest in science fiction and space exploration grows, China’s grassroots UFO enthusiasts continue to search for answers

Zhang Jingping had never thought about becoming an ambassador, but once the aliens from Planet Dongsheng got in touch, he couldn’t refuse.

“Their empress Li Guanyin sent a direct message saying that I should be the ambassador of their planet…it’s one of the most important things I do now,” the 52-year-old amateur UFO researcher tells TWOC during a three-hour long conversation, in which he speaks effusively about his many close encounters of the third kind over the past three decades.

According to Zhang, his alien employers hail from the Sirius solar system, are 1.9 meters tall, may be able to pass through solid walls, and only communicate with him through a select few human intermediaries (Zhang has never spoken to them directly). They’ve tasked him with establishing diplomatic relations between their planet and some countries on Earth, promoting science and technology, and predicting and alleviating natural disasters.

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Close Encounters: Inside Chinese UFO Hunters’ Search for Extraterrestrial Life is a story from our issue, “Lessons For Life.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


author Sam Davies

Sam Davies is the deputy managing editor at The World of Chinese. He writes mainly about society, sport, and culture, with his pieces touching on diverse topics from the future of China’s ski industry to efforts to prevent juvenile crime.

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