"I'm passionate about Spain"

Officer Li is proud to wear the Guardia Civil uniform.
Officer Li is proud to wear the Guardia Civil uniform. / R. C.
  • Xiaowei Li was the first person of Chinese origin to join the Guardia Civil. "I like the military life"

He may have been born in the Chinese city of Zhenjiang in 1981, but Xiaowei Li feels Spanish through and through. He arrived here aged five with his parents who set up a restaurant business. However Li never wanted to follow in their footsteps and took Business Studies, before dropping out for what he really loved: a military life.

He gave up his Chinese nationality and went into the Spanish Air Force until his true calling, to serve the public, led him to the Guardia Civil in 2004.

"I was lucky as my parents brought me at an age where I had time to integrate in the education system. I think studying here was fundamental and has helped me get to where I wanted to be," explains Li. He continues, "There's always a certain amount of wariness around somebody who's different, but Spain is an example of a welcoming country and this helps integration a lot."

Imported tricorn hats

Li married a Romanian in 2014 and they have two young children. Apart from protecting the public, his other passions are baking cakes and ballroom dancing.