Liu Xiaoming has praised Manchester and its cooperation with China in a speech at the Dinner of the Business Community.
The Chinese Ambassador to the UK spoke about the various ways the city has been a pioneer in UK-China relations.
It’s not a modern friendship, the relationship between the two regions stretches back over one hundred years. Archibald John Little, a merchant from Manchester, made a trip to Chongqing which opened up the region to trade and economic links to the UK.
If we jump a bit closer to 2018, in 1986 Manchester became the first city in the UK to be paired with a Chinese city. A trailblazing move, according to Xiaoming.
On and on the connections between the two go. Manchester United and Manchester City football clubs both have strong ties to the region, and Chinese investment in Greater Manchester alone is over £2 billion.
Xiaoming said: “The UK is building a “global Britain” to expand trade and economic ties with other countries in the world. There is a broad prospect for deeper cooperation between China and the UK, including northern England.”
As 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Chinese reform and opening up, Xiaoming spoke at great length comparing Chinese reform to the industrial revolution which began in Manchester.
Xiaoming said that Chinese inclusivity and openness have been the key to the success of the reformation. Integrating and cooperating on large global issues is the only way to build a sustainable future.
He concluded by telling the business leaders: “My friends here in Manchester told me that China has already overtaken France to be the third largest source of foreign investment in Greater Manchester.
“I hope that Manchester will seize the opportunities and leverage its comparative advantages to expand cooperation with China. I am sure this will boost the cooperation between central and northern England and China.”
Written by Rebecca Henrys