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Confucius Institute

30 years of sisterhood

31 May 2016

Wuhan, very similar to Manchester, is an industrial city in the mid-West of China and is seen as an engine house for the development of western frontier of China.

Wuhan may not be a well-known city to most British people but it is known to most people in Manchester as the city established its first link with Manchester in 1986, when there were few sister cities between the UK and China. In some ways, the two cities are similar as Wuhan is an industrial city in the mid-West of China and is seen as an engine house for the development of western frontier of China, which is lagging behind the east coastal regions.

Wuhan is also home to two dozens of universities including the top research ones like Wuhan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, with which the University of Manchester has links with. In 2015, the Foreign Office opened a new British consulate in China with 14 years gap. Minister Hugo Swire said:

“I’m delighted to mark the opening of the first new British Consulate in China in fourteen years. We have made a concerted effort to increase the number of staff we have in China, to increase the number of Mandarin speakers, and now to expand our network. This is important, long-term planning for the UK’s international future. Wuhan itself currently has over 10,000 construction sites and will be opening a new underground line every year for the next five years. It is vital that Britain gives itself access to the major opportunities that are emerging in these rapidly growing cities, and engages with the increasingly influential decision-makers who live within them.”

Manchester is well positioned to take the advantage of this opportunity with its long-standing civic links. An inward delegation from Wuhan will be visiting Manchester in July and the city will showcase its creative sector and present inward investment projects.

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