|Remarks at the Launch of the Manchester China Forum|
Consul General Pan Yundong
Manchester Chinese Art Centre
26 April 2013
Leaders of City Councils,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to thank Lord Wei and Chairman Cornish most sincerely for inviting me to the launch of the Manchester China Forum. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester, I would like to extend our warm congratulations to you for the successful launch of the Forum.
Manchester is a city of vision. No one needs to be reminded that this is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution which ushered in the Age of Industry. As early as 27 years ago, Manchester twinned with Wuhan City of China, forging one of the earliest and strongest sister city relationships between our two countries. With the launch of the China Forum today, Manchester once again demonstrates the vision and insight of its City Council and people. As far as I know, this is the first China Forum ever established by a city across the UK. It will help to integrate all parties with an interest in developing relations with China, including the City Council, schools, universities, businesses and cultural institutions. It will surely become a “launch pad” for the growth of relations between China and Manchester.
The Manchester China Forum is established at just the right time. Today, China is making gratifying progress in its development on all fronts. As is known to all, China has made remarkable achievements over the past 30-odd years. It has become a mid-income country from a low-income one, and several hundred million people have been lifted out of poverty for good. According to a recent issue of The Economist, China’s overall economy was only half of that of California of the United States in 1986. In contrast, today’s China is the second largest economy in the world. At the end of last year, the Communist Party of China held its 18th National Congress. And the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference met in session last month. These important meetings drew up the grand blueprint for the future of China’s development. By 2020, China’s overall economy and people’s real income are expected to double the level of 2010. China is also steadily pushing forward industrial upgrading, information technology, local urbanization and agricultural modernization. China’s development has not only benefited its own people, but has also brought about hopes and opportunities amidst the gloomy world economy. As the second largest city in the UK next only to London, Manchester is bestowed with tremendous advantages and potentials in expanding business ties and people-to-people exchanges with China. Undoubtedly, the Manchester China Forum will help ensure a more efficient use of its comparative strengths and potentials.
It is our goal and responsibility as a Consulate General to unswervingly push forward the deeper development of the relations between the consular district and concerned aspects of China. In this regard, we have a lot of overlaps with the Manchester China Forum. We will provide strong support to the Forum. At the same time, we also look forward to working closely with the Forum to push forward the friendly relations and cooperation between Manchester and its partners in China.