Unveiling of China Institute plaque: (left to right) Mr Shen Yang, Minister Counselor from Education section at the Chinese Embassy; Vice Chancellor David Eastwood; His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador and Edward Peck, Pro-Vice-Chancellor

The University of Birmingham’s China Institute celebrates its official opening today in the presence of His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UK.

The creation of the China Institute on the University’s Edgbaston campus reflects and facilitates its extensive links with China. The history of collaboration between China and the University spans over 100 years and last year it opened its most significant engagement in the country to date - the University of Birmingham Guangzhou Centre.

Following the opening ceremony, Professor Frank Zhao (Zhao Fuquan), the Vice President of Geely Holdings China will present the inaugural China Institute guest lecture on ‘The China Automotive Industry – Today and Tomorrow’. The lecture will give an insight into the rapidly growing Chinese automotive sector and the opportunities and challenges it faces.

The China Institute will provide an umbrella structure for the numerous China interests on the Edgbaston campus. Its activities will include coordinating an annual lecture series to promote a greater understanding of China and its place in the world, hosting incoming visits from Chinese partners, providing a central source for information on the University’s engagement with China, and encouraging inter-disciplinary research across campus that focuses on China.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: “Our China Institute marks an important milestone in our longstanding relationship with China.  Last year we opened our landmark centre in Guangzhou. This year in creating the China Institute we are reaffirming Birmingham’s deep and robust commitment to engagement with the country.”

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, commented: “The opening of the China Institute of the University of Birmingham makes this a memorable day. This is an important milestone in the long history of relations between the University and China. So, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK I offer my warmest congratulations for opening your new China Institute. I wish the China Institute a great future and success.”

Professor Edward Peck, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences has been appointed as Chair of the China Institute. 

Professor Peck added: “Every College of the University is engaging in meaningful collaborations with Chinese partners. The China Institute will bring together this broad spectrum of research, providing a central hub for the numerous, and growing, China interests across the Edgbaston campus. We are delighted to welcome both the Chinese Ambassador and Professor Zhao to celebrate the official launch.” 

A leading UK research-intensive university, the University of Birmingham is a vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution, in the top 100 globally. With approximately 28,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, its work brings people from more than 150 countries to Birmingham.  The University has a bold strategy to develop its global reputation by enhancing its international presence and collaborations. In addition to China, Birmingham has strategic partnerships in the USA, India, Brazil and Australia.

For further information about the University of Birmingham China Institute, please visit:

Launched in September 2011, the Birmingham Guangzhou Centre is a unique facility established in coordination with the Guangzhou Municipal Government to facilitate joint research and education initiatives in Guangzhou and the wider region.   The University also has a representative office in Shanghai.

Geely is one of China’s top ten auto manufacturers and also among the country’s top 500 firms. Established as an independent firm in 1986, Geely launched its auto manufacturing business in 1997 and is today a fully integrated independent auto firm with a complete auto eco-system from design and research and development to production, distribution and servicing. Over the past ten years, Geely has grown faster than any other company in the Chinese automotive industry.

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