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Manchester launches drive to lead research on China

The University of Manchester is to launch a major initiative in its drive to become a leading research institution on modern and contemporary China.

The launch of the Centre for Chinese Studies and Confucius Institute will be celebrated on the University’s Foundation Day on October 18.

The event will mark the second anniversary of the creation of The University of Manchester by bringing together UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester in October 2004.

To celebrate the launch, one of the world’s leading thinkers on China, Professor Wang Gungwu, will speak at the event.

Director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, Wang was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1986 to 1995.

The Centre for Chinese Studies will bring together research from across the University to create a platform for research into contemporary China and the Chinese-speaking world.

The Centre is headed by Professor Hong Liu who joined the University recently from the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Research will focus on contemporary China in the global context, Chinese culture and society, Chinese foreign policy and security, Chinese diaspora, history and translation from Chinese into European languages.

The Centre will also engage with professionals and the community in policy debates on comparative development studies and changing governance in China and East Asia.

It will offer single and joint honours degree programmes in Chinese Studies, two Masters programmes in Contemporary China and Translation Studies and a PhD programme.

The Confucius Institute is a partnership between the University, the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Beijing Normal University.

Based on the model of the British Council and Goethe Institute, the Institute is one of 100 being set up world wide to inform people who want to find out more about China and to learn the Chinese language.

Director of the Centre and Chair of Chinese Studies , Professor Hong Liu said: “As the largest higher-learning institution in the UK, The University of Manchester is well positioned to study China and the Chinese-speaking world from inter-disciplinary and global perspectives.

“The Centre for Chinese Studies builds on a century old tradition of Chinese studies at The University of Manchester.

“This exciting endeavour is further bolstered by the city's dynamic, cosmopolitan, and multi-ethnic mosaic.”

Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Humanities, at The University of Manchester Professor Alistair Ulph said: “The fact that the launch of the Centre for Chinese Studies and Confucius Institute is linked to Foundation Day emphasises how important it is for The University of Manchester’s ambition to be a leading international university with the capacity to research and teach on contemporary China in a global context.

“To understand the many facets of this topic, the Centre for Chinese Studies will draw on the strengths of a range of disciplines across the Faculty of Humanities.

“The Confucius Institute will make an important contribution to disseminating our work to the community in Manchester and the North-West.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, who is speaking at the event said: "Manchester welcomes the opening of the Centre for Chinese Studies and the Confucius Institute as a further milestone in our growing relationship with China.

“We have one of the largest and most established Chinese communities in Europe which has made a vital contribution to the success of the city.

“As China's economy grows, the strength of our academic connections will be ever more important in positioning Manchester as an important player on the world stage."

Jon Keighren | alfa
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