HRH The Duke of York and China Now


Wednesday, 28 March, 2007

Content I was invited to attend a working reception for China Now, which was held in the esteemed Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, in the presence of HRH The Duke Of York, KG, KCVO. The event was chaired by David (Shanghai) Tang, with Simon Heale who is the Chief Executive of China Now, and William Ong, who founded The Pearl Awards.

China Now

For those that don't know, China Now will apparently be the most important festival about contemporary China that has ever been staged in the UK. It will take place in the first half of 2008, in the run up to the Beijing Olympics and will encompass, by the sounds of it, anything and everything.

The point of the reception was to get attendees to contribute and participate in the festival.

If you can detect a little bit of cynicism, you're not wrong. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not turning my nose up at the whole idea. In fact, it sounds like a very high profile initiative that has potential to bring together alot of Chinese people in the UK, to collaborate and present to the UK public and beyond.

Choosing a high class venue and bringing together such visible hosts as David and William, in the company of royalty - Prince Andrew, really boosts the importance and significance of the event. "Awe-inspiring" for ordinary folk like me and all very positive stuff.

Prince Andrew

However. Why isn't the person responsible for China Now, Chinese? Or at the very least, why isn't there a Chinese person in a senior post there? (There isn't as far as I know.) I would have thought that this makes sense, for them to liase with China and with the Chinese population in the UK, with understanding, trust, fluency etc.

Or am I missing something here?

At the reception, I perceived David and William almost as brokers between China Now and the (mainly) Chinese audience. It seemed very much like them and us - China Now and the UK Chinese.

Of course, without being aware of all that goes on behind closed doors, I'm sure there could be some valid reasons for why things happen. Maybe a non-Chinese person came up with the idea first? I just hope that its a good reason. For something as positive as this, it would be a shame for something like politics to taint the show.

Anyway, with all eyes on China, we shouldn't be surprised at initiatives like China Now and the attention the UK Chinese will get. The shrewdest among us will make use of any opportunities that arise.

Prince Andrew and Ching
Above : HRH The Duke of York chats with Ching who makes rather nice, healthy food and drinks.

Photos by Kate Shortt


East Asian Culture. Events.

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The range of companies visited by the Duke of York demonstrates that businesses of all types and size have the potential for international trade and UKTI has a wide range of support and services available to help them either get started or develop existing international trade. Picture of consultanta it bucuresti

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