Over 65 leaders of the Arts, business, professional and educational communities from across the West Midlands attended the Annual Event of the China West Midlands 2020 (CWM 2020) held at Hotel du Vin in Birmingham on Friday 7th October.  Sponsored by Black Swan, Hotel du Vin and Chung Ying Restaurants, guests were entertained with dancing by Wan Sheung dance group from the Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham.

Bill Good, Chair of the Birmingham China Business Forum opened the event, followed by an enlightening and thought provoking speech by Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, on Birmingham’s relationship with China and prospects for the future. Keith Horsfall, Chair of Black Country Radio, Dudley Arts Council, Gig Caritas and RSA trustee then gave a very humorous account of the Black Country’s industrial past and his thoughts on potential cross-culture projects at community level.  

Beverley Nielsen, Director of the Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration at BCU, shared her thoughts on how we can better develop the opportunities for Chinese trade and investments.  Didi Xiao, world class pianist and tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire spoke of her early life in China, how Birmingham had become her second home and her dream of establishing an annual festival of British and Chinese Culture.  Dr Yeow Poon wound up the lunchtime event with news on forthcoming CWM 2020 projects and events.

A traditional Lion Dance concluded the formal proceedings before a lunch kindly provided by Hotel du Vin and Chung Ying Central.

Photo credits:  Sylvia Chan and Candian Li