IT’S ALL ABOUT TRUST
A China Friendship Award winner reimagines approaches to relations with the United Kingdom
chair of the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine and vigorously promoted the work of the institute on all fronts.
The 50-year-old is one of the few vice-chancellors who assigned a separate building dedicated to the operation of a Confucius Institute, which he says is a statement showing his commitment to building relationships with China.
“The Confucius Institute as a platform to promote culture alone is not sustainable,” he says.
His long-term vision is to combine the elements of a cultural hub, research lab and business center that in turn promotes China’s image, enhances the university’s reputation and benefits the business.
Under his leadership, the CITCM won the title of “Model Confucius Institute”. It was the first to receive the accolade in the UK.
Phoenix has traveled to China many times and has visited many cities.
But he says it’s hard to choose a favorite city as “China is not just one country where everything is the same”.
He is fascinated by the speed of the development in Shanghai and particularly interested in the history in Beijing.
He’s fond of the spicy food in Sichuan province and impressed with the Three Gorges in Chongqing.
China’s food culture is something he finds attractive, as the role of dinner is not just about what people eat, but is more about building trust and understanding.
“I quite like that, because whenever you develop new projects, one thing you can guarantee is that something will go wrong at some stage, and if you trust each other and then something goes wrong, then you work together to fix it,” he says.
We should identify key areas of global challenges that we could work together through science and innovation.” University vice-chancellor of London South Bank
David Phoenix, vice-chancellor of London South Bank University, is devoted to cultural exchange between China and the UK.