A China Friend­ship Award win­ner reimag­ines ap­proaches to re­la­tions with the United King­dom

China Daily (Canada) - - PEOPLE -

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.

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