Di­rect flight to bring more pros­per­ity to U.K. & Cen­tral China

Changjiang Weekly - - CONTENTS - By Liu Shu In­tern Nie Yang

"To mark the first flight, I am go­ing to fly back to the U.K. just be­fore it, then travel back on this very first Lon­don to Wuhan flight. I will bring a del­e­ga­tion of around 10 Bri­tish com­pa­nies from the North­ern Pow­er­house." Nick Whit­ting­ham, Con­sul Gen­eral of Bri­tish Con­sulate Gen­eral in Wuhan said in an in­ter­view with our re­porter.

Such ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween China and Bri­tain have now be­come the norm. In May this year, the 2018 U.K.-Hubei Mu­sic Fes­ti­val and the U.K.Wuhan De­sign Month were suc­ces­sively staged to show­case the artis­tic achieve­ments of the two coun­tries in the ex­change of mu­sic and de­sign.

"All th­ese ex­changes have drawn more peo­ple and ac­tiv­i­ties that weren't hap­pen­ing be­fore." Th­ese pi­o­neer­ing ac­tiv­i­ties Mr. Whit­ting­ham men­tioned in­clude some ex­change vis­its fo­cus­ing on folk cul­ture, art, eco­nomics and trade, dur­ing the "WuhanManch­ester Week," the "WuhanWelsh Week," and the "Bri­tish Cre­ativ­ity Week," to name a few. There have also been vis­its by re­spected guests from the U.K. to Wuhan, such as Princess Anne, the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, the U.K.'s Min­is­ter for Trade and Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Rona Fair­head, and foot­ball star David Beck­ham, to wit­ness the in­creas­ing num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Mr. Whit­ting­ham said that it was the rapidly in­creas­ing num­ber of vis­its that made both coun­tries de­cide to open up the new di­rect flight.

"Mak­ing a de­ci­sion for a new flight is based on pas­sen­ger num­bers, and I guess that ac­tu­ally, the ac­tions of the Con­sulate Gen­eral have con­trib­uted to boost­ing the num­ber of peo­ple trav­el­ling in both di­rec­tions to Wuhan, Hubei and the U.K.Num­bers of peo­ple visit­ing from the U.K. are in­creas­ing, and we have more and more busi­nesses com­ing to explore op­por­tu­ni­ties in Wuhan. We had more cul­tural events and I think th­ese all con­trib­uted to the de­ci­sion."

"I hope this will help to make peo­ple in Wuhan be­come more fa­mil­iar with the U.K. Af­ter the open­ing of the di­rect flight, and more Bri­tish peo­ple com­ing to Wuhan, we will of­fer more ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote Wuhan to U.K. peo­ple, as well as pro­mot­ing the U.K. to Wuhan." Mr. Whit­ting­ham added that he is an out­door sports en­thu­si­ast and of­ten goes cy­cling on the East Lake Green­way. Af­ter fol­low­ing his rec­om­men­da­tion, a lot of his Bri­tish friends were greatly im­pressed by the area. Old build­ings in Hankou and Tan­hualin in Wuchang are also on his rec­om­men­da­tion list. Af­ter visit­ing th­ese places them­selves, many Bri­tish peo­ple de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in the his­tory of Wuhan.

For tourists trav­el­ling to the U.K. for the first time, Mr. Whit­ting­ham rec­om­mended three dis­tinc­tive tourist routes: Visit Lon­don to feel its in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion, go to Cam­bridge to ex­pe­ri­ence the his­tory of hu­man­i­ties, and then go hik­ing in the South Downs and the North­ern Lakes to en­joy the unique coun­try­side of the U.K.

More im­por­tantly, he hopes that through the di­rect flight more peo­ple can be in­spired to fur­ther deepen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries. "We would be con­tin­u­ing or or­ga­niz­ing more events which pro­mote peo­ple-topeo­ple, and busi­ness-to-busi­ness links. I think the new di­rect flight is go­ing to make it eas­ier to get more peo­ple to come and take part in the ac­tiv­i­ties. More peo­ple go­ing in both di­rec­tions will bring about not only un­der­stand­ing, but also more pros­per­ity be­tween the U.K. and Cen­tral China."

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