China West Midlands is a not for profit organisation run by a volunteer steering group.
China west midlands, also known as (CWM) launched the CWM 2020 event which took place on the 23rd November 2017 welcoming over 50 business owners. The event took place at Birmingham Hippodrome, where guests were able to meet and greet with other business people. The event started off with an intense modern warrior performance.
Dr Yeow Poon then introduced the CWM 2020 project and introduced the four main speakers, Julian Lloyd Webber, Didi Xiao, Rosie Kay and Graham Callister. Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, the Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, started off by giving a keynote speech on his observations on the development of classical music in China.
Guests then got a chance to meet Didi Xiao who shared her story on how her journey between China and the West had influenced her piano performances and the new work that she is currently developing. Rosie Kay discussed her ideas of bringing Chinese and western themes into her modern warrior dance performance. Finally, guests were
introduced to Graham Callister who concluded the event by discussing how the Hippodrome is deepening its support for the collaboration with the Chinese community in Birmingham. A buffet was on stand that served a selection of Chinese foods, which guests could help themselves to while engaging with others. It was an absolute delight to interview Dr Yeow Poon who discussed his project and what he expects to happen between the Chinese and the UK.
How did you set up the project?
A few of us had got together and decided what we’d like to do, it started with a few of us drinking too much wine, and then one of them said shouldn’t we do a bit more with West Midlands and China, and I don’t drink so I was the only one who remembered. The lead organisation behind this is the Chinese community centre in Birmingham, and we just wanted to do something that would connect West Midlands and China and make it better.
Have you ever considered collaborating with another country, America perhaps?
No, mainly because Birmingham is a diverse community, we want to bring all and connect with other groups so that it’s not just events and culture but also salvation groups coming together to. For example, when we look at this modern dance it’s not only Chinese elders or Chinese people getting involved, but other groups connecting together.
Was it risky with Brexit?
Yes and no. Whether we are part of Europe or not. Chinese are still going to be a dominate factor, so we need to build up a more deeper understanding of connections with China. So Brexit doesn’t really matter.
Was it difficult to make connections between UK and China?
I myself was not born in China, I was born in Malaysia and Malaysia is a much more multicultural country. So I’m used to moving between different cultures. I can’t read or write Chinese. It’s also difficult for the British to understand the Chinese culture, people like me are different because we have one leg here and one leg there.
Do you believe the connection between China and the Midlands will Increase Chinese students to study in the UK?
There’s a lot of Chinese in the UK, so in one sense we don’t really need more, but what we do need is much stronger business transactions. At the moment West Midlands has the strongest export in China.