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28 October 2014
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Cao Dong greeting the Chinese President
Cao Dong welcoming the Chinese President

Meeting the President

Lei Liu came to study in Birmingham, never thinking she'd get to see the Chinese president. She was invited along with a group of Chinese students and several members of the Birmingham Chinese Community to London to welcome the President to the UK.


In China we hold our President in very high esteem. So when I was given the opportunity to welcome him to the UK, as part of a delegation of Chinese students from Birmingham – I thought is was amazing, fantastic, and I felt very proud - but also nervous at the prospect.

Our journey

As Chinese President Hu Jin Tao started his state visit to the UK I along with Members of Chinese community in Birmingham made our way to London.

This trip was organized by two local Chinese organisations: the Birmingham Chinese Society and the Chinese Student and Scholarship Association (CSSA).

Jiang Bo Yan
Student Jiang Bo Yan

After three hours by coach, we arrived outside Buckingham Palace where the flags of both countries hung. A strong emotional moment was shared between us.

Cao Dong from the University of Birmingham, is also the president of the Chinese Student and Scholarship Association. He was impressed with the welcome set out for the Chinese President.

He said: “We arrived early morning and I was very impressed by the decoration in the avenue. We all consider that President Hu Jin Tao is a very charming leader - we are thrilled and wish him to make a great success in his visit.”

Excitement and honour

Student Jiang Bo Yan from UCE said: “I feel very lucky that as part of the Chinese Student and Scholarship Association of Birmingham, I got the chance to go to London to welcome our president.”

Zhang Yan, from UCE was extremely excited: “I feel very excite that I can have this opportunity, a tiny bit nervous, but it’s very exciting to see him.”

Shan Xue Gang
Student Shan Xue Gang

Shan Xue Gang studies international politics at Birmingham University: I feel so thrilled that I can have the chance to see the President. It’s rare for us to see him in China.”

Wang Ji Qing added: “The official visit of our president is symbolizing a strong relationship between China and UK, and I feel very proud to see him.”

Tommy Yip, the chairman of Birmingham Chinese Society, has been in Birmingham for over 40 years: “I have formerly organized a couple of trips to welcome Chinese leaders in the UK, but still, I feel very thrilled that I could help welcome our president, Mr Hu Jin Tao.

All of the people who went from Birmingham enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Chinese President, and in particular for the students it was probably a once in a lifetime meeting.

Send in your stories

We'd like to hear your stories.

If you have any interesting stories about the Chinese Community in Birmingham, then please get in touch. email: birmingham@bbc.co.uk

last updated: 06/08/08
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