On Tuesday 4 July, Chinese actress Jiang Shuying, together with HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne and the British Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward, officially launched the UK’s Spirit of Youth campaign.
The launch took place at this year’s Queen’s Birthday Party celebrations hosted in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing. Regional launch events are being held in Wuhan and Changsha on 5 and 6 July, as The Princess Royal tours China.
In her official welcome address at the launch, the Ambassador, Dame Barbara Woodward said:
Spirit of Youth will unlock long-term gains for both China and the UK from increased collaboration and exchange. Embodying the Spirit of Youth means to drive onwards with a fresh energy and creativity, looking forward and outward, creating links and networks between people and businesses in China and the UK that deliver benefits for all.
At the launch, Dame Barbara Woodward welcomed Jiang Shuying as the official ‘Spirit of Youth’ Ambassador to an audience of over 700 guests. Jiang Shuying studied in the UK for over two years and received a Masters degree in Media Economics from the University of East Anglia. Accepting her award, Jiang Shuying highlighted the importance of her time and education in the UK for the success she enjoys today:
I chose to study in the UK because of the first-class educational experience provided by UK higher education institutions. But it was also to broaden my horizons. I have always been captivated by British film and fashion. I wanted to experience the culture that produced such creativity and innovation and tour the sites that inspired so many iconic films and writers, old and new. I’m honoured to be part of the Spirit of Youth campaign and to help inspire the youth of China through my experiences.
Led by the UK government including the British Council and Visit Britain, Spirit of Youth, supported by partners British Airways, Jaguar Land Rover and IELTS, is a China-wide campaign aiming to inspire the next generation of leaders in China and the UK and to promote deeper collaboration and exchange.
The campaign will consist of a six-month programme of events and activities across six key themes: Culture and Creative, Sport, Tourism, Health, Science and Innovation and Education.
From July to December 2017, Spirit of Youth will invite audiences to participate in over 25 separate activities across no less than 12 cities, from young entrepreneurs forums to youth football and rugby training, from education festivals to interactive talks with British scientists, from theatre tours to film festivals. All activities will be shared on Weibo and Wechat.
The first ‘Spirit of Youth’ activity will showcase British music. Visit Britain in partnership with Xiami Music, will invite Chinese netizens across the country to discover the UK through music. As we enter music festival season in the UK, Xiami Music will be hosting a dedicated page on their APP, allowing listeners to stream tunes from a range of iconic British artists, from Adele to Bowie to Coldplay, and to find the latest information on music festivals and concert venues in the UK. British music fans can also enter a lucky draw on this site to win tickets to the UK to experience the British music scene in person.
Further Spirit of Youth launch events will be held in Wuhan and Changsha on 5 and 6 July, respectively. In Wuhan, the British Consulate-General will host an education-themed reception. At the event, The Princess Royal will meet more than 70 Chinese and British students and teachers to showcase the strong educational ties between the UK and Hubei. In Changsha, a science and innovation-themed Queen’s Birthday Party will kick-off the Spirit of Youth campaign in South China. As part of the campaign, the British Consul General will announce the launch of the Newton Alumni Network in China. The Network aims to promote links between scientists in the UK and China.