08 December 2006

Prague, China & Birmingham


Last night we went to the "up and coming" area of Nusle for a meal. Seems like about half the restaurants round there are Chinese, but the gf doesn’t really enjoy eating Chinese in Prague. A lot of the grocery stores in Prague are run by Vietnamese Czechs. There’s an interesting story about how a significant number of Vietnamese ended up settling in Prague, but that’s for another time. By coincidence, when I got home and was going through some of the many leaflets I picked up at Conservative Conference I found one for a Chinese Conservatives event hosted by the cerebral Dominic Grieve MP. Thinking back to conference, I don’t recall seeing anyone of Oriental extraction at conference, but then again I wasn’t looking.


Having a Chinese friend who works at the BBC’s Chinese World Service, a cousin who has recently been an English teacher in Shanghai and a close friend in manufacturing who regularly travels to China on business has helped to foster in me a certain interest (I wouldn’t go as far as fascination) in Chinese culture and current affairs. I don’t think I am atypical of the British public in this respect.


The 2005 purchase of Rover by Nanjing (China’s oldest carmaking firm) was a milestone in the ever-strengthening ties between Birmingham and China. With considerable imagination and flair Birmingham council leader, Conservative Mike Whitby (pictured this week with the mayor of Guangzhou) has been working hard to strengthen these links. On this theme, a tangible achievement was secured this week as Birmingham was formally twinned with the Chinese city of Guangzhou. This report on the Chinese visit to Birmingham was very favourable. Well done, Mike.

On the subject of Birmingham, this is a real pity (not).


Anonymous said...

Interesting anecdote that possibly says something about the scale of growth in China....

We recently received a new order from a glass company in China (Fuyao)... In my usual pompous British way I tried to determine the potential of the product - "are you committed to expansion" I asked? To which they replied -"well yes - we are currently putting in a new port (yes port) at our facility, so things are looking pretty positive"

I hung up humiliated yet again...

The Ryder

Praguetory said...

Nice story Ryder. As I always say any port in a storm?