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Faculty of Humanities

Two Chinese students in front of University Place

The Manchester China Institute

Promoting mutual understanding in UK-China relations.

With China's rapidly expanding role in global affairs and their new 'One Belt, One Road' policy, our vision is to create a truly multidisciplinary institute studying China today, focusing on globalisation and international affairs.

Thanks to a visionary £5M gift from Dr Lee Kai Hung, The Manchester China Institute (MCI) will make China studies at The University of Manchester among the best in the world.

A new institute for Manchester

Waterloo Place on Oxford Road
MCI will be based in the historical Georgian Grade II listed Waterloo Place building. In 2018 this will be renamed the 'Lee Kai Hung Building' in honour of the philanthropic gift.

MCI will conduct academic research that has policy relevant implications, and seek to shape the broader British and international debates on China's rise in a rapidly globalising world.

Our institute will reach beyond academic research to work for and with Chinese and British students and the large Chinese and business communities in and around Manchester.

The institute's outreach activities will be distinctive in the UK, setting us apart from other academic centres of China Studies.

The Manchester China Institute will bring together these experts, enabling multidisciplinary collaborations spanning the arts, humanities, science and health.

Our institute will reach audiences far beyond our University campus and the city of Manchester; most importantly its aim is to make a lasting contribution to greater understanding of China and globalisation in the modern world.

Our location in the city of Manchester provides a unique opportunity. Manchester is a city with established and fast growing links with China, as well as having a large and thriving Chinese community. 

Tiles of Manchester's Chinese arch

Why now?

Britain lies on the Western end of the Silk Road Economic Belt, while China lies on its eastern end. The potential thus exists for powerful partnerships between Britain and China from trade to culture. This potential, however, will not be realized if misperception and mistrust inhibit the healthy development of UK-China relations.

The mission of the new Manchester China Institute will be to promote mutual understanding in UK-China relations.

A new direction and a new director

The Manchester China Institute will be led by Peter Gries, the Lee Kai Hung Chair and Director of the Manchester China Institute, and Professor of Chinese Politics at The University of Manchester.

Prof Peter Gries


Our vision is to create a truly multidisciplinary institute studying China today, with a focus on globalisation and international affairs. The Institute's mission will be to better understand China's expanding role in a rapidly globalising world, and to promote mutual understanding between the UK and China. We're able to embark on this thanks to the foresight and generosity of Dr Lee.

Prof Peter Gries / The Manchester China Institute Director

Q&A with Peter Gries, Director of the Manchester China Institute

Prof Peter Hays Gries spoke to the Confucius Institute about the new Manchester China Institute:

Questions and answers with Peter Gries

  1. You are tasked by The University of Manchester to set up a China Institute. Have you got a name for it and what do you hope to achieve with the Institute?

    The mission of the new Manchester China Institute will be to promote a mutual understanding in UK-China relations. A "Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery" will also open at Manchester Museum, the largest university museum in the UK with over 450,000 visitors a year. The Gallery will seek to foster greater awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the diversity of Chinese culture. It will also provide cultural opportunities for local communities of Chinese heritage.

  2. What contact have you made with the Chinese community in Manchester and in your view, how can the community become more vocal and active politically and socially in the region?

    I have met Consul General of the People's Republic of China to Manchester Sun Dali twice and, thanks to Gerry Yeung, I have met quite a few members of the local BBC and Chinese communities. I look forward to working with the local Chinese community to support their efforts to be represented and heard in our shared community.

  3. What are your impressions of Manchester to date and what are your favourite restaurants?

    I love the diversity and cosmopolitanism of Manchester. My favourite restaurant so far, and by far, is Yang Sing Cathay.

Watch a short film (English)

Pete Gries discusses the launch of the Manchester China Institute. This Youtube video playlist includes a two minute introduction and an eight minute extended discussion:

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Watch a short film (Chinese)

Pete Gries discusses the launch of the Manchester China Institute in Mandarin. This video provides a five minute introduction to the new institute:


Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery

Manchester Museum

A "Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery" will open in the Manchester Museum, the largest university museum in the UK with over 450,000 visitors a year. The Gallery will seek to foster greater awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the diversity of Chinese culture. It will also provide cultural opportunities for local communities of Chinese heritage. 

Contact us

To find out more about the MCI and how you can support the Institute, contact:

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