In a feature on the Manchester Evening News, the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming, said that, “The people of Manchester and the people of China have traditional ties that date back a long time… In 1986, just as China introduced reform and opening-up policies, Manchester established sister city ties with China’s Wuhan city on the Yangtze River. This twinning has always been an outstanding example of twinning between Chinese and British cities.”
Over the years, the strategic partnership of local governments in China and the city of Manchester have deepened, and earlier this year, they broke new ground as Manchester Airport announced its first direct flights from Manchester to Beijing during a state visit by President Xi Jinping.
According to the Ambassador, “During the state visit, President Xi will attend the launch of a new direct flight between Manchester and Bejing. These are on top of a host of substantial cooperation agreements to be signed between the two sides, covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, scientific innovation, manufacturing and sports.”
Manchester Airport is known as one of the busiest airports in the UK, and it provides flights to around 225 destinations across the globe – more than any other airport in the UK. Already, it is known to provide some of the best services any airport in the UK has, with Parking4less stating that the airport even provides train and bus services that run every 10 minutes for 7 days a week, to ensure that their passengers have no trouble reaching the airport. The addition of direct flights to Beijing is expected to usher in a new era of cooperation between China and the UK, as well as encourage more people to travel to mainland China.
There will reportedly be four flights a week between Manchester and China, opening the doors for anyone who has ever wanted to explore the nation but found travel to be too difficult. The flights are set to take off beginning in summer of next year, and will be offered by Hainan Airlines.