■ 12:45 (UTC±00:00 +DST), 28 MAY 2016 | GBR HARROW, GREATER LONDON
I’m headed back to Beijing in around a month, after all these years in the UK. Beijing, indeed, is the place I was born in. I’ve always kept my homeland and Beijing close to me — and it shows in all the involvements I’ve been part of. In the past two years, I’ve been more involved academically, am a closer part of the London Chinese community, have been part of events and meetups amongst locals in London, have been closer to UK media and the rail world, and through all this, now understand the UK better — not least also through my travels to all 32 London Boroughs and The City, as well as all lines and stations on the London Underground and the DLR.
Beijing is the city of the future. Once back “in the Jing”, I’m going to be involved in the Chinese capital as never before. My main career is obviously going to be rail-centred, but I’ll also keep a firm footing in academia, Beijing’s international events, and particularly the Swiss community in Beijing and across all of China. The Beijing & Zhangjiakou 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, as well as the building of the northern China megalopolis around Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, are stories that will define our time and are unique in their own right. This is where I’ll also come in with my own experience and know-how, as I do my part in making China and its people better off and living better lives daily.
Here’s a look back at 25 pictures of two highly successful years in Britain.
▲ 06 August 2014: David heads to the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster to register, this just one day after landing in London.
▲ September 2014: David kicks off the introduction of courses to MA students by introducing his own module to enthusiasm and applause.
▲ October 2014: To deepen the solid bonds between David and the Chinese student population, he shared some studying tips with students at the university.
▲ 04 November 2014: David kicks off the China Media Centre talks for academic year 2014 / 2015 with his first seminar, well-attended by key scholars and students from the university and across London.
▲ Beginning January 2015, together with Prof Hugo de Burgh, Director of the China Media Centre, David co-leads the China’s Media and the Emerging World Order module, where he also gave frequent talks and lessons.
▲ 04 February 2015: Together with Prof de Burgh of the China Media Centre, and Prof Charlie Beckett of LSE Polis, David and fellow academics talked about Internet in China at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
▲ 06 February 2015: At Prifysgol Caerdydd (Cardiff University), David gave a talk on the contents of New Year Addresses in China.
▲ 20 February 2015: David is interviewed live on Smoke Radio, the student radio station of the University of Westminster.
▲ March 2015: David and others visit UK media organisations in London. Here, David’s “doing his bit” in front of the microphone whilst on a visit to the BBC.
▲ 28 September 2015: David speaks to over 200 students from across the world at the largest aula at the University of Westminster’s Harrow Campus, the largest campus of the university.
▲ 20 October 2015: After joining morning events welcoming Chinese President Xi to the UK, David takes part in a live interview with the BBC in the immediate vicinity of the Houses of Parliament.
▲ 28 October 2015: David and others co-organise a Fresher Party for all students from China at the university. Here’s, he’s seen addressing all students.
▲ 31 October 2015: Just three months after Beijing and Zhangjiakou successfully bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, David and others co-host the opening ceremony of the Beautiful Hebei arts exhibition just off Regent Street. Zhangjiakou in Hebei will co-host some of the sports events in the 2022 Games.
▲ 23 November 2015: David is active at the British Academy, being a discussant and speaker, talking about Chinese media, urbanisation, and infrastructure, including Chinese high speed rail.
▲ Starting from December 2015, David has become the chair of all China Media Centre seminars for academic year 2015 / 2016.
▲ 19 January 2016: David and others co-host the foundation party of the UK China Association of Linguists.
▲ 08 February 2016: David goes live on Sky TV to talk about the meaning of Chinese New Year to a UK audience. As with nearly all of his events in London, this was also done in English.
▲ 17 February 2016: David and others co-host the Cultures of China, Festival of Spring gala in Portsmouth, welcoming in the Chinese Year of the Monkey. This event was hosted to high acclaim leading to a post-event interview.
▲ 04 April 2016: David talks about Beijing’s transport system, focusing on the Beijing Subway and China’s HSR system, and compares this to the situation in London. The talk was very well received.
▲ 09 April 2016: David chairs and delivers a talk at an academic conference jointly organised by the University of Westminster and the Communication University of China.
▲ 12 April 2016: David delivers a talk at the London Book Fair on Chinese infrastructure and urbanisation, including on Chinese high speed rail.
▲ 28 April 2016: David delivers his final academic speech, also his summary talk, at the University of Westminster.
▲ 29 April 2016: David hosts the first event following the establishment of the UK China Association of Linguists.
▲ 30 April 2016: David takes part in a media event organised by Jiangsu TV in London as an academic commentator.
▲ 01 May 2016: David becomes an Associate Research at CCPN Global (China in Comparative Perspective Network Global), an affiliate member of The Academy of Social Sciences in the UK. ■ ■ ■