Tuesday 04 July 2017

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. Further regional launch events will be 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 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. This is a sector strong in British creativity and which clearly reflects the UK’s vibrant youth culture.  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.

Notes to Editor

Spirit of Youth Official Image Ambassador: Jiang Shuying

Jiang Shuying is an actress from Mainland China, who attained a Master’s Degree in Media Economics from the University of East Anglia in the UK. Thanks to her appearance as Ruan Guan in the film So Young, Jiang won the Best Newcomer award at the 8th Asian Film Awards. Following her work on several other projects, she was awarded Best Supporting Actress at the 3rd China Australia International Film Festival and Best Supporting Actress at the 5th China Image Film Festival, which is hosted in the UK. Her portrayal of the fiery Jiang Cai in To be a Better Man lead to an explosion in popularity. Countless fans admire her straight talking personality in the reality show Divas Hit the Road. Owing to her unique fashion sense, she has become most sought after in fashion circles and appears frequently at international fashion events. At the same time, she devotes herself to philanthropic activities. She is the Ambassador for the project Chunlei Lunch, an activity organised by the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

We operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Beijing and Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan. Our Exams work across China operates as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise.