With Leeds preparing to host the Chinese Olympic team as its training camp for the London Olympics, BBC Chinese will broadcast from the University of Leeds Refectory at 14.00 GMT on Sunday 5 February.
China in Leeds will explore the city's preparations and the residents' - including the ethnic Chinese communities' - expectations from the city's Olympic connection.
Co-presented in Mandarin and English by Chinese Studies student Marie Tulloch from the University of Leeds, and journalist Zhuang Chen of bbcukchina.com, the two-hour show will be held in front of an audience of about 400 students, university officials, local communities and local authorities - and streamed live to millions of people around the globe.
Marie, who spent last year developing her language skills in Beijing as part of her Mandarin BA (Hons), says: "This is a real coup for the university and for me personally. We have more than 1100 staff and students from China, and our Chinese Studies graduates have gone on to do amazing things in China and all over the world. Leeds also has a large Chinese community and it's great that we can welcome so many on to campus for what should be a really fun event."
BBC Chinese Editor, Raymond Li, says: "We know that the Chinese communities based in the UK value our journalism, and we are committed to reporting issues that matter to them. Through coverage of Chinese Olympic team's presence in Leeds ahead of the London Olympics, BBC Chinese also will be bringing the city of Leeds closer to its audiences wherever they are in the world."
People can Tweet about the show using the hashtag #chinainleeds
This is the first time BBC Chinese joins forces with a local community in the UK to mount an event such as China in Leeds. Guests include the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Alan Taylor; the former Chinese diving Olympic Gold medallist, Li Na; the University of Leeds "Olympic Ambassador" and British Olympic team's diver, Rebecca Gallantree; the coach of the British Olympic table-tennis team, Liu Jiayi; and the coach of the British Paralympics table-tennis team, Huang Shu.China in Leeds will feature a video message from the Mayor of Hangzhou - the Chinese city twinned with Leeds - as well as short interviews with Hangzhou residents. There will be brief video interviews and Skype connections with Yang Shande, the manager of China Olympic team; Feng Shuyong, the team manager of Chinese Olympic gold medallist in track-and-field events, Liu Xiang; Li Yanfeng, the world champion in women's discus throwing; Alex Hua Tian, British-born Chinese Olympic equestrian hopeful; and Dr Lin Cheung of London's St Martins College of Art and Design, who designed the London Paralympics medals. Zhang Tao, president of an international cultural and media company in Beijing and the University of Leeds alumnus, will share her expectations of the London Olympics.
In a major international achievement for the city and region, approximately 300 athletes, coaches and support staff representing China in at least 11 sports will be based in Leeds as they prepare and acclimatise to English conditions before heading to London for the Games which start on 27 July next year. As well as the direct financial benefits of hosting the China team, the agreement is also expected to provide a major long-term boost to trade, commerce and tourism as well as strengthening cultural ties between Leeds, Yorkshire, the UK and China.
The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.
bbcukchina.com provides up-to-date and in-depth content about the education, social, cultural, entertainment and sports scenes of modern Britain to its readers. It also has, as part of its core offer, English Language Learning (ELT), which makes use of the hottest topic in town and the latest trends as the focus of its learning material. bbcchinese.com is the BBC's news and current-affairs site in Chinese language, targeting global audiences, updated 24/7.
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