The Immigrant Story
In the 1950s and 1960s, Chinese immigration to the UK expanded rapidly. Many refugees arrived in Hong Kong due to unstable politics in the region. This, combined with Post- War unemployment, led many Hakka- speaking Chinese to make their way to Britain.
In the 1970s, a new wave of Chinese immigrants came to Greater Manchester to join family and friends who had already settled in the city. Their help was needed in the expanding catering trade. The introduction of long-haul flights at Manchester airport in 1981 and the opening of the Chinese Consulate in 1986 added to Manchester's appeal.
The vibrant Chinese community continues to attract immigrants to the city. Many new settlers arrived in 1997 and 1999 when control of Hong Kong and then Macau was handed back to the Chinese authorities. Most recently, Mandarin-speaking Chinese from mainland China have arrived in the city seeking work and education opportunities. Many recent immigrants are refugees from the Fujian province in southeastern China. Cultural differences have led to tentative bonds between the new immigrants and early Chinese settlers.
Many Chinese live in areas such as Longsight and Levenshulme in the city. There is also a community in Rusholme near the Chinese Consulate and a large population in Cheetham Hill.
“When I first came to Manchester in 1987, it was scary. When I arrived at Manchester Airport, it was very scary. Everyone was very tall, and not everyone had black hair. I was alone, had no relatives in this country, and knew no one. I just took my chance to come over here to make my dreams come true one day.”
“When I came to Manchester, I thought it was very small compared to my home town, Beijing, and the city architecture was not that great. But the longer I stayed, the more I loved the city.”
~ Jessica Zhang, Manager, China- Britain Business Council
“The old days were not the same as the present. When I came from Kowloon [in 1965], there were not many Chinese.“
~ Charlie Chan JP, OBE
In the 1950s and 1960s, the situation in Southeast Asia was very unstable. A large number of refugees flooded into Hong Kong. Coupled with the unemployment problem after the war, many Hakkas came to the UK to find a way out.
Since the 1970s, a new batch of Chinese immigrants has come to Manchester. Most of them are overseas Chinese family members, relatives, and friends who have settled in Manchester. It was their arrival that promoted the development of the catering industry. At the same time, Manchester has also become an attractive international metropolis. Especially when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and Macau returned to China in 1999, the vibrant Chinese community continued to attract more immigrants to Manchester. Since 1981, Manchester Airport has opened long-distance international flights; the Chinese Consulate in Manchester was also established in 1986.
The vibrant Chinese community in Manchester continues to attract new Chinese immigrants. The most recent wave of Chinese immigration occurred in the late 1990s on the eve of the handover of Hong Kong and Macau. In recent years, more and more Chinese from the mainland have arrived in Manchester to work or study. Many of the newcomers are immigrants from Fujian province in southeastern mainland China. Due to the large cultural differences, the relationship between the early and new immigrants is not very close.
In Manchester, most Chinese live in Longsight, Levenshulme and Rusholme near the Chinese consulate, and many live in Cheetham Hill.
我1987年第一次到曼城时，感觉到非常害怕。特别是在曼城机场，周围都是身材高大、金发碧眼的西方人，而我则独自一人，举目无亲，那时我只有一个想法，就是要在这里实现我的梦想。 —— 岑婉美博士
根据John Rylands 图书馆的资料记载，在1905年前后，曼彻斯特大学第一次有了来自中国的留学生。
Around 1910. Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester.
In 1960, Mr Ye Xiangye, the chef of Pinxiang Restaurant in Manchester City, travelled to Trafalgar Square in London.