UK: New China centre for Oxford

A new centre for the study of China is to be set up at the University of Oxford thanks to a £10 million (US$16 million) gift from the Hong Kong businessman Dickson Poon.

The gift "is a significant step forward in realising the university's goal of creating a dedicated building for China-related study," the university said in its announcement on 28 October, adding that it would "ensure that the university's commitment to the study of China is continually developed and expanded as the rising power of China sets new challenges and requires new areas of research".

The Dickson Poon China Centre, as it will be named, "will advance the expertise of the university's outstanding academics by encouraging original research, publication, joint projects and collaboration with scholars and institutions in China, the UK and elsewhere," the university said.

"In addition, the centre will provide a critical interface for the university's relations with business, government and non-governmental institutions involved with China."

Oxford has more than 40 academics currently engaged in research and teaching related to China, making it Europe's leading centre for the study of China.

Construction of the building is expected to start in 2012.