James Wong, chair of the Chinese Festival Committee in Birmingham, expressed his disappointment on behalf of the Chinese community

“We are very disappointed that the government seems to have disregarded the hard work of the people in the second city in preparation of the visit of the Chinese President, in favour of the Northern Powerhouse project.

It’s a real shame as President Xi Jinping expressed a special interest in visiting Birmingham.

This decision appears to have been made at the last minute.

I know that the Birmingham City Council has worked tirelessly to arrange this visit. We had over 300 local Chinese down in London on Tuesday to welcome him to England.

James is a second generation Chinese, born and bred in Birmingham and runs three of the main Chinese restaurants in the Midlands

 “We have seen an influx of Mainland Chinese investments in recent years, especially in China Town. One in three international students that studies in our 5 universities comes from China, many of whom decide to stay and invest in our city. I currently mentor two young businessmen who has expressed huge disappointment on hearing this news.”

 Read the full article on the Birmingham Post website.