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Bell and Anderson celebrate official opening of Chinese Welfare Association

Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Martina Anderson joined with the Chinese Consul General Li Ruiyou in celebrating the official opening of the Chinese Welfare Associationís new building on Stranmillis Embankment, Belfast.
Monday, 19 September 2011

After the traditional Lion Dance of welcome the Ministers praised the work of the association and the wider Chinese community here, and underlined OFMDFM’s continued support.

Junior Minister Bell said: "OFMDFM’s support of the Chinese Welfare Association, partly represented by this magnificent building, sends out a clear and unequivocal message of welcome and respect for a people and its culture.

"Today gives us an opportunity to acknowledge that culture and applaud the success of the many exciting projects carried out here.

"We celebrate the success of the Chinese community here and the contribution that you continue to make to Northern Ireland as a whole, enriching our society in so many ways – academically, culturally and economically."

Junior Minister Anderson added: “I too congratulate the association on its important work, and indeed that of others like the Sai Pak Chinese Community Association in Derry, and the Oi Kwan women’s group. Combating exclusion and isolation and contributing towards greater understanding and acceptance of new cultures has to be applauded and encouraged.

“Long may our cultures continue to learn and benefit from each other in a true spirit of friendship, respect and equality.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Chinese Welfare Association (CWA) has been serving the members of the Chinese community and advancing good relations with all communities here since 1986 when it was set up by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. This is the Association’s 25th anniversary.

2. Construction of the centre was completed in December 2008. OFMDFM contributed £349,700 to the project, which comprised £250,000 Peace II funding and £99,700 of Capital Build funding. The Department for Social Development contributed £506,700 to the project through its Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund.

3. Media enquiries to the OFMDFM Press Office on 028 9037 8120. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5 440 and your call will be returned.