The plan would not be to turn all of London Road into a Chinatown but to mark out and identify a section of the Air Max Black And White street or perhaps develop an area off London Road into Sheffield's first official Chinatown.
"It's really good that London Road is so multicultural," said Sarah Ng. "London Road is definitely much better than Ecclesall Road now, because of that mix of cultures who all bring their own skills and specialities."
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"This is the first time a Lord Mayor has ever done this," said an enthusiastic Jerry Cheung, after Coun Drayton completed her rendition of the traditional song, transcribed phonetically for her benefit.
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"WE love China," sang Lord Mayor Jackie Drayton and a dozen or so members of Sheffield's Chinese community. "Holding hands we go forward," they continued, in Cantonese.
And for business people among Sheffield's Chinese, that means new opportunities. Many of the new faces on London Road have strong links with China, it seems, whether they're students or people with an eye for business opportunities between the world's newest and largest market state and a growing local community.
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"The feasibility study showed that China is investing in British cities that have already got a Chinatown," said Sarah Ng. "We want to see Chinese businesses investing in Sheffield and employing local people."
The Moor event, part of the Love2B festival, included a lion dance by Jerry Cheung and songs from Sheffield's Chinese Christian Church (and the Lord Mayor) and at the Town Hall the Chinese School, based at the King Edward VII campus In Glossop Road, provided dragon and lion dances and a costumed procession around town.
"The change in China has been incredible. You could say the country has totally flipped, it's changed so much and now in China anything is possible."
And Jerry is confident the greater focus on Chinese culture will soon result in Sheffield's first official Chinatown.
"We want Chinese culture to be part of society," said Jerry Cheung. "We want Chinese New Year to be a community event."
There have been big changes among Sheffield's Chinese community in recent years, said Jerry, who has lived here for more than 30 years. "Over the last two years it's been changing every day. If I walked along London Road a few years ago I'd know the faces of everyone but now nine out of ten people I don't recognise."
and District Chinese Association, Saran Ng.
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And the one thing that Sheffield's community needs, say Jerry and Sarah, is a Chinatown. It's been talked about for years, they add, but now, after a feasibility study by Sheffield Hallam University and long discussions with Sheffield council and the local Sharrow organisations and regeneration agencies, it looks as if it's finally going to happen maybe even in time for the Chinese Olympics in 2008, said Jerry.
Although to many the start of London Road would seem an obvious choice for an arch, Jerry pointed out that a location there would perhaps indicate the whole street was Chinatown, whereas London Road is very much a multicultural area.
"Chinatown is about our identity but it would be for the whole of Sheffield and South Yorkshire to enjoy," said Sarah Ng. "It would raise the profile of Sheffield in China and help put Sheffield on the world map."
It's a sign of the vigour of Sheffield's Chinese community and of the changes in the country of China, said Jerry's colleague from the Sheffield Air Max For Women Blue
Chinatown campaigners looking to a happy new year
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A persuasive case that is increasingly supported by other local organisations and communities and by Sheffield Central MP Richard Caborn, Jerry added.
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On Saturday the city's Chinese community brought their celebration of one of their most important festivals into the city centre, with two lion dances, dragons, songs, and kung fu demonstrations.
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a Chinese arch, a symbol of Chinese identity, which would mark the start of Chinatown.
Crucial to the plan would be Air Max Grey Wolf
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