China's rapid emergence as the world's leading economic powerhouse has fuelled the creation of a new degree course at the University of Birmingham.
From September, Wei Jin will teach Chinese courses for humanities and business students and help develop commercial contacts with China.
Chinese is becoming a necessity for many UK employees due to the country's rapidly-growing economy.
In response, the university has already launched language courses for business people who need to converse with their Chinese counterparts.
Professor John Klapper, director of the university's Centre for Modern Languages, said: "Only a few universities in the UK are able to offer Chinese to degree level.
"Nationally there are around 600 students stud-ying the language, none of them up until now in the West Midlands. "This appointment is a forward-looking investment. It will help to educate our students about an area of the world which, during their working lives, is certain to become a major commercial and economic force."
Currently teaching in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Cambridge, Ms Jin studied for her first degree at Beijing University before reading an MPhil and PhD at Cambridge. ..SUPL: