People's Daily (December 2, 2013. Page 3)
China and the UK should seize the opportunity of the reform and opening-up, and build on the established foundation in order to enhance the stability of the relations between the two countries, increase mutual trust through dialogues, and promote mutual understanding through communication.
Recently, in a famous gentlemen's club located in London, I delivered a speech with the theme of China's reform, summarizing the great achievements made in China's 35-year reform, and introducing the general planning for comprehensively deepening the reform made by the third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China(CPC). It is interesting that the club is called "Reform Club". Established in 1836 by a group of Liberal Party members at that time, the Club aims to promote the reform in British Parliament and enlarge the voter bases. The novel Around the World in Eighty Days by the French writer Jules Verne, familiar to Chinese readers, sets the beginning and ending of the story in the background of this Club.
In fact, after studying the UK carefully, it can be found that the term of "reform" has been popular in Britain for hundreds of years and has been used throughout the development and changes of the political and social systems such as the British Parliament.
Today, both China and the UK are faced with an arduous task to consistently deepen the reform. The third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC has made a systemic planning to comprehensively deepen the reform and sounded the clarion call for China's further reform. The British government is also actively exploring and advancing the reforms in a wide range of fields such as economy, finance, education, healthcare and social welfare. The efforts of both China and the UK to advance and deepen the reform will not only provide powerful dynamic for the development of the two countries, but also bring more and greater opportunities for bilateral cooperation. These opportunities are evidenced not only in the fields of trade, investment and finance, but also various aspects such as culture, education, technology, as well as healthcare and sanitation. China and the UK should seize these new opportunities, jointly find the new key points for the future bilateral cooperation, and design and plan the new blueprint together for the cooperation between the two sides.
As two major countries with important influences, China and the UK also enjoy a prominent characteristic in common: an open spirit. Since the third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC, the opening-up has gone along with China's reform. China has committed to opening itself up to the outside world and has successfully achieved its integration with the world's interests. This has not only led to the high speed of growth of China, but also made China become a major driving force of the world's economic growth. The establishment of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is the latest example of China's opening-up, and the third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC is a political declaration for China's further opening-up. As far as I know, many British enterprises are eager to have a try, hoping to embrace a new round of upsurge in their development in China. The UK is the origin of the free trade ideology. Adhering to the principle of opening-up, the UK now supports the free trade and economic globalization and opposes protectionism. The UK is open to and welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in the UK. I think, on the basis of the common idea of opening-up, China and the UK should seize this new opportunity of opening-up to better realize advantageous complementarities, mutual benefits and win-win results.
Both China and the UK should seize the opportunity of the reform and opening-up, and this is prospects-envisioning. At the same time, I believe that China-UK relations should be solidified to enhance the stability of the bilateral relationship.
First is the need to promote mutual trust between the two countries through dialogue. The bilateral dialogue should be deepened at all levels and in all fields. In light of mutual respect, treating each other equally, mutual benefits and a win-win spirit, both China and the UK should reach a consensus to expand their cooperation and resolve differences, continuously accumulating positive energy for bilateral relations and jointly striving to promote the stable and sound development of the bilateral relationship.
Second is the need to enhance mutual understanding through exchanges. Based on the time-honored history and their splendid civilizations, both China and the UK, with reform and opening-up and pioneering spirit, are committed to promoting economic growth and the well-being of their people. We should enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries, change the outdated stereotypes in people's minds, and promote the two peoples' understanding into modern China and the UK, forming new outlook on China and outlook on the UK, which will facilitate mutual understanding and friendship, thus laying a solid public opinion base for bilateral relations.
"With the winter gone overnight the spring season will be embraced at dawn." On December 2, 2013, H.E. David William Donald Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will pay a visit to China again after his last visit three years ago. I sincerely hope that China and the UK will take advantage of this fine opportunity and build a foundation of mutual trust and understanding to open a new voyage for a fresh stage in the China-UK relationship.
(Written by Chinese Ambassador to UK Liu Xiaoming)