Deputy Lord Mayor Yvonne Mosquito,
Ms. H-J Colston,
Dear Students and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real delight to join you at the "My People, My Country" Gala in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, let me begin by extending my warm greetings and best wishes to you and, through you, to all the students, scholars, overseas Chinese and Chinese business community in the Midlands!
I would like to thank the Chinese Students and Scholars Association in the Midlands for hosting this Gala. My thanks also go to the Birmingham City Council and the Chopsticks Club for your support.
Tonight, we are gathered to celebrate friendship and cooperation. On top of that, we are gathered to sing "three odes".
First, we will sing an ode to youth.
A nation's strength is in its youth. Tonight, young people from both China and Britain are going to share this stage. In particular, the Mandarin Youth Voices will bring us the "Yellow River Cantata". I look forward to their wonderful inaugural performance.
My young friends, tonight, you are protagonists on the stage of the gala; tomorrow, you will be protagonists on the stage of the world. I hope your youthful vigor will drive you on as you strive hard to live your dream, blaze new trails, dedicate yourselves to this extraordinary era, and join hands to create a better future for both our two countries and the whole world.
Second, we will sing an ode to mutual understanding.
A Chinese legend tells of a musician travelling far and wide in search of a "zhiyin" -- someone who understands his music. So, "zhiyin" is a bosom friend. Today, we need more "zhiyin" between Chinese and Britons, and we need win-win cooperation between our countries. The only way to achieve that is through deeper exchanges and mutual learning.
I am pleased to see China-UK cultural and people-to-people exchanges flourishing. There are about 200,000 Chinese students here in Britain and more than 10,000 British students in China. I am sure that at such intensity, our exchanges will help ensure better understanding, foster a stronger bond and draw our peoples closer.
Third, we will sing an ode to win-win cooperation.
Cooperation at the local government level is an important part of China-UK win-win cooperation. Such cooperation has produced fruitful results in recent years.
Our two countries have set up the China-UK Region to Region Working Group. This mechanism is the first of its kind between China and a European country.
There are 68 pairs of sister provinces and cities between our two countries, including the sister relationships that Birmingham has with Guangzhou, Nanjing and Changchun.
Last month, the Huawei 5G Training Centre was officially launched in Birmingham.
Going forward, China-UK relations will continue to draw strength from the cooperation at the regional level and deliver benefits to local communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the minds, flight to the imagination, life to everything."
Tonight, let the music give wings to our minds and give strength to our actions. Let us sing the ode to China-UK friendship and cooperation!
In conclusion, I wish tonight's gala great success!