عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Chinese New Year Dinner by Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association's Chinese Group

(From Chinese Embassy in UK)

2017/02/01

New World Restaurant, London, 1 February 2017

Secretary Greg Clark,
Vice-Chair Mark Field,
Councillor Nickie Aiken,
Chairman Tony Ip,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great delight for me to join you again for the Chinese New Year Dinner. I much appreciate the invitation from our hosts - the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association's Chinese Group.

Before I came here, I was at No.10 where the Prime Minister was hosting a Chinese New Year Reception. Tonight, from the leader to the grassroot, the Conservative Party is celebrating the Chinese New Year. I greatly value this deep commitment to advancing the spirit of the "Golden Era":

· This sends a strong message that the Conservative Party attaches great importance to developing ties with China.

· And it shows your recognition of the contribution that the Chinese community has made to this country.

For the UK, 2016 was "a year for change to come", on many fronts, in the UK and around the world. In addition, for our two countries, 2016 was the opening year of the "Golden Era" of China-UK relations. Despite the many challenges and changes impacting on the UK, this was a year our bilateral relationship stood the test, steadied in transition and sustained the momentum of growth.

Indeed, with the Brexit Referendum and the formation of a new government, change was much in the air. But, China-UK relations remained strong. The strength was symbolised when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Theresa May had a successful meeting during the G20 Hangzhou Summit. Together they reaffirmed our shared commitment to the "Golden Era" of China-UK relations.

On our economic links we have stood the test of market uncertainties after the Brexit Referendum.Chinese business enthusiasm for investing in Britain was undiminished. The business cooperation between our two countries remained strong. Its mutually beneficial nature became more self-evident.

The most notable investment is the Hinckley Point C project. Secretary Clark and I witnessed together the signing of the package deal of this project. It is the largest single Chinese investment in the UK and Europe. This project will create 25,000 jobs. Once completed, it will provide clean power to six million people in Britain. It will help reduce nine million tons of carbon dioxide emission every year for 60 years of its operational lifetime.

Last year, we also stood the test of the complex and changing international environment. China and the UK maintained closer communication and cooperation in the UN, G20, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other important international organizations. We worked hand in hand on issues such as climate change, free trade, sustainable development, anti-corruption, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, etc. Our concerted efforts are strong demonstrations of the strategic and global nature of our relationship.

All this demonstrates how the "Golden Era" of China-UK relations kicked off well in 2016.

2017 is a year of significance for both China and the UK.

In China, the Communist Party will hold its 19th National Congress. A new central leadership will be elected to lead the Chinese people towards the "two centenary goals".

And in Britain, Article 50 will be triggered and the negotiation over its future relations with the EU will be launched. As Prime Minister May has indicated: The UK will work to build a "shared society" and a "Global Britain". Britain will be a nation that is "stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before".

2017 is also a year for consolidating the "Golden Era" of China-UK relations and a year marking the 45th anniversary of the ambassadorial diplomatic relations between our two countries. To keep our relations on the right track and maintain the good momentum, we need to build stronger political mutual trust. We need to advance cooperation in business, finance, culture, people-to-people exchange, international affairs, and many other fields. We need to ensure the smooth implementation of the flagship projects, such as the Hinckley Point C. I am delighted to hear the announcement by the British Government at the beginning of the year that the generic design assessment of China's nuclear reactor HPR1000 had started.

In the context of Brexit negotiations, we need to overcome uncertainties, focus on common interests and expand cooperation. And I am delighted to see both countries showing great interest in reaching a free trade agreement.

President Xi Jinping announced last month in Davos that China is going to host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May this year. He also said, the "Belt and Road" initiative originated in China, but it has delivered benefits well beyond its borders. The aim of this initiative is to achieve win-win and shared development. China and the UK could step up cooperation under the "Belt and Road" initiative. We can draw on the strengths of each other and work for mutual benefits. I am also more than happy to see the arrival of the China Railway Express in London, the first freight train from China to reach Britain.

Amidst all the encouraging progress in this golden era of China-UK relations:

· The Conservative Party has never been conservative in seeking closer ties with China.

· I hope to see a Conservative Party that continues to be energised with a progressive and innovative drive.

· I hope the Conservative Party will continue to be a leader in China-UK cooperation.

· And, I also hope to see more and more British Chinese actively involved in the UK politics. I look forward to them playing a bigger role in promoting economic and social progress in this country and advancing the friendship and cooperation between China and the UK.

This year is the Chinese Year of the Rooster. In the Chinese culture, the rooster is a symbol of a bright future and good luck.

May I wish everyone a bright, prosperous, happy and highly successful New Year of the Rooster!

Thank you!

Suggest to a friend
Print