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Minister Ma Hui Attends the Opening of the Fourteenth China Executive Leadership Programme 2019

On June 30, 2019, Minister Ma Hui attended the Opening of the 14th China Executive Leadership Programme (CELP) for Benchmarking World-Class Companies co-organized by the University of Cambridge and China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) and delivered a speech. Nearly 90 people were present, including Dr Anil Seal, Fellow of Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, Professor Peter Nolan CBE, Director of the China Centre of Jesus College, Lin Zhan, Head of the delegation and CEO of China Forestry Group Corporation, Lord Sassoon FCA, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), scholars from the University of Cambridge and University of London, FCO representatives, business leaders from Jardine Group, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and other multinational enterprises, and CELP members from 20 Chinese key state-owned enterprises.

Minister Ma Hui said in his speech that thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the CELP has become a signature brand to enhance mutual understanding not only between China and the UK, but also between China and the West. Even if many of China’s state-owned enterprises are ranked among the top 500 in the world, they are still ready to benchmark their performance against world-class companies, which fully embodies China’s concept of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation. However, some Western politicians continue to criticize and intervene in China’s economic, political and diplomatic affairs arbitrarily out of their ignorance and prejudice, rather than focusing on solving their own problems. China adheres to the basic economic system with public ownership playing a dominant role and different economic sectors developing side by side, unswervingly consolidating and developing the public economy, and encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sectors. China does not engage in privatization and single ownership. There are no such problems as the so-called “hidden subsidies” for state-owned enterprises and “state sector advances and private sector retreats”.

China follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adheres to the system of people’s congresses and the Multi-party Cooperation System, which is multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. It is a historical choice and the people’s choice that China neither follows the path of capitalism, nor does it engage in the separation of powers and multi-party system of the West. Those in the West who wishfully hoped that China would follow the Western political development path after its achieved economic prosperity will eventually be disappointed.

China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. It is committed to building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future of mankind. It strives to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order. Ma regarded those in the west who accuse China of undermining the current international order and engaging in “debt diplomacy” and “neo-colonialism” and clamour for “clash of Civilizations between China and the US”, as having ulterior motives. He urged them to give up their prejudice and view China’s development objectively. He hoped that the programme would be more and more successful in helping China to build world-class enterprises with global competitiveness, and would continuously enhance the mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the UK and between China and the West so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

Dr Seal and Professor Nolan expressed their gratitude to SASAC, the Chinese Embassy, the world-renowned multinational companies, British government and universities for their strong support for the Programme. They talked about China’s important contribution to human civilization in the past, China’s great achievements in the fields of economy, social development, science, technology, and diplomacy in recent decades, and China’s positive role in world peace, stability, and sustainable development. They noted that both China and the West have entered a “New Era”. The need for mutual understanding between China and the West has never been greater. The CELP programme provides an important window for the UK and the West to learn more about China's state-owned economy and enterprises. They hoped that Britain after Brexit would continue to serve as a window for China to understand the West.

CEO Lin Zhan said that in recent years, China-UK relations have been developing rapidly, and more and more Chinese companies are investing in the UK. At present, more than 500 Chinese-funded enterprises have settled in the UK, and more than 20 state-owned enterprises supervised by the SASAC have conducted equity investment, project contracting, etc. in the UK, covering mining, power, construction and other fields. Many companies such as China National Chemical Corporation Ltd, CGN and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited have set up offices in the UK. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect launched this month would have a positive and far-reaching impact on China-UK cooperation. Amid the complicated and volatile international political and economic situation and fierce market competition, Chinese state-owned enterprises would make rigorous efforts to learn from the world-class enterprises in corporate governance, technological innovation, international operation, and risk prevention. The CELP participants look forward to gaining better understanding of British politics, economy, culture, and UK and international enterprises through the training, which would lay a sound foundation for future cooperation between China and Britain. They will cherish the opportunity of learning and exchanges and strive for knowledge, success, friendship and cooperation.

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