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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at CBBC's Autumn Reception: Join Hands for a Better Future of China-UK Cooperation
Gray’s Inn, 26 September 2019

Lord Sassoon,

Sir Sherard,

My Lords and MPs,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

Good evening!

It is a real delight to attend CBBC’s Autumn Reception for this reunion with friends both old and new to reflect on China-UK cooperation.

I would like to begin by expressing my sincere thanks to my old friend Lord Sassoon. Thank you for your diligent work and your pioneering spirit. As Chairman of CBBC, you have played an important role in promoting China-UK business cooperation and made significant contribution to China-UK relations. I hope and believe that you, though retired as Chairman, will continue to care about and support China-UK relations. Your wisdom and insights will always be valued.

The new Chairman, Sir Sherard, is also an old friend of mine. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to you on taking over the torch and leading the CBBC forward at such an important historical moment. I am sure that under your leadership, CBBC will write a new chapter and make new, greater contribution to China-UK business cooperation!

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 65th anniversary of China-UK diplomatic relationship at the chargé d’affaires level. It is also the 65th anniversary of CBBC. For 65 years, CBBC has grown with China-UK relations and played an important role in promoting China-UK business cooperation. Congratulations on the 65th birthday of CBBC!

I have summed up CBBC’s three important roles in China-UK relations, and I am sure you will continue to do so in the future.

First, CBBC is a pioneer in exploring China’s opportunities.

China has changed tremendously in the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic: A secluded and backward nation has gone through reforms and opened up to the world; an impoverished and weak country has gained prosperity and strength.

China is now the world’s

  • second largest economy,
  • largest industrial country,
  • largest trader in goods,
  • biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves,
  • and second largest destination of FDI.

It has contributed more than 30% of world economic growth for many years in a row.

Going forward, China will continue to share its “development dividend” with the world and create more opportunities for other countries’ development.

Sixty-five years ago, CBBC was a pioneer in doing trade with China, overcoming many obstacles and breaking the ice. Today, after 65 years, CBBC is still a pioneer in exploring the opportunities that China has to offer.

I am confident that CBBC will continue to be a bridge between the business communities of our two countries. I will count on you to encourage British companies to take an active part in China’s reform and opening up. Together, we can take China-UK business cooperation onto a new stage.

Second, CBBC is a facilitator in open and win-win cooperation.

Both China and the UK are firm supporters of free trade and open world economy. Our two countries have complementary strengths in development model, industrial structure and science, technology and innovation. There is enormous potential and promising prospect for the cooperation between our two countries.

The tenth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue concluded last June produced fruitful outcomes. One of the outcomes is the Shanghai-London Stock Connect, which for the first time connects the Chinese and a foreign capital market. Another important outcome is the agreement on cooperation in third markets, which opens new channels for China-UK cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Later this year, China will host the second International Import Expo. Here in Britain, the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention will be held. In both events, I hope to see CBBC leverage its unique advantages

  • to encourage the business communities of our two countries to translate the consensus reached at the EFD into concrete outcomes,
  • to help deepen our cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, infrastructure, equipment manufacturing, high technology and financial services,
  • to facilitate deeper and more substantial China-UK cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, and
  • to create more cooperation highlights.

China and the UK should set the benchmark for mutual respect and win-win cooperation between major countries.

At the same time, I hope that CBBC will contribute more new ideas for China-UK cooperation, and urge the British Government to provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies to invest and operate here in this country.

Third, CBBC is a promoter of China-UK friendship.

Both China and the UK are great civilisations. The interactions between the peoples of our two countries have never been more frequent. Our cultural and people-to-people exchanges now cover a wide range of areas, and our cooperation continues to deepen in the area of education, culture, tourism, science and technology, at the sub-national level and between our young people.

The UK has a larger Chinese student community, more Confucius Institutes, and more extensive cooperation with Chinese universities and schools than any other countries in Europe. There are 168 flights between our two countries every week, facilitating two million mutual visits every year.

I hope CBBC will continue to build more links between our two peoples. I am sure it will help draw our peoples closer to each other.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. This has raised new issues and posed new challenges to the international community.

Looking back at the 65 years of China-UK relations, we are proud of our achievements. Looking ahead, we see a growing need to enhance cooperation between our two countries. Closer and stronger cooperation is in line with our extensive common interests. It is also in keeping with the general trend of development in the world.

Let’s join hands to meet the challenges. Let’s work together to contribute more “golden fruits” to the China-UK “Golden Era”!

Thank you!

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