On November 26, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming and Vice-Minister of Transport Liu Xiaoming who was in the UK for the 31st Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) jointly hosted a reception at the Chinese Embassy to mark the occasion. Around 300 guests were present, including Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of IMO, Ambassadors or High commissioners of Mongolia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Gabon, Ghana, Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, Cuba and Peru, ministers in charge of economy or transport affairs from Iran, Malaysia, Poland, Sweden, the Bahamas and Panama, and heads of delegations attending the Assembly. Representatives from IMO, International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds and International Mobile Satellite Organization were also among the guests.
Ambassador Liu delivered a speech. He said, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the past 70 years, China has made great leaps forward. As an important participant in the development of the IMO and a category A member of the IMO Council for 30 years in a row, China has worked vigorously for the effective operation of the IMO. As an important leader in the development of the international shipping industry, China is keeping abreast with the trend of the times and working to build a modern shipping system that is safe, convenient, efficient, economical and green. As an important contributor to global maritime governance, China upholds the global governance concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit, engages deeply in global maritime governance and works with other countries to build ‘blue partnerships’, namely a win-win maritime cooperation.”
Ambassador Liu went on to stress, “Hong Kong has been an international centre for shipping and trade. The nature of what is happening in Hong Kong has nothing to do with democracy or freedom as claimed by some Western politicians and media. The essence of this issue is that extreme violent offenders have trampled on rule of law, disrupted public order, severely undermined the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, and challenged the bottom line of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. Their actions are extreme, violent and illegal. Such violence cannot be allowed to rage on in Hong Kong. The Chinese Government firmly supports the SAR Government, the police and the judicial institutions of Hong Kong in ending violence and restoring order. The Chinese Government also remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement ‘One Country, Two Systems’, and oppose any interference from external forces in Hong Kong affairs. It is our hope that the international community will have a clear understanding of the nature of what is happening in Hong Kong, strongly condemn and oppose the violent activities, have faith in Hong Kong and help the ‘oriental pearl’ to once again shine brightly.”
Vice-Minister Liu talked about China’s initiatives on the future development of international shipping. He called on all parities to build consensus and coordinate actions, so as to jointly tackle the challenges of the sustainable development of shipping. All parties should focus on practical results and uphold fairness and justice, so as to jointly improve the global maritime governance. All parties should uphold openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, so as to build up a healthy, sustainable and resilient future for shipping industry. China has always been an advocate in international cooperation on transport and shipping, promoting vigorously a better governance system of global transport. China will continue to collaborate closely with all IMO member states to achieve IMO’s ultimate goal of “safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans”. Vice-Minister Liu invited all the guests to attend the 2nd United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference to be held in China next year to work for development and cooperation together.
At the warm and friendly reception, Ambassador Liu and Vice-Minister Liu had friendly talks with guests on friendship and cooperation. Guests spoke highly of New China’s achievements in maritime industry over the past 70 years since its founding, saying that China has made significant contribution to pushing forward the international maritime cooperation and the development of international shipping industry. They expressed their willingness to continue deepening the mutually beneficial cooperation with China in relevant sectors, so as to jointly break new grounds for international maritime cooperation.
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Founded in 1959 and headquartered in London, UK, International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. With its 174 member states and 3 associate members, IMO sets technological standards that are widely adopted across the international shipping industry. The Assembly is IMO’s highest governing body and is held every other year.