On September 26, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the China-Britain Business Council's (CBBC) autumn reception and delivered a keynote speech entitled Join Hands for a Better Future of China-UK Cooperation. More than 100 guests from China and the UK's industrial, commercial and political circles attended the event including Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, newly appointed Chair of CBBC and Group Head of Public Affairs of HSBC, Lord Sassoon, outgoing Chair of CBBC and Member of House of Lords, Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Heng An Standard Life, Fang Wenjian, Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in the UK and General Manager of Bank of China, London Branch, and Alan Mak, Member of House of Commons.
In his speech, Ambassador Liu spoke highly of Lord Sasson for his important role in promoting China-UK business cooperation and his significant contribution to China-UK relations as Chairman of CBBC. He also offered his congratulations to Sir Sherard on taking over the position and leading the CBBC forward at such an important historical moment. He hoped that CBBC would write a new chapter and make new, greater contribution to China-UK business cooperation under Sir Sherard's leadership.
Ambassador Liu noted that 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. CBBC has grown with China-UK relations and played three important roles in promoting China-UK business cooperation. First, CBBC is a pioneer in exploring China's opportunities. China will continue to share its "development dividend" with the world and create more opportunities for other countries' development. The Ambassador said, "65 years ago, CBBC was a pioneer in doing trade with China, overcoming many obstacles and breaking the ice. After 65 years, CBBC will continue to be the pioneer in exploring the opportunities that China has to offer and take China-UK business cooperation onto a new stage." Second, CBBC is a facilitator in open and win-win cooperation. China and UK 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. He hoped that China and the UK would set the benchmark for mutual respect and win-win cooperation between major countries, and CBBC would leverage its unique advantages to deepen China-UK cooperation in areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, high technology and financial services, facilitate deeper and more substantial cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, and urge the British Government to provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies to invest and operate in Britain. Third, CBBC is a promoter of China-UK friendship. Both China and the UK are great civilizations. The interactions between the peoples of the two countries have never been more frequent. Ambassador Liu hoped CBBC would continue to build more links between the two peoples and help them draw closer to each other. China and the UK would join hands to meet the challenges, deepen cooperation, and work together to contribute more "golden fruits" to the China-UK"Golden Era".
Lord Sassoon recalled the fruitful achievements accomplished between China and the UK in areas of trade, investment, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges during his time as Chairman of CBBC. He expressed his gratitude to Ambassador Liu and the Chinese Embassy for the support and expressed his hope that Sir Sherard would deliver a better future for CBBC and UK-China cooperation.
In his speech, Sir Sherard extended his congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China and commended China on its remarkable achievements, saying that China's development has a broad and profound impact on the world. While President Xi Jinping put forward the "Chinese Dream", the UK also has its dream. The future destinies of both Britain and China are common and their dreams are connected. It is entirely necessary for the two countries to further strengthen cooperation and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. The UK pursues an independent foreign policy, which guarantees that UK-China cooperation will not be interfered by other forces and trade protectionism. He was convinced that with the joint efforts of both sides, the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries would continue to make new progress.
※ ※ ※
The China-British Business Council (CBBC) is a non-profit British organization promoting trade and investment between the UK and China under the support of the UK government and business community. It is originated from the 48 Group founded in 1954 and Sino-British Trade Council. In 1991, the China–Britain Trade Group was established when the 48 Group merged with Sino-British Trade Council. In 1998, the organization changed its name to the China-Britain Business Council officially. It now has around 900 corporate members.