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Home > Ambassador Liu > Events > 2011
People's Daily Publishes Interview with Ambassador Liu Xiaoming: Sino-British Cooperation Faces New Opportunities
People’s Daily (25 June 2011, Page 02)

The Premier of China’s State Council Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Britain between June 25 and 27. Before Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Britain, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming gave an interview on issues such as promoting China-UK relations.

Liu Xiaoming pointed out that China-UK relations have been in a good shape in recent years. We have established the comprehensive strategic partnership and put in place a host of exchange mechanisms at senior levels such as the annual Prime Minister’s meeting, the Economic and Financial Dialogue and the Strategic Dialogue. We have seen fruitful cooperation in all areas and new highlights.

Liu Xiaoming said at a time when the international political landscape is undergoing profound changes and the world economy is volatile, China and the UK, two big countries in the world, are sharing more common interests. It is therefore all the more important for us to work together, as we both see the needs of doing so. He believes that China-UK cooperation and exchanges are blessed with the following four opportunities: First, an opportunity for economic growth. China is implementing its 12th Five-Year Plan while the UK has formulated a development strategy for the coming decade. Both give priority to economic restructuring and economic growth, and both are committed to balancing international payments and increasing mutual investment. They share similar ideas about development, and their cooperation holds out great promise given our complementary strengths. Second, an opportunity for a harmonious society. China takes improving people’s livelihood as the final destination of upgrading the way of growth. It is exploring a new way of governance. The UK is pressing ahead with a public services reform and experimenting with the Big Society idea. It serves the best interest of both if they exchange ideas about governance on a regular basis. Third, an opportunity for mutual understanding. China is the largest source of overseas students for the UK, and the UK is home to the largest number of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in Europe. China looks forward to an equally spectacular Olympic Games in London next year. Two lovely pandas will soon settle down in the Edinburgh Zoo as ambassadors of friendship. The people of both sides have also shown a keener interest in knowing more about each other. Fourth, an opportunity to promote international governance. Both China and the UK are working to play a more active and constructive role in major global issues such as reform of the international financial system, world trade negotiations, climate change, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation and transnational crimes. By doing so, both hope to facilitate the building of a more reasonable and effective mechanism for global governance.

Liu Xiaoming further pointed out that opportunities only mean the right conditions are there, but it takes painstaking efforts to translate them into real benefits. He used a car analogy to describe how he believes the two countries can further their relations. Here are the four points to bear in mind in order to drive well:

One, keep to the right direction. As a line from a Chinese poem goes, “making judgment requires a long view and a broad mind.” China and the UK need to stay committed to a comprehensive, strategic and cooperative partnership and always believe that strengthened cooperation is not only in the interest of the wellbeing of our people, but also world peace and prosperity. Two, make sure there is enough horsepower. The two countries need to hit the accelerator and facilitate simultaneous growth of both quantity and quality of their cooperation. This includes first and foremost doubling trade by 2015 to reach 100 billion US dollars, increasing cooperation in financial services, low-carbon and environment-friendly industries, infrastructure development and other key areas, and strengthening dialogue and coordination on international and regional affairs. Three, make sure the car is robust to underpin a stable performance. It is essential to be realistic that China-UK dialogue and relations will face many challenges, given our differences in social system, historical and cultural heritage. They also have greatly differing levels of development. China and the UK can only overcome difficulties and challenges and maintain a stable relationship by building political mutual trust. In all their dialogue they must always treat each other as equals and respect each other. At all times the two countries must be vigilant to take seriously and address the other’s concerns. Fourth, take care to check the condition of the road. China-UK relations also need a fast and smooth road, or an environment conducive to cooperation. This will be achieved through extensive people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Exchanges between the young people are in particular a high priority. This cooperation will lead to greater mutual understanding and friendship. In turn this will secure more popular support for the relationship and foster positive public opinion.

A Chinese poem has it that: ‘The eastern wind comes at the right time to bring flowers to life, so does a timely rain that moistens countless fields.’ As we stand at a crucial point for China-UK relations, a timely visit by Premier Wen is sure to boost mutual understanding. It will help encourage trust between China and the UK. It can facilitate exchanges and cooperation and bring China-UK relations to a new level. That can be a contribution towards building a world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

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