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Home > Ambassador Liu > Events > 2015
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming At Chinese New Year Dinner of Cities of London & Westminster Conservative Association's Chinese Group
(Phoenix Palace, 24 February 2015)

Secretary of State Sajid Javid,

Chairman Mr. Lin,

My Lords and MPs,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's a real pleasure to join you once again at this dinner sponsored by the Cities of London & Westminster Conservative Association to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Sheep.

This is actually the 15th Chinese New Year celebration I have attended so far this year in the UK! This is the last but not the least. It gives me great pleasure to attend these events as they reflect the growing enthusiasm for celebrating Chinese New Year in Britain. Indeed the festivities mean it is almost becoming a holiday time in the UK as well as in China!

This enthusiasm for Chinese New Year provides British people with an important insight into Chinese culture. In China, this is the most important traditional festival:

 It embodies the very soul of the Chinese nation.

It reveals the range and depth of the Chinese culture.

It encapsulates the shared sentiments of the Chinese people.

Such enthusiasm of the British people for Chinese New Year will certainly lead to increased interest in China.

It has been almost five years since I became Ambassador of China in the UK. So, I know how last Sunday's celebration at Trafalgar Square was simply unprecedented. There were over half a million participants! And it was a great way to start a whole year of China-UK cultural exchanges!

I am confident that the Chinese New Year celebrations will set off round after round of China-UK cultural dialogues. In turn, this will serve to enhance mutual understanding and knowledge between China and the UK.

This Chinese New Year excitement indicates the important role of the Chinese community in the UK. It is their enthusiastic participation and all-out support that have made the celebrations hugely popular. Their efforts have made possible the seemingly never-ending Chinese New Year celebrations here in the UK .

The Chinese community, forerunners and latecomers alike, is growing in size:

It is making an outstanding contribution to the social and economic development in the UK.

Its members are increasingly joining the mainstream and entering the political scene.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Cameron gave a Chinese New Year reception for the Chinese community. This is evidence that the Chinese community is becoming an important, valued and recognized force in life in Britain.

This year, a record number of eleven ethnic Chinese candidates will participate in the general election. Some of the conservative candidates are present here today. I wish them success in making historic breakthroughs!

The Chinese New Year fervor signifies bright prospects for China-UK relations. It is set against the backdrop of strong China-UK relations in recent years. It is fueled by the steady and sound development of the bilateral ties.

Last year, China-UK relations were most fruitful.

High-level exchanges and visits were frequent.

Economic cooperation and trade turned in an excellent report card.

And cultural exchanges presented numerous highlights.

This year, China-UK relations will continue to shift to a higher gear. There is a strong powerhouse driving the advance of China-UK bilateral relations. There are unprecedented opportunities for this relationship to grow further.

Our New Year celebration is a good occasion to review what we have achieved in China-UK relationship over the past year. It is also a good occasion to envision what more we expect to achieve in this new year.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As you all know, 2015 is a year of a British general election. Over the past five years, the Conservative Party, as part of the coalition government, has made positive contribution to the relations between China and the UK. The result has been that China-UK relations have scaled new heights.

I hope that in this election year and onwards, China-UK relations will continue to maintain this growth momentum. This serves the fundamental interests of both our countries.

I am sure the visit to China of the Duke of Cambridge, starting next week, will be a complete success. It will send China-UK relations off to a good start in this Year of the Sheep.

It is my sincere hope that the friends from the Conservative Party will come together to take good care of the big tree of China-UK relations. Together, we can help it grow deep roots, produce lush leaves and bear rich fruits.

In closing, I wish you all good health, every success and happiness in the Year of the Sheep.

Thank you!

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