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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Wife Attend the 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration Reception Hosted by Prime Minister May

On January 31, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and Madame Hu Pinghua were invited to the Chinese New Year Reception hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street. This is the 7th consecutive year that the British Prime Minister held a reception to mark the Chinese New Year. The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Mark Field, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Rt Hon Lord Bates, Minister of State for International Development, Lord Sassoon, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council, and more than 200 people from the British government, parliament, business and trade, culture and education sectors and representatives of Chinese institutions and overseas Chinese attended the event.

Ambassador Liu had a friendly conversation with Prime Minister May and conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the Chinese leaders to her. May expressed her appreciation and asked the Ambassador to convey her New Year's greetings to the Chinese leaders.

May said that UK-China relationship is very important and Britain attaches importance to the relations with China. She recalled her successful visit to China early last year and her fruitful discussions with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. During that visit, the two sides reached important agreement on promoting the "Golden Era" of the UK-China relations. In the new year, the Prime Minister said, the UK looks forward to working with China to achieve more concrete results through the bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Ambassador Liu expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister May for once again hosting the Chinese New Year Celebration Reception, saying that this reflects the priority attached by the British government to the relations between the two countries and the Chinese community in the UK. The Chinese side also attaches great importance to China-UK relations and is willing to work with the British side on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit so as to make the China-UK "Golden Era" strong and enduring.

Over 60 children from different parts of the UK were present, and made Chinese handicrafts and presented them to the Prime Minister and her guests. The Prime Minister did a paper-cutting of the Chinese character "Spring" and joined Ambassador Liu in the 'Lion Eye Dotting Ceremony' – an ancient Chinese ritual signifying luck and prosperity.

On the day, the door of Number 10 Downing Street was decorated with traditional Chinese couplets. Guests were treated to a display of lights, hanging lanterns, and flowers. The brightly-lit reception was full of warm spring atmosphere. The participants from all walks of life spoke highly of the progress in China-UK relations and expressed their best wishes for closer cooperation between the two countries and more "golden fruits" in the new year.

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